The statements of condemnation issued by Islamist groups in the Arab Maghreb cannot be separated from the military campaign launched by the Libyan National Army (LNA) a week ago towards the capital Tripoli to purge it of terrorist militias, even though these groups have a good situation in their own countries, with some even attaining ministerial portfolios and government leadership.
In contrast to the Arab Orient, the dynamic Islam of Morocco enjoys a state of stability, which has made these groups look at the experience in Morocco as if it were the only guarantee for their survival, which shows how desperate they are to defend their gains in the Arab Maghreb.
Meanwhile, with the LNA’s movements toward Tripoli to eliminate the militias affiliated with the Islamist movement that controls the capital under the Government of National Accord (GNA), the condemnation coming from the Islamist movements in neighboring countries, specifically in Tunisia and Algeria, can be put in the context of their fears of losing their gains in a country like Libya if they lost control of the capital.
The Islamist Ennahda Movement, the branch of the Brotherhood in Tunisia, issued a statement earlier this week with the signature of President Rached Ghannouchi condemning the LNA’s “brutal move.”
While the statement was directed abroad, its repercussions were great within Tunisia. Tunisian activists accused Ennahda of violating the Tunisian constitution by commenting on the conditions of other countries, which is a matter for the Tunisian state and its institutions.
During the uproar caused by the statement, Abdul Razzaq Mekri, the leader of the Movement for the Society of Peace, the branch of the Brotherhood in Algeria, condemned the LNA movements in the western region of Libya, claiming that it was considered a provocative act for his country and places pressure on its military.
Mekri said that LNA commander Khalifa Haftar was progressing towards Algeria’s eastern border, posing a risk to his country and to the stability of the region as a whole.
Observers believe the Islamists in the Maghreb fear the developments in Libya, as they consider any change in the political map in Libya and the removal of Islamists from the scene would have an impact in Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco.
Tunisia is preparing to hold parliamentary and presidential elections by the end of this year, and Ennahda is betting on achieving good results, which indicates its fear of being affected by the situation in Tunisia.
Algeria is also undergoing a transitional phase in which the Movement for the Society of Peace is trying to make gains in a seemingly delicate period.
Libyan political analyst Abdel Hakim Fanoush interpreted the statements coming from Ennahda and Society of Peace as showing fear for the future of their influence in their respective countries, considering the Arab Maghreb as one entity, where the situation in Libya will affect their own popularity at home.
Libyan researcher Mohammed al-Zubaidi said that the Islamists in Libya were not popular but were imposed on the Libyan scene, pointing out that the loss of Islamist control in Libya means the country would join the Eastern camp, which would get rid of the influence of religious groups.
The upcoming elections in Tunisia and Algeria pose a challenge for the Islamists and will either result in the continuation of a series of failures for political Islamists or their return to the scene.