RSSAlle Einträge Tagged With: "Demokratie"

zealous democrats : ISLAMISM AND DEMOCRACY IN EGYPT, INDONESIA AND TURKEY

Anthony Bubalo
Greg Fealy
Whit Mason

The fear of Islamists coming to power through elections has long been an obstacle to democratisation in authoritarian states of the Muslim world. Islamists have been, and continue to be, the best organised and most credible opposition movements in many of these countries.

They are also commonly, if not always correctly, assumed to be in the best position to capitalise on any democratic opening of their political systems. At the same time, the commitment of Islamists to democracy is often questioned. Tatsächlich, when it comes to democracy, Islamism’s intellectual heritage and historical record (in terms of the few examples of Islamist-led states, such as Sudan and Iran) have not been reassuring. The apparent strength of Islamist movements, combined with suspicions about Islamism’s democratic compatibility, has been used by authoritarian governments as an argument to defl ect both domestic and international calls for political reform and democratisation.

Domestically, secular liberals have preferred to settle for nominally secular dictatorships over potentially religious ones. Internationally, Western governments have preferred friendly autocrats to democratically elected, but potentially hostile, Islamist-led governments.

The goal of this paper is to re-examine some of the assumptions about the risks of democratisation in authoritarian countries of the Muslim world (and not just in the Middle East) where strong Islamist movements or parties exist.

Demokratie, Terrorism and American Policy in the Arab World

F. Gregory Gause

The United States has embarked upon what President Bush and Secretary of State Rice has called a “generational challenge” to encourage political reform and democracy in the Arab world. The Bush Administration and other defenders of the democracy campaign contend that the push for Arab democracy is not only about spreading American values, but also about insuring American security. They hypothesize that as democracy grows in the Arab world, anti-American terrorism from the Arab world will decline. Deshalb, the promotion of democracy inthe Arab world is not only consistent with American security goals in the area, but necessary to achieve those goals.
Two questions present themselves in considering this element of the “Bush Doctrine” in the Arab world: 1) Is there a relationship between terrorism and democracy such that the more democratic a country becomes, the less likely it is to produce terrorists and terrorist groups? Mit anderen Worten, is the security rationale for democracy promotion in the Arab world based on a sound premise?; und 2) What kind of governments would likely be generated by democratic elections in Arab countries? Would they be willing to cooperate with the United States on important policy objectives in the Middle East, not only in maintaining democracy but also on
Arab-Israeli, Gulf security and oil issues?
This paper will consider these two questions. It finds that there is little empirical evidence linking democracy with an absence of or reduction in terrorism. It questions whether democracy would reduce the motives and opportunities of groups like al-Qa’ida, which oppose democracy on both religious and practical grounds. It examines recent trends in Arab public opinion and elections, concluding that while Arab publics are very supportive of democracy, democratic elections in Arab states are likely to produce Islamist governments which would be much less likely to cooperate with the United States than their authoritarian predecessors.

Engaging Political Islam to Promote Democracy

Shadi Hamid

Since the attacks of September 11, 2001, Americans have struggled toarticulate an overarching, long-term strategy for fighting religious extremism and terror in the Middle East. Most experts on both the left and right agree that promoting democracy will help address the root causes of terrorism in theregion, though they differ on to what degree. The reasoning is simple: If Arabs and Muslims lack legitimate, peaceful outlets with which to express their grievances, they are more likely to resort to violence. In one important 2003study, Princeton University’s Alan Krueger and Czech scholar Jitka Maleckova analyzed extensive data on terrorist attacks and concluded that “the only variable that was consistently associated with the number of terrorists was the Freedom House index of political rights and civil liberties. Countries with more freedom were less likely to be the birthplace of international terrorists.

