North African Islamic Revolution cartoon

North African Islamic Revolution

Impact of the North African Islamic Revolutions

The Islamic country revolution spanning across North Africa and much of the Middle East started in December 2010. The story begins with a Tunisian street trader, Mohamed Bouazizi, who burnt himself to death. This tragic act of protest, bolstered by the use of social networking platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, sparked off the revolution in Tunisia. The successful dislodging of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali there has since inspired large-scale anti-government protests and unrest across Islamic countries in the entire region.

If you look at the life of Mohamed Bouazizi, you can see a singular, but representative sample of what life is like for millions of people in North Africa and the Middle East. He is a young man living in a country with a high unemployment rate. He is unable to secure a regular job because he doesn’t have the necessary contacts. So, to make ends meet he takes on work in the informal sector. Then, for whatever reason – corruption or otherwise, the authorities grind his attempt to make a decent living to an abrupt halt.

At that moment there is a realisation of sorts for such individuals. The connection between the autocratic regime, corruption and helplessness of the poor is crystal clear. It may have taken one man’s death to add voice to that realisation, but the effect of that voice has since multiplied into a banshee’s scream across all North Africa and the Middle East.

Earlier this month, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was ousted following violent protests in Cairo. As an indication of the scale of the ripple effect, Tunisia is a country of about 10 million people and Egypt of close to 85 million. Anti-government protests were also launched in Bahrain, Yemen, Djibouti, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Iran and even in the stronghold of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, Libya. The protests were met with varying degrees of force, as can be expected with such autocratic regimes. The harshest of these to date is undoubtedly Libya, where there have been reports of hundreds of unarmed protestors being killed.

As these revolutions blossom, Wonkie wonders what the impact will be on other countries, and indeed the world. Certainly the other Islamic countries operating under similar regimes will be taking note and preparing for what might shortly become inevitable. The effect of the new voice, however, will be far reaching. Even Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe has taken precautionary action by detaining several dozen people for just discussing the protests in Egypt. What these revolutions are doing, is giving the poor masses hope. Hope that things can change in their favour.

If all it takes for evil to succeed is that good men do nothing, then all that keeps the masses at bay is simply resignation. This is particularly relevant not only for citizens of currently autocratic regimes, but also for those of relatively new democracies – including the likes of South Africa. If citizens fail to diligently hold their government to account, then they are gambling with their own futures. It is a sure bet that it is that very apathy that will lead to their own downfall.

What will be the global impact of the recent Islamic country uprisings?

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  1. Excellent cartoon Wonkie!!! I believe Gaddafi when he says he will die a martyr – I don’t think he will step down relatively quietly as Mubarak had to – Muammar will go down in a blaze of ‘glory’ – if one can call it that!

  2. Zuma and Mugabe must be Sh!tting themselves knowing whats coming for them.
    Daffy Gadaffi will die at the end of a rope with he`s son,in utter shame or maybe stoned to death.

  3. @ Boerkie – we can only pray !!

  4. brian dempssey says

    Didnt Nostradamus say

  5. What a dissappointment I got when I heard that HE has murdered so many people before and during the past week,to us in S.A, HE is our HERO due to his rule in the liberation of our country BUT now, I wash my hands.The impact of all this is fuel hikes and let’s hope that the West is not going to use this as to gain access to African Wealth.

  6. Brian, according to some knowledge we heard that Nostradamis took a lot of his predictions directly from the Bible, Isiah 22 – 44 and Revelation. It is not so difficult for those who reads the Scriptures prayerfully to find all the prophecies. Read Jeremiah 33 ver 3. The Lord says: Call upon ME and I will answer you and reveal all the things which you do not know. We are living in the end times: Protests, crime, corruption, immoral societies, pleasure seekers, lovers of evil denying the existance and grace of the LORD JESUS CHRIST. The world is suffering their own consequences of their actions, as written in the WORD of GOD

  7. Both Mugabe and Gadaffi belong alongside their pal Taylor in the world court for their despicable crimes against humanity. The ANC have supported these two despicable despots even though it know about their crimes.

  8. Idi Amin, Gadaffi, Jacob Zuma, Mugabe! Spot the difference! Gotsha! Niks, Nothing. They’re all the same, terrorists who want to take over the world by being vicious murderers. Make them ordinary members of society, and, see what the people will do to them.


