69 million page views

Democracy & Islamists

Reader comment on item: Combating the Ideology of Radical Islam

Submitted by Glenn Klotz (United States), Apr 14, 2003 at 13:06

With the Islamist now in power in Turkey we've already seen how their hostility to the U.S. moves Turkish nat'l policy. Turkey to be blunt ,put "the knife" squarely in our back in regards to the war in Iraq. Where ever these people gain power, whether they call themselves "moderates" as in Turkey, or in Iran were they are more radical, their interests diverge radically from ours and the west. If the so called moderates" in Turkey are able to seize control of the military, I fear we'll then see their true color. In Pakistan the democratic forces face a similar quandary each time the Islamist forces in the society seize control of the military and the state as they did during the regime of Gen. Zia Al Huq. Algeria is a failed democracy because if "real" Nat'l elections are ever held again, chances are, the Islamists will win and install an Islamic dictatorship.

The question is how many other ME states have this same dilemma? Egypt, Libya, Sudan, Yemen, Morocco, Tunisa, Syria, Jordan they're all at risk of becoming Islamic dictatorships. So in the short term we've decided to support in many cases other non-Islamic forces that are no more democratic in their orientation, and therein lies our dilemma. In Iraq and Afghanistan we are now embarked upon a great experiment called "nation building" and frankly, I fear for us.

Iraq was the creation in modern times of the British attempt at just such an exercise and in the short term it appears to have failed. The disaster in Afghanistan is also somewhat of British Imperial making and was equally disasterous. The introduction of democracy into societies with little or no tradition of it and one where such a political system might be at odds with local customs could prove to be a risky dangerous and ultimately futile endeavor.

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".

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2024 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)