Islam und Demokratie

Dalia Mogahed

Islam in der Politik hat sich in vielen Ländern in der muslimischen Welt durch demokratische Wahlen behauptet worden,. Islamistische Parteien haben unterschiedliche degreesof politische Macht in der Türkei gewonnen, Ägypten, Libanon, und die besetzten palästinensischen Gebiete, und haben großen Einfluss in Marokko und Jordanien. Jetzt, mehr als je zuvor, westliche Regierungen, dieses Ergebnis alarmiert, hat die ewige Frage aufgeworfen: Ist der Islam kompatibel mit der Demokratie?Eine kürzlich in eingehenden Gallup Umfrage in 10 überwiegend muslimische Länder,die mehr als 80% der globalen muslimischen Bevölkerung, zeigt, dass whenasked was sie am meisten über den Westen bewundern, Muslime erwähnen häufig politische Freiheit, Freiheit, faire Gerichtssysteme, und Redefreiheit. Auf die Frage ihrer eigenen Gesellschaft zur Kritik, Extremismus und unzureichende Einhaltung der islamischen Lehren waren ihre Top-grievances.However, während die Muslime sagen, sie bewundern Freiheit und ein offenes politisches System,Gallup-Umfragen deuten darauf hin, dass sie nicht glauben, sie zwischen Islam und Demokratie wählen müssen, sondern, dass die beiden koexistieren können innerhalb einer funktionellen Regierung.

Es ist die Politik, Dumm

John L. Edwards

US-Außenpolitik und dem politischen Islam sind heute eng miteinander verwoben. Jeder US-Präsident Jimmy Carter, da musste mit dem politischen Islam befassen; none wurde so George W angefochten. Busch. Die politischen Entscheidungsträger, zumal 9/11, haben gezeigt, Unfähigkeit und / oder Unwilligkeit, zwischen radikalen und gemäßigten Islamisten zu unterscheiden. Sie haben weitgehend den politischen Islam als globale Bedrohung ähnliche Weise, dass der Kommunismus wahrgenommen wurde behandelt. Aber, auch im Fall des Kommunismus, Außenpolitiker schließlich aus zog ein schlecht informiert, breiten Pinsel, und paranoide Ansatz von Senator Joseph McCarthy in den 1950er Jahren personifiziert nuancierter, pragmatisch, und angemessenen Maßnahmen, die zur Feststellung der Beziehungen mit China in den 1970er Jahren führte, sogar als Spannungen blieben zwischen den Vereinigten Staaten und der Sowjetunion.

Als islamistischen Parteien weiterhin im Vordergrund der ganzen Welt steigen, ist es notwendig, dass Politiker, Unterscheidungen zu treffen und zu verabschieden differenzierte Ansätze lernen. Dies erfordert ein tieferes Verständnis von dem, was motiviert und informiert islamistischen Parteien und die Unterstützung, die sie erhalten, einschließlich der Möglichkeiten, in dem einige US-Politik Feed desto radikaler und extremer islamistischer Bewegungen, während die Schwächung der Attraktivität der gemäßigten Organisationen der muslimischen Bevölkerung. Es erfordert auch den politischen Willen zu verabschieden Ansätze für Engagement und Dialog. Dies ist besonders wichtig, wo die Wurzeln des politischen Islam tiefer gehen als die einfache Anti-Amerikanismus und wo ist der politische Islam in gewaltfreie und demokratische Weise zum Ausdruck. Die überwältigende Wahlsiege der Hamas in Palästina und die Schiiten im Irak, der Muslimbruderschaft Aufkommen als führender parlamentarischen Opposition in Ägypten, und Israels Krieg gegen die Hamas und der Hisbollah gehen zum Herzen der Fragen der Demokratie, Terrorismus, und Frieden im Nahen Osten.

