Fitnah: The Afterlife of a Religious Term in Recent Political Protest
The phenomenon of fitnah could be traced throughout history in different regions and cultures. The Arab spring events of 2011–2012 are not an exception in this context. The next outburst of protest activity occurred where it was not expected in the near future—in Ukraine. If we compare the events in the Arab countries in 2011 and Ukraine in 2013–2014, it can be concluded that in essence they fit the characteristics of fitnah very well, which are attributed to it by the Arabic political culture. In both cases, the fitnah acquired permanent character turning into anarchy and chaos (“fouda”). The government/the ruling power found itself unprepared for such manifestations of fitnah and miscalculated the threat posed by the protesters. From our perspective, in the modern world this phenomenon can be explained by the rapid development of Internet technologies that gives the opposition an opportunity to prepare a protest virtually, in an area not totally controlled by the government.