The Brotherhood’s Dilemma

Marc Lynch

The question of the Muslim Brotherhood’s (MB) realattitudes toward democracy has rarely been of moreintense interest to American foreign policy. Despiterecent electoral setbacks for the Islamic Action Frontin Jordan and the Moroccan Party of Justice andDemocracy, Islamist electoral success (the Brotherhoodin Egypt, Hamas in Palestine, the AKP in Turkey) hasthrown into sharp relief the dilemma posed for theUnited States by promoting democracy: Free electionsin today’s Arab world are likely to produce Islamistvictors.

The Egyptian government and many Egyptian skeptics alike accuse the MB of lying about its democratic commitments and working within the system in order to overthrow it. Inevitably, the specter is raised of an organization that would, in effect, subscribe to the position “One man, one vote, one time”—and which, if given the opportunity, would impose a despotic religious law over an unwilling population. If this alarming picture were shown to be accurate, then many Americans would back away from promoting democracy—as the United States has, indeed, done over the last year and a half .

Filed Under: EgipatIstaknutoHamasPitanjabliski istokmuslimansko bratstvoPalestinaRegijeStudije & IstraživanjaTurska AKP


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