Der globale Terrorismus hat auch die Entschuldigung für die vielen muslimischen autokratische Herrscher und die westliche Politik zum Rückfall oder Rückzug aus der Demokratisierung geworden. Sie warnen, dass die Förderung eines demokratischen Prozesses die Gefahr der Förderung der islamistischen Einzug in Zentren der Macht läuft und ist kontraproduktiv für westliche Interessen, Förderung eines virulenten antiwestlicher und erhöhter Instabilität. So, zum Beispiel, Trotz den Sieg der Hamas in freien und demokratischen Wahlen, den Vereinigten Staaten und Europa nicht an die Partei zu geben volle Anerkennung und Unterstützung.

In den Beziehungen zwischen dem Westen und der muslimischen Welt, Phrasen wie ein Kampf der Kulturen oder ein Zusammenprall der Kulturen wiederkehren wie der Vorwurf, dass der Islam mit Demokratie unvereinbar ist oder dass es eine besonders militante Religion ist. Aber ist das primäre Problem Religion und Kultur, oder ist es der Politik? Ist die primäre Ursache von Radikalismus und antiwestlicher, vor allem Anti-Amerikanismus, extremistischer Theologie oder einfach nur die Politik der viele muslimische und westliche Regierungen?


Die Muslimbruderschaft in Ägypten

William Thomasson

Ist der Islam eine Religion der Gewalt? Is the widely applied stereotype that all Muslims are violently opposed to “infidel” Western cultures accurate? Today’s world is confronted with two opposing faces of Islam; nämlich ein friedliches, adaptiv, modernisierten Islam, and the other strictly fundamentalist and against all things un-Islamic or that may corrupt Islamic culture. Both specimens, obwohl scheinbar gegensätzlichen, mischen und inter-Beziehung, and are the roots of the confusion over modern Islam’s true identity. Islam’s vastness makes it difficult to analyze, but one can focus on a particular Islamic region and learn much about Islam as a whole. Tatsächlich, Man kann dies mit Ägypten zu tun, particularly the relationship between the Fundamentalist society known as the Muslim Brotherhood and the Egyptian government and population. The two opposing faces of Islam are presented in Egypt in a manageable portion, offering a smaller model of the general multi-national struggle of today’s Islam. In an effort to exemplify the role of Islamic Fundamentalists, und ihre Beziehungen mit der islamischen Gesellschaft als Ganzes in der aktuellen Debatte über das, was der Islam ist, diesem Aufsatz wird eine Historie der Gesellschaft der Muslimbrüder, eine Beschreibung, wie die Organisation entstanden, funktioniert, und organisiert wurde, and a summary of the Brother’s activities and influences on Egyptian culture. Certainly, by doing so, kann man ein tieferes Verständnis darüber, wie islamische Fundamentalisten interpretieren Islam


Die politische Entwicklung der Muslimbruderschaft in Ägypten

Stephen Bennett

"Allah ist unser Ziel. Der Prophet ist unser Führer. Koran ist unser Gesetz. Jihad ist unser Weg. Dying in dem Wege Allahs ist unsere größte Hoffnung. "

Seit seinen Anfängen in Ägypten die Muslimbruderschaft hat viel Kontroverse erstellt, wie einige behaupten, dass die Organisation Gewalt plädiert im Namen des Islam. Laut Dr.. Mamoun Fandy der James A. Baker III Institute of Public Policy, "Dschihadismus und die Aktivierung der Blick auf die Welt des Haus des Islam und das Haus des Krieges sind die Ideen, die aus den Schriften entstanden und die Lehren der Muslim-Bruderschaft " (Livesy, 2005). Der primäre Beweise für diese Behauptung ist bemerkenswert, Mitglied der Bruderschaft, Sayeed Qutb, Wer ist mit der Entwicklung des revisionistischen und umstrittene Auslegung von gutgeschrieben Jihad vorausgesetzt, dass religiöse Rechtfertigungen für Gewalt von Organisationen Ableger der Bruderschaft, wie engagiert al-Jihad, al-Takfir wa al-Hijra, Hamas, und al-Qaida.

