Ikhwanweb :: The Muslim Brotherhood Official English Website

Thu93 2020

Last update18:06 PM GMT

Back to Homepage
Font Size : 12 point 14 point 16 point 18 point
:: Issues > Activites
Re: The False Hope of Democracy Promotion
Re: The False Hope of Democracy Promotion
Greg Scoblete at RealClearWorld is right to flag a potential contradiction in a post I wrote last week on the need for the new administration to make clear to Arab regimes that we’re serious about democratic reform. I say:
Monday, November 17,2008 15:19
by Shadi Hamid Democracy Arsenal

Greg Scoblete at RealClearWorld is right to flag a potential contradiction in a post I wrote last week on the need for the new administration to make clear to Arab regimes that we’re serious about democratic reform. I say:

Committing ourselves to real support for democracy and democrats in the Middle East is urgent for other reasons. Obama has a window of opportunity. Like all windows, this one will close… This isn’t to say we’re going to stop working with the Egyptian government (we need their cooperation on key national security issues).

Greg asks “Can you really have it both ways? I think that you"re either serious about democracy promotion (i.e. regime change) or you"re serious about cooperating with the existing rulers to advance key national security issues. You are not going to have both.”
The two goals in question are not mutually exclusive. After all, during any transition to democracy – which could last, say, 10, 15, or 20 years – you will have to work with the regime that’s currently in power. Also, no one is advocating “regime change,” which has the implication of some kind of forceful foreign imposition. It is true that any transition to democracy, to be considered as such, will have to ultimately result in peaceful rotation of power, but this would happen within the framework of an understanding between regime and opposition about the rules of the game, and would probably include power-sharing guarantees that would ensure that erstwhile autocrats maintain some influence in the new regime. But all of that is far, far down the road.

In the meantime, any process of political reform in Egypt is not going to be done behind the back of the Mubarak regime, or by explicitly and actively undermining it. What I have suggested is simply for America to make clear to incumbent regimes, in both word and deed, that it is serious about human rights and democracy. This means providing various incentives to encourage regimes to open up political space and respect opposition rights. It can also mean using economic and military aid as leverage, by making a certain percentage of aid conditional on progress on political reform.

In any case, alienating the Mubarak regime and threatening them with “regime change” is a nonstarter for us, them, and even the Egyptian opposition itself, which is very careful in how it articulates its political objectives.

Posted in Activites , Human Rights  
Related Articles
Islamist Parties and Democracy: Going Back to the Origins
Major Challenge to Arab Democracy
Funding GONGOs against democracy
Rare Victory for Muslim Democracy
Democracy assistance - what works?
Economic crisis could turn democracy’s stagnation into retreat, report warns
Democracy in Egypt, One Text and Twitter at a Time
Demanding Arab democracy
Syrian democracy activists face 15 years in prison
American Islamic Congress Hosts Capitol Hill Forum on Democracy and the Future of HR in Egypt
Religion and Democracy in the Middle East: A New Generation of the Muslim Brotherhood
Islam and Democracy
Islam and Democracy
Arab democracy needs ‘Islamist revision’
Democracy vs. Terrorism: A Reality Check
The Mirage of Arab Democracy
’Islamists edge towards democracy’
Is the EU serious about democracy in Jordan?
Democracy assistance still on the agenda
Democracy assistance - new world, new challenges
Democracy halted in Arab World, says Gulf debating forum
Morsi: Democracy Conforms To Islamic Shura
Democracy in Egypt
Islamist Parties and Democracy: Three Kinds of Movements
Long Live the Military’s Democracy!
Digital democracy: women activists making IT their own
Those Who Are Tasked to Police This Democracy Are Blinded by Confetti
Egypt State Security Cancels “Eye on Democracy” Show On Al Horra Satellite Channel
Are Arabs fit for democracy?
The uses of democracy
Egyptian Muslim Brother says Mauritania coup reflects crisis in Arab democracy
Jailed Nur urges Obama to back Arab democracy
Egypt: Govt Convicts Democracy Activist Saad Eddin Ibrahim
The US is colluding in the trampling of democracy in Egypt
Arab Islamists, their internal democracy
Is democracy a security issue?
POMED Notes: Islamist Parties and Democracy
Democracy Promotion in the Middle East: Restoring Credibility
EVENT on "Islamist Parties and Democracy"
Do Muslims deserve democracy?