Democracy and Islam in the Arab elections

Jack A. Goldstone writes: No doubt the most difficult task in the months ahead for Western leaders responding to changes in the Arab world will be to stick to their guns on democracy — that is, to accord elected governments and their leaders all the respect due to democratically chosen heads of state. This is because the elected governments will almost invariably be Islamist, hostile to Israel, and suspicious of the United States.

But really, what else could we expect? “Democratic” does not simply equate to pro-Western. If you tell people: “We have oppressed proponents of your historical religion for decades to create dictatorships for the sake of better relations with the West and Israel, and now we want you to choose your own government”, what else would people do than repudiate the pattern of the old dictatorships? And wouldn’t that repudiation more likely take the form of voting for well known and established parties that stood against the dictatorships, rather than for new parties with young faces that stand for such vague things as “secularism and liberalism?”

So let us start from the fact that an Islamist majority was always logically to be expected from free elections in Arab countries, and show no disappointment on that score. The crucial issue regarding the new regimes in Tunisia and Egypt is not that they are Islamist, but how will they act? How will they act toward other non-Islamist parties, and non-Islamic groups in society? How oppressive will they be toward women? How effective will they be on economic policy and science and technology? How will they manage popular hostility toward Israel? These are the issues that will determine the risks and success of these regimes.

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3 thoughts on “Democracy and Islam in the Arab elections

  1. delia ruhe

    If only American Islamophobes could understand that you don’t have to be an Islamist to be “hostile to Israel, and suspicious of the United States,” they could start asking themselves some of the right questions.

    Those who want to see the US phase out into impotence will just sit back and enjoy this movie playing out in the media. Those of us in the Western world better start hoping (against all hope, of course) for a soft landing for the US. Because Americans are on a suicide mission.

  2. sharon-marie

    And if it doesn’t suit America ? Don’t need to answer ..What will the rest of the world do to Drugged up, prosaic fkd ,porographically saturated, terror excited, poisoned minded racist police state ,control freaked Zionist suckered killing country do about the right to self government in the Islamic new world order …Womens rights are moving forward slowly but surely and technology is out stripping America and when in Rome you do as the Romans do ??So lets all be happy for the big changes ahead with positive attitude for a jolly change .Please…sick of the pessimistic attitude of America and Israel with Brittian putting in its 2 cents worth of negativity and always threatening to and doing taking away the gifts of life from humanity.

  3. sharon-marie

    delia..How beautifully said ..your welcome at my house to watch for i shall serve a banquet in honour of ..The wheel of G-D turns slowly sharply but true. 🙂

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