Doch das ist noch eine strittige Position, denn trotz der ideologischen Elternteil diese gewalttätigen Organisationen, der Muslimbruderschaft selbst hat immer eine offizielle Haltung gegen Gewalt und gepflegt hat statt islamischen zivilen und sozialen Handelns an der Basis gefördert Ebene. Innerhalb der ersten zwanzig Jahren ihres Bestehens hat die Muslimbruderschaft gewonnenen Status als der einflussreichste aller wichtigen Gruppen im Nahen Osten durch seine populäre Aktivismus. Auch aus Ägypten in anderen Nationen verteilt in der gesamten Region und diente als Katalysator für viele der erfolgreichen beliebten Befreiungsbewegungen gegen westlichen Kolonialismus im Nahen Osten.

Während es die meisten seiner Grundprinzipien von seinen Anfängen beibehalten, Die Muslimbruderschaft hat einen dramatischen Wandel in einigen wichtigen Aspekten seiner politischen Ideologie gemacht. Ehemals von vielen als eine terroristische Organisation verurteilt, ab Ende der Muslimbruderschaft wurde von den meisten aktuellen Stipendiaten des Nahen Ostens als politisch "moderate beschriftet worden", "Politisch zentristische", und "akkommodistischen" zur politischen und staatlichen Strukturen in Ägypten (Abed-Kotob, 1995, p. 321-322). Sana Abed-Kotob sagt uns auch, dass der derzeitige islamistische Oppositionsgruppen, die heute existieren: "Je mehr" radikalen "oder militante dieser Gruppen bestehen auf revolutionäre Veränderung, die auf die Massen und politischen System , der Erwägung, dass ... die neue Muslimbruderschaft in Ägypten, Aufruf zur schrittweisen Veränderung, die innerhalb des politischen Systems unternommen werden und mit der Eintragung der muslimischen Massen "

Parting the Veil

shadi hamid

America’s post-September 11 project to promote democracy in the Middle East has proven a spectacular failure. Today,Arab autocrats are as emboldened as ever. Ägypten, Jordan, Tunesien, and others are backsliding on reform. Opposition forces are being crushed. Three of the most democratic polities in the region, Libanon, Irak, and the Palestinian territories,are being torn apart by violence and sectarian conflict.Not long ago, it seemed an entirely different outcome was in the offing. Asrecently as late 2005, observers were hailing the “Arab spring,” an “autumn forautocrats,” and other seasonal formulations. They had cause for such optimism.On January 31, 2005, the world stood in collective awe as Iraqis braved terroristthreats to cast their ballots for the first time. That February, Egyptian PresidentHosni Mubarak announced multi-candidate presidential elections, another first.And that same month, after former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri wasshadi hamid is director of research at the Project on Middle East Democracyand an associate of the Truman National Security Project.Parting the Veil Now is no time to give up supporting democracy in the Muslim world.But to do so, the United States must embrace Islamist moderates.shadi hamiddemocracyjournal.org 39killed, Lebanon erupted in grief and then anger as nearly one million Lebanesetook to the streets of their war-torn capital, demanding self-determination. Notlong afterward, 50,000 Bahrainis—one-eighth of the country’s population—ralliedfor constitutional reform. The opposition was finally coming alive.But when the Arab spring really did come, the American response provide dample evidence that while Arabs were ready for democracy, the United States most certainly was not. Looking back, the failure of the Bush Administration’s efforts should not have been so surprising. Since the early 1990s, US-. policymakershave had two dueling and ultimately incompatible objectives in the Middle East: promoting Arab democracy on one hand, and curbing the power and appealof Islamist groups on the other. In his second inaugural address, President George W. Bush declared that in supporting Arab democracy, our “vital interests and our deepest beliefs” were now one. The reality was more complicated.When Islamist groups throughout the region began making impressive gains at the ballot box, particularly in Egypt and in the Palestinian territories, the Bush Administration stumbled. With Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza high on the agendaand a deteriorating situation in Iraq, American priorities began to shift. Friendly dictators once again became an invaluable resource for an administration that found itself increasingly embattled both at home and abroad.The reason for this divergence in policy revolves around a critical question:What should the United States do when Islamists come to power through free elections? In a region where Islamist parties represent the only viable oppositionto secular dictatorships, this is the crux of the matter. In the MiddleEastern context, the question of democracy and the question of political Islamare inseparable. Without a well-defined policy of engagement toward politicalIslam, the United States will fall victim to the same pitfalls of the past. In many ways, it already has.