  10. I agree with Deena. Birds of a feather flock together. Unfortunately none of the world leaders have got the guts to do anything to stop these despots so the suffering masses must revolt out of desperation. What have they got to loose? We in ZA are sitting on the same time bomb, unless a miracle happens.

  11. Do i have to comment…no! i am just waiting what is happening in these countries to happen here at my beloved Mzantsi & i hope that will be very soon…

  12. TANNI

  13. Gaddafi is a murderer, a butcher and he will burn in hell. The West are nothing but talking heads who are willing to do nothing and African leaders will show for a short time some embarrassment that their beloved brother is nothing but the devil and they will attempt to bring about an African solution that will be nothing but hot air as usual

  14. Time we got rid of these tyrants once and for all. The culture of cronyism is the same in these autocratic states. No leader of any country should be allowed to rule for more than 10 years or rather should not be allowed to loot for more than 10 years. And the system of governments of national unity as happened in kenya and zimbabwe should not be encouraged. it gives these despots room to rule for life as they will never willingly let go of power even if it is proved beyond a reasonable doubt that they lost democratic elections.

  15. USA will creep in with their backstabbing and hidden agendas with the intention of obtaining oil and other minerals in these countries you just wait and see.

  16. What we are now watching is a revolt against a return of slavery: a state wherein people strive for personal power by exploiting the less powerful for personal gain.. Although America is headed in that direction where people pay themselves the equivalent of the yearly income of thousand of the less priviledged eroding the ordinary middle class. Unfortunately, South Africa is heading the same way:it should provide government for the people, not for fancy houses, cars, housing.

  17. Lucky…. they have been there (in Libya) since 2005 – tapping oil and dealing with the tyrant Gadaffi. Hey, no suprises there ….. with the Yanks, you change to “most favoured nation” in a flash! Or, however long it takes to sigh away the riches in your land.

  18. Lucky…. they have been there (in Libya) since 2005 – tapping oil and dealing with the tyrant Gaddafi.
    Hey, no suprises there ….. with the Yanks, you change to “most favoured nation” in a flash! Or, however long it takes to sign away the riches in your land.

  19. OLD FASHION says

    DBSA are spending 262 million US $ for roads in Zambia and yet our roads are in a pathetic state.

  20. as is the case in our 3rd world Islamic countries, we do not have honest politicians (what to talk of society), and many times the ‘elected dictators’ have been removed but the replacement is as decayed and corrupt. In effect, nothing will happen with the departure of Mubarak, Gaddafi, Ben Ali and the likes, becoz the guys we put in their places wil soon be as ‘good’ as they were. This is our history and destiny.

  21. There have been revolutions in Iran, Haiti, the Phillipines and all over. These countries are no better off, so why all the fuss?

  22. OLD FASHION says

    For what is happening check our website:

  23. My opinion is exactly what Wonkie has said. People are sick and tired of the
    so called governments, who are ploughing the money back into the economy and
    creating jobs….hope our ridiculous anc are making notes

  24. Mateyo Chibango says

    A lesson to all (and would be) dictators, not only in North Africa but the world over. The people make the nation. Not the governments

  25. OLD FASHION says

    In the 7O’s I worked for a big company who’s factory was in Salisbury, trucks came through twice a day to deliver to Jhb Head Office. This factory was one of the first to be nationalised and needless to say it closed in the 80’s it fell apart and closed. This was highly specialised pharmaceutical products. No wonder Zim has a shortage of medical supplies.

  26. What`s this buffooned,blinkered and cretin gordhan saying?that the unrest in North Africa won`t happen now here in south africa but in twenty years time!what evidence he has that led to him making such ridiculous and childish remarks!what he is saying its that they will allow unrest by not tackling the issues that leads to unrest in the first place.we really have a contaminated,polluttd and perverted regime here!

