2011-02-14 14:09:00

Gorbachev doesn't see Egyptian Islam as destructive force

Moscow, February 14, Interfax - Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev said he is not confident that the Islamic forces in Egypt will definitely have a negative effect on the country's development.

"Representatives of Islamic movements are currently rather reserved in Egypt. Irresponsible and instigating statements are made outside the republic. Nevertheless, I am confident that it would be a mistake to see a destructive force in Islam," Gorbachev said in his article in Rossiyskaya Gazeta.

Gorbachev pointed out that "there are whole epochs in the history of Islamic culture in which it led the development of the civilized world" and "its contribution to science, education, and literature is indisputable."

"Islam has a powerful potential of aspiration to social justice and peace. Islam, which defends these values above all, can have big prospects. Democratic processes and socio-economic achievements in countries such as Turkey, Indonesia and Malaysia have become a reality and these examples give us reasons to become optimistic," Gorbachev said.

The "equation" that Egypt and the other countries of the Arabian East have to solve has many unknowns and "the role of the Islam factor is the most difficult to predict," he said.

"Everyone who is involved in these events now needs to be highly responsible and balanced in their judgments and actions. Everyone has to draw conclusions from the events that are now taking place. These conclusions will apply not only to the Arab world," Gorbachev said.