Islamic Movement: Politische Freiheit & Demokratie

Dr.Yusuf al-Qaradawi

Es ist die Pflicht des (Islamisch) Bewegung in der kommenden Phase tostand Unternehmen gegen totalitäre und diktatorische Herrschaft, politische Willkür und Anmaßung der Rechte der Menschen. The Movement should always stand by political freedom, as represented by true,not false, democracy. It should flatly declare it refusal of tyrantsand steer clear of all dictators, even if some tyrant appears to havegood intentions towards it for some gain and for a time that is usually short, as has been shown by experience.The Prophet (SAWS) said, “ When you see my Nation fall victim to fear and does not say to a wrong –doer, “You are wrong”, thenyou may lose hope in them.” So how about a regime that forces people to say to a conceited wrongdoer, “How just, how great you are. O our hero, our savior and our liberator!”The Quran denounces tyrants such as Numrudh, Pharaoh, Haman and others, but it also dispraises those who follow tyrants andobey their orders. This is why Allah dispraises the people of Noahby saying, “ But they follow (m en) whose wealth and childrengive them no increase but only loss.” [Surat Nuh; 21]Allah also says of Ad, people of Hud, “ And followed thecommand of every powerful, obstinate transgressor”. [Surat Hud:59]See also what the Quran says about the people of Pharaoh, “ Butthey followed the command of Pharaoh, and the command ofPharaoh was not rightly guided.[Surat Hud: 97] “Thus he made fools of his people, and they obeyed him: truly they were a people rebellious (against Allah)." [Surat Az-Zukhruf: 54]A closer look at the history of the Muslim Nation and the IslamicMovement in modern times should show clearly that the Islamicidea, the Islamic Movement and the Islamic Awakening have never flourished or borne fruit unless in an atmosphere ofdemocracy and freedom, and have withered and become barren only at the times of oppression and tyranny that trod over the willof the peoples which clung to Islam. Such oppressive regimesimposed their secularism, socialism or communism on their peoples by force and coercion, using covert torture and publicexecutions, and employing those devilish tools that tore flesh,shed blood, crushed bone and destroyed the soul.We saw these practices in many Muslim countries, including Turkey, Ägypten, Syrien, Irak, (the former) South Yemen, Somaliaand northern African States for varying periods of time, depending on the age or reign of the dictator in each country.On the other hand, we saw the Islamic Movement and the Islamic Awakening bear fruit and flourish at the times of freedom and democracy, and in the wake of the collapse of imperial regimes that ruled peoples with fear and oppression.Therefore, I would not imagine that the Islamic Movement could support anything other than political freedom and democracy.The tyrants allowed every voice to be raised, except the voice ofIslam, and let every trend express itself in the form of a politicalparty or body of some sort, except the Islamic current which is theonly trend that actually speaks for this Nation and expresses it screed, values, essence and very existence.