  27. Godfery Sakabuya says

    What a cartoon. I think thesw changes that are happening in our african states will have an impact to our revolutionary leaders coz they think they own us. So this shows us that the majority can turn tables.

    thank you

  28. Dave Pratten says

    The oil price will certainly rise.
    The masses will slowly learn that they must keep their rulers in check – the rulers have to learn to change from being a revolutionary movement to one that governs with all the checks and balances which makes for a good democracy

  29. ordinary people doesn`t have the means and capacity to embark on magnitudinal forceful actions therefore its incorrect to say people of the middle east are doing it themselves.Even here in south africa the foreigners attacks and strikes against these rulers are not by ordinary people but forces that uses ordinary people to embark on action.its no problem to pick-up a group of people andget them to march or to attack foreigners for a payment

  30. Looks like half of the people up north are revolting

  31. The fact is that people are sick and tired of politicians and mainly African leaders,who are corrupt and accumilate millions of tax payers money to enrich themselves whilst millions of their own people are starving and live in tin shacks wothout running water, flush toilets and electricity. Zuma himself does not pay income tax and now is undoubtedly the highest paid head of state in the world. We have allowed one single man to get away with it. At present Zuma’s presidential houses are being refurbished at a cost to the taxpayers of R190 million and his own private residence at Nkandla in KZN is continually being upgraded at a cost to we taxpayers at R90.000 million ander the guise of Security. Zuma’s love of taxpayers money is pure greed and is out of control. South Africa is sitting on a powder keg that will be ignited by these SA despicable politicians. The situation is similar to that of FRANCE before the French revolution in the 18TH century. ‘Let them eat cake’ said the queen’. ‘ Let me have more of your money for myself’ said Zuma, Gadaffi, Mugabe, Mubarak and half of the African leaders on the continent and in the AU. They are shameless, disgusting and do not care less about the people.

  32. How can people who ran around in the bush with AK47’s run the affairs of a modern state? You need managerial experience and fiscal discipline in order to manage the affairs of a country. Zuma is unable to manage his personal finances but has access to the honey pot. Go figure!

  33. Deena,Zimbabwe is the only democratic country in this continent and which is developing and growing rapidly!When last were you there to make the kind of adversarial and devastative remarks you`re making because I can bet you you rely on hearsay from his detractors and critics.

    Than being accused of misusing taxpayers money he has been accused of spending his own money lavishly while his people are suffering and this is no crime!Zimbabwe adhere to its constitution and when a politician is embroiled in crime they`re not defended but handed over to justice!

  34. power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Inteligent, learned, clever but laking widom. THIS IS THE RESULT

  35. OLD FASHION says

    In a true democracy the government is an employee of the people who pays taxes and their salaries. When excecute their duties in a corrupt way they must be fired by voting them out. To use violence to overthrow by protests shows that there is no true democracy. Can’t these so called dictators not realise that, if not they remain power hungry and self exhalted. No country can survive with these nincampoops.

  36. bullshit!gaddafi is under attack with weapons of warfare and who in his right mind expects him to be a sitting-duck and not fight back!

    in military talk you have something called “rules of engagement}and we used to call that”defensive” against the offensive and that`s precisely what he is involved iin!Only when his assailants are ready to talk and he punmmel them with artillery can he be taken to account for that!Bush pummeled Iraq because he believed Iraq was harbouring alqaeda to attack it and he was backed by the very same forces that now are denying gaddafi the same right of defense.

  37. pooky 2-2 says

    lets just wait and see what will happen, this year we are likley to see a lot of suprises………….watch and pray ……..the end times are but nigh

  38. OLD FASHION says

    pooky 2-2, You are absolutely right, we are praying and harvesting as we are in the very very last days. Follow the website and in Australia we started Harvesttrails but the website is not yet completed.
    Those whose names are written in the BOOK of LIFE will escape the wrath of God as we will gather in Heaven whith JESUS when HE returns. I pray and trust you are one of the saved. Just for those who do not know: saves means: saved from the wrath of GOD and eternal hell. Wether they believe it or not it does not make it unreal it is a definite certainty.

  39. deena,with the exception of one the others i will personally defend them to the last drop of my blood!

    idi amin sa how these bangladeshis,palestinians,pakistanis,egyptians and the lot were screwing blacks through persecution borne by the ruthless exploitation,undedevelopment,disadvantaging an underprivileging and his actions were meant to revenge the suffering they went through in the hands of your homeboys!its coming here too seeing that they are coming here to smuggle and traffic our women.this country is heading for a mother of all wars before 2014 to determine ownership.this country cannot be shared and therefore one man must own it but first win the war!

  40. OLD FASHION says

    Tim, sorry if this was not a publig blog I could you tell you about issues that has happened, who started it, who continued it, and what their modis opranti is. This was journalised and documented by people who manage to escape the onslaught. So your info is based on what supporters of groups who you look up to publish and we know what their motives are, it is the yearning to be in power, oppress the ones that do not approve of them and just keep adding to promises that they do not intend to keep but just to pacify their supporters.

