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Islamist government is not necessarily a threat per se

Reader comment on item: A Neo-Conservative's Caution

Submitted by Seb Dakin (Japan), Mar 9, 2005 at 01:46

It is indeed likely that the outcome of a free election in the countries mentioned above would result in an Islamist government. This bodes ill for Israel, but then the dictators who went before were equally awful from that perspective.

What it does not necessarily mean is that the new government will be as implacably hostile to the US as revolutionary Iran was. The regime there replaced a US-backed dictatorship not so many years after the US was instrumental in replacing a nascent democracy with its own client, and in the years following the revolution the US backed Iraq in a wholly unjustified war of aggression.

Where Islamist politicians have been democratically elected in the place of regimes whose downfall the US has been party to, and if the US doesn't then sponsor their enemies, it could well be that such men as are elected seek to improve conditions in their own countries rather than export revolution. I wonder how many human beings, regardless of religion, truly relish the thought of their children blowing themselves up along with other people's children. If the political process enables legitimate grievances to be aired, then you might see a fall in extremism at a grass roots level. A problem there's been in the Arab world hitherto has been that unless you are in charge, your voice doesn't get heard unless you make a very loud noise. Boom.

In any case, the countries concerned are overwhelmingly Islamic. At some point, if they and the rest of the world are ever going to move on, some form of government other than corrupt and oppressive oiligarchies will have to be tried. A multiparty democracy is the best available model, and if it's not to be tried now then when? The consequences of waiting could become worse as European demographics alter the equation over the next twenty years or so.

The danger of worrying about the perceived problems of democracies electing Islamists is that instead of giving it time to play itself out, the tendency is to step in too soon in response to the kind of blood-curdling kill-the-infidel crowd-pleasing that is inevitable going to be a feature of elections with an inexperienced electorate.
Submitting....

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Reader comments (72) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
1Looking Back [38 words]NobodyFeb 1, 2011 22:48182196
Embracing the Brotherhood [1120 words]Raymond MooreDec 18, 2005 10:1030136
1Muslim Brotherhood [14 words]SirSethDec 30, 2005 04:1230136
Neo conservatism caution [93 words]steven lNov 26, 2005 17:3528874
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A liberal's views [104 words]RobshapazApr 28, 2005 11:3521871
Quote Regarding Chile 1970 Reference [97 words]Pamela BeckApr 4, 2005 11:0421326
Gujrat Chief Minister [103 words]Emmanuel PApr 2, 2005 08:1521302
DP Not a Neo-con [204 words]GWMar 19, 2005 21:1321068
Gujarat Chief ministers' visit [508 words]RayMar 18, 2005 23:4921063
NEOCONS UNITE ! [92 words]Randy SizemoreMar 18, 2005 22:1321062
Chief minister of Gujarat visit to the US [46 words]A Hindu from BangladeshMar 18, 2005 13:2921058
Out with the Shah... [198 words]Robert B. ArbetmanMar 13, 2005 15:0620972
Old PC games [70 words]Octavio JohansonMar 12, 2005 08:0320961
What does Neocon mean? [126 words]Timothy LaneMar 11, 2005 23:5520960
...sugar is sweet, but this "neo" fad is making me sick. [47 words]NathanMar 27, 2006 08:1820960
SUI GENERIS? [61 words]David GuyMar 11, 2005 14:4720959
Neocon versus paleocon [53 words]McGroartyMar 11, 2005 13:0520955
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Question [27 words]Neila Charchour HachichaMar 10, 2005 19:1920949
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Caution isn't enough [34 words]Ted SimanMar 10, 2005 13:5420947
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Caution First, Euphoria Much Later [79 words]Vivian E. WolfeMar 10, 2005 05:4020941
Out of the frying pan into the fire? [14 words]Lenn ChowMar 9, 2005 22:5820937
You could not be more correct. [197 words]H. YazdiMar 9, 2005 21:0420936
I Agree 100% [18 words]AlexMar 9, 2005 20:3820935
Caution Tale for the Neocons. [502 words]Arlinda DeAngelisMar 9, 2005 18:3320933
History Demands Respect [383 words]Daniel W. WeilMar 9, 2005 17:4320931
Neo-conservative or just clever? [34 words]Octavio JohansonMar 9, 2005 17:1220930
Golden Opportunity missed! [125 words]vincent villanoMar 9, 2005 16:1420929
Neo Cons / Israel [220 words]D SagMar 9, 2005 16:0920928
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Dictionary definition [119 words]Scott AdlerMar 9, 2005 15:3020926
From frying pan to the fire; [131 words]Goerge FranklMar 9, 2005 14:3820924
Condemning the Neocons: classic propaganda [128 words]JohnMar 9, 2005 14:3520923
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Changes in Transition Period [689 words]Dr. Jamshid IbrahimMar 9, 2005 02:2020899
Islamist government is not necessarily a threat per se [367 words]Seb DakinMar 9, 2005 01:4620898
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Democracy v Republic [68 words]Raymond SingerMar 9, 2005 01:1220896
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Mercilessly convincing [29 words]Emmanuel PrattMar 8, 2005 22:3620891
Definition of neo-conservative [128 words]Adam WeinrichMar 8, 2005 22:3420890
Reality [31 words]Joel KirsteinMar 8, 2005 21:5620889
Great article [18 words]pat tharpMar 8, 2005 21:0820888
Brilliant insights [3 words]Jeff PerrenMar 8, 2005 20:5720887
"Honesty?" Honestly! [166 words]Alan NitikmanMar 8, 2005 20:4920886
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Cynical Skeptics Unite!! [289 words]Darwin BarrettMar 8, 2005 20:1320884
Islamists [51 words]Donald W. BalesMar 8, 2005 20:0220883
Russia [33 words]Richard ValierMar 8, 2005 18:5620882
Not too random responses [70 words]Howard J SchwartzMar 8, 2005 18:0420881
Euphoria too Soon [76 words]Allen GinsburghMar 8, 2005 18:0320880
As always, you are so right! [26 words]IsaacMar 8, 2005 17:4520879
Funding for other groups [121 words]David W. LincolnMar 8, 2005 17:2620878
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Hezbollah [39 words]Karen PerryMar 8, 2005 16:5120875

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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