Beheben von America's islamistischen Dilemma

Shadi Hamid

US-. efforts to promote democracy in the Middle East have long been paralyzed by the “Islamist dilemma”: in theory, we want democracy, but, in practice, fear that Islamist parties will be the prime beneficiaries of any political opening. The most tragic manifestation of this was the Algerian debacle of 1991 und 1992, when the United States stood silently while the staunchly secular military canceled elections after an Islamist party won a parliamentary majority. More recently, the Bush administration backed away from its “freedom agenda” after Islamists did surprisingly well in elections throughout region, including in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the Palestinian territories.
But even our fear of Islamist parties—and the resulting refusal to engage with them—has itself been inconsistent, holding true for some countries but not others. The more that a country is seen as vital to American national security interests, the less willing the United States has been to accept Islamist groups having a prominent political role there. Aber, in countries seen as less strategically relevant, and where less is at stake, the United States has occasionally taken a more nuanced approach. But it is precisely where more is at stake that recognizing a role for nonviolent Islamists is most important, und, here, American policy continues to fall short.
Throughout the region, the United States has actively supported autocratic regimes and given the green light for campaigns of repression against groups such as the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, the oldest and most influential political movement in the region. In March 2008, during what many observers consider to be the worst period of anti-Brotherhood repression since the 1960s, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice waived a $100 million congressionally mandated reduction of military aid to Egypt.

Living with Democracy in Egypt

Daniel Tröster

Hosni Mubarek was almost elected president of Egypt in September 2005. Not that the seventy-seven-year-old secular autocrat who has ruled that nationfor the past twenty-four years lost the election; by the official count, he took nearly 85 percent of the vote.His nearest competitor, Ayman Nour, the upstart headof the fledgling opposition party al-Ghad (“Tomorrow”),managed less than 8 percent. The only other candidate to take any significant tally was the aged NomanGamaa of the venerable al-Wafd (“Delegation”)party, who managed less than 3 percent. The Ikhwanal-Muslimeen (“Muslim Brotherhood”), feared by somany Westerners for its purist Islamic social and politicalagenda, didn’t even field a candidate.Mubarek’s decisive victory would seem to be reassuringto most people—particularly secular Americans—worried for the future of the few Westernfriendly,moderate Arab regimes, threatened as theyare by the Islamicization of politics in the region. The Bush administration would also seem to have reasonto be pleased, given its recent change of heart aboutArab democracy. The missing chemical weapons in Iraq and subsequent justification of the war thereas precedent for democratization have inspired theWhite House to push for as many elections as possible in the region. Tatsächlich, when Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice spoke at the American University inCairo in June, she announced to some surprise that“for sixty years” the United States had been mistakenin “pursu[ing] stability at the expense of democracy”in the Middle East. For generations, US-. pundits weresure that the “Arab street” couldn’t be trusted with the vote, as they might hand over power to communistsor fundamentalist Islamists. Realpolitik dictated that autocrats and dictators, like Mubarek and Saddam Hussein, had to be coddled in order to maintain “stability”in the region. If they would then stage election sor dispense with them altogether, deny free speech,and let loose secret police to terrorize the population,the White House would likely turn a blind eye. But ifMubarek could now claim a true democratic mandate,that would be the best of all worlds.