  41. I`m not an acdemic but a mlitarist and so look at things militarily.I put myself on Amin`s shoes and observed these foreigners here n this country and they`re very hostile where one can even suggested they`re on a take-over attempt and this requires military intervention.

    migration laws are about security for any vulnerabl entty in a country and it was wrong for this government to do things the way thy di du to the damage tht they hve caused to this country!there are no blacks in this country they`re all dead or angsterised or smuggled to sweatshops or elsewhere.whites,indians and coloureds knows what i`m talking about but o don`t know becaus you`re not exposed to the real world!

  42. I`m not an acdemic but a mlitarist and so look at things militarily.I put myself on Amin`s shoes and observed these foreigners here n this country and they`re very hostile where one can even suggested they`re on a take-over attempt and this requires military intervention.

    migration laws are about security for any vulnerable entity in a country and it was wrong for this government to do things the way they did due to the damage that they have caused to this country!there are no blacks in this country they`re all dead or gangsterised or smuggled to sweatshops or elsewhere.whites,indians and coloureds knows what i`m talking about but you don`t know because you`re not exposed to the real world!

  43. OLD FASHION says

    Tim I agree with you, we are plagued here with Nigerians, Camaroons and Zimbabians. Vertually all of them are criminals: armed robbers, drug smugglers, selling doped drings, running brothels with extremely young girls and terrorising our local black community. We are busy taking action in our own way non violence offcaurse. But we are aware that some of these local police officers turn a blind eye because they receive monies and favours from them. The children can not even play in the local park without having a big crowd of grownups watching them. It use to be a very nice suburb but has gone totally down the drain. We are aware of the fact as an nigerian mentioned to someone who questioned him that they have found a loophole in our Department of Interior to overcome immigration obstacles.
    The money they make is sent back to their home countries. Most the other facts I think you are clued up with it already by reading your comments.

  44. Sam Simango says

    A person is not a criminal just by being a foreigner. This reverse apartheid by Black South Africans makes me sick! Is Mathata

  45. Mafioso bus hordes of foreigners into countries to commit their crimes from there that`s where my generalisation comes in and its jutified!The first foreign nationals to be victims of this were the Chinese followed by pakistanis,bangladeshis,egyptians and palestinians to sell counterfeit and faked goods,abduct and smuggle toddlers an girls and traffick women and yes…they have smuggled an trfficked millions of children and women who are among the hordes of children in madrasses around the worldand working in sweatshops under horrible conditions and unforunately i found myself unable to help them because people must help themselves first before one can come in by being security consciuos!Under apartheid we were very very security consciuos that`s why we were safeguarded

  46. OLD FASHION says

    Tim you are right once again: The foreigners are paying mega bucks in bribes to top senior excecutives to get their fake goods, child smuggling for body parts etc. We have been aware of this problem for last 10 years and as soon as it comes to light we inform opposition parties to lodge investigations. Emails sent to the ruling parties gets deleted before they even read it. The proof is in the return of the email requests e-mail delivered, and email read. It comes back as message deleted before read.
    Unfortunately so much damage has already be done but we sincerely hope that a just and rightous party will be elected in the next election and change the constitution that a president can not rule longer then 5 years that is if JESUS does not return within the next 6 years. The Bible tells us that ungodly rulers will not be prosperous and will be struck with famine while they in power. Specially corrupt ones receiving bribes etc. This is the reason why we are starting to have protesters causing more harm then good , all they need to do is vote them out by ensuring that they vote for people with integrity and that do things rather then isueing promises that they do not do.

  47. In my own opinion, the Euorpean and American must not interfere in Africa’s problems. They just want our resources espcially OIL,Diamonds and other Minerals not peace as the said. Africa is for Africans and let us rule our own continent.

  48. @Tim I would love to meet you. You are as contreversial as I would love to be

  49. A person is a criminal by being a foreigner until he proved him/herself so!white foreigners have proved themselves law-abiding by coming here to produce and contribute to the construction or highways and freeways,railways,invention of buildings,fighting persecution of one group against the other and every south african was just interested in being a part of them.

    They did their military training at hospitals and policestations to ensure that we get the best and treated in-line with our human rights!Your brothers what have they done to deserve that term?you`re just calling them brothers because they`re darker-skin…then you`re a biggest bigotted racist!

    For security reasons I don`t meet with strangers before they are thoroughly screened!


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