Europe was now realising that its past fears that Muslims in politics would spell disaster had been mistaken. Its reluctance to deal with Muslims had led to years of war and killing in Algeria. Europe had not accepted the Hamas victory in elections supervised by the EU itself; it had stopped all aid and never given them a chance to govern. The rift between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority was now one of the major problems in the Middle East.
Dr Vella asked what Europe had learned from its mistakes. An Islamic party was now back in Tunisia and had promised not to go for fundamentalism or extreme Islam. It must be given a chance to contest for a role in a democratic leadership. The same went for Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood, which was now showing that religious did not necessarily mean extremist.
It was to be admired that the interim ruling council in Egypt had appointed a member of the Muslim Brotherhood to the constitutional reform council and was allowing the brotherhood a chance to show its worth. They should not be pushed under the influence of Iran. By keeping a balance and peace, the army in Eygpt had been the greatest reason for the way the revolution had gone. If the army was not satisfied with the political results Egypt would end up with the Turkish model, with the army supervising executive and Parliament.
Dr Vella said the most disquieting aspect was the extremism appearing where it would never have been expected, under Muammar Gaddafi. The protesters or rebels were already appearing to be too influenced by radicalism and people in mosques.
He criticised the double standards shown when Israel had bombarded the unarmed people of Gaza, killing and injuring thousands, but nobody had said anything in spite of the pitiful humanitarian situation.
Source: The Times of Malta, 25 March 2011, italics added.