Democracy and Islamist Parties

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In the immediate aftermath of the September 11th terrorist attacks, international pressure mounted for political reform in the Middle East, particularly the Arab world. For its part, the Bush administration elevated democracy promotion in the Middle East to a key strategic priority. The administration’s policy sprung from the belief that strong linkages exist between the Middle East’s long history of autocratic rule and the emergence of a transnational terrorist movement with its roots in many of those same countries. Numerous independent analyses likewise have suggested that the Middle East’s dysfunctional, autocratic political systems are helping to breed Islamist extremism.An Islamist “Tsunami”Yet, despite the critical importance assigned to political opening in the Middle East, a number of factors, including ongoing turmoil in Iraq and competing priorities of the Global War on Terror (ποσοστό), have intervened to complicate U.S. democracy promotion efforts. Συγκεκριμένα, various Islamist parties’ strong showings in recent elections have added a new layer of complexity to U.S. democracy promotion efforts in the Arab world. Πράγματι, across the region, Islamist parties and organizations boast strong grassroots support. These groups represent a broad spectrum of views, ranging from moderate parties that have renounced violence to well-established terrorist organizations.Hamas’ resounding victory in the January 25, 2006 Palestinian elections, winning 74 out of 132 seats, is perhaps the most dramatic example of the power Islamists wield at the ballot box. Deemed a terrorist organization by the United States and Europe, the party’s rise to power has significantly complicated U.S. policy toward the Palestinian Authority as well as efforts to help resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Similar concerns characterize Hizballah’s role in Lebanon. The terrorist organization won 14 of 128 seats in the Lebanese parliament in the June 2005 αρχαιρεσίες, the first independent vote in thirty years following the withdrawal of Syrian troops. While Hizballah’s parliamentary presence is far outstripped by an anti-Syrian opposition bloc, the organization still holds significant sway over Lebanese politics and is the only political party to maintain an armed militia.

Filed Under: ΑίγυπτοςΠροτεινόμεναΗ ΧαμάςΘέματαΙορδανίας MBΛίβανοςμέση ΑνατολήΜουσουλμανική ΑδερφότηταΠαλαιστίνηΣπουδές & έρευνεςΣυρία


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