Politische Transitions in der arabischen Welt

Dina Shehata

Das Jahr 2007 markierte das Ende einer kurzen Pause der politischen Liberalisierung in der arabischen Welt, die kurz nach der Besetzung des Irak und die resultierten vor allem aus externen Druck auf die arabischen Regime zu reformieren und zu demokratisieren begannen. External pressures during the 2003-2006 period created a political opening which activists across the region used to press for longstanding demands for political and constitutional reform.Faced with a combination of growing external and internal pressures to reform, Arab regimes were forced to make some concessions to their challengers.In Egypt, upon the request of the President, Parliament passed a constitutional amendment to allowfor direct competitive presidential elections. In September2005, Egypt witnessed its first competitive presidential election ever and as expected Mubarak was elected for a fifth term with 87%of the vote. Außerdem,during the November 2005 parliamentary elections,which were freer than previous elections, die Muslimbruderschaft, the largest opposition movement in Egypt, won 88 seats. This was the largest number of seats won by an opposition group in Egypt since the 1952 revolution.Similarly, in the January 2006 Palestinian parliamentary elections, Hamas won a majority of the seats.Hamas was thereby able to establish control over the Palestinian Legislative Council which had been dominated by Fatah since the establishment of the Palestinian Authority in 1996. In Lebanon, in the wake of the assassination of Rafiq Hariri on 14th February2005, a coalition of pro-Hariri political forces was ablet hrough broad-based mass mobilization and external support to force Syrian troops to pull out from Lebanon and the pro-Syrian Government to resign. Elections were held, and the 14th February coalition was able to win a plurality of the votes and to form a new government.In Morocco, King Mohamed VI oversaw the establishment of a truth and reconciliation committee which sought to address the grievances of those who had been abused under the reign of his father.The Gulf Cooperation Council countries (GCC) also under took some important reforms during the 2003-2006 period. In 2003 Qatar promulgated a written constitution for the first time in its history. In 2005,Saudi Arabia convened municipal elections for the firsttime in five decades. And in 2006, Bahrain held parliamentaryelections in which the Shiite society of AlWefaqwon 40%of the seats. Subsequently, the first Shiitedeputy prime minister in Bahrain was appointed.Theses events, which came to be known as ‘the Arab Spring,’ led some optimists to believe that the Arabworld was on the brink of a democratic transformation similar to those experienced in Latin American and Eastern and Central Europe during the 1980s and1990s. Aber, in 2007, as political liberalization gave way to heightened polarization and to renewed repression,these hopes were dispelled. The failure ofthe openings of the 2003-2006 period to create a sustained momentum towards democratization can beat tributed to a number of factors. The deteriorating security situation in Iraq and the failure of the United States to create a stable and democratic regime dampened support for democracy promotion efforts within the American administration and reinforced the views ofthose who held that security and stability must come before democracy. Außerdem, the electoral successes of Islamists in Egypt and in Palestine further dampened Western support for democracy promotion efforts in the region since the principals of thesemovements were perceived to be at odds with the interestsof theWest.

Egypt’s Local Elections Farce Causes and Consequences

Mohammed Herzallah

Amr Hamzawy

Egypt’s local elections of April 8, 2008 were a confirmation of a backwardslide in Egyptian politics. They were plagued by social unrest and politicaldiscord. In the weeks prior to the elections, labor protests escalated,precipitating a harsh crackdown that resulted in at least two fatalities and many injuries.The country’s largest opposition force, die Muslimbruderschaft, decided at the last minute to boycott the elections. Voter turn out did not exceed 5 percent and the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP),facing virtually no competition, landed a sweeping victory—winning roughly95 percent of the seats at stake.These developments bring to light a broader deterioration in Egyptian politics.Three elements of this process stand out and deserve careful attention:

First, the burgeoning social crisis caused by out of control inflation, acrippled welfare system, and persistent unemployment;

• Second, a return to the old authoritarian practices of the rulingestablishment; und

• Third, worrying signs that call into question the very existence of aviable opposition capable of advancing reform through the political process.

Engaging Islamists and Promoting Democracy

Mona Yacoubian

Deeming democratic change to be a long-term antidote to Islamist extremism, the Bush administration coupled its military interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq with intensified efforts to promote democracy in the Arab world, underscoring the need for free and fair elections. To date, parliamentary elections of varying openness have taken place across the region, from Morocco to Kuwait. The elections ushered in a wave of Islamist victories, dubbed by many as an “Islamist tsunami.” 1The Islamists’ successes stem from their effectiveness as vehicles for popular opposition. While liberal, secular opposition parties remain largely detached from much of the population, Islamists have developed vast and easily mobilized grassroots networks through charitable organizations and mosques. The leadership is often younger and more dynamic, with strong ties to the community, and the party organizations brim with energy and ideas, attracting those who are seeking change.The U.S. government has quietly engaged a number of moderate and legal Islamist parties across the region for several years, sometimes through normal diplomatic activity, sometimes through government-funded grants to U.S. organizations. This Special Report examines U.S.-funded engagement with legal, nonviolent Islamist parties through the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the International Republican Institute (IRI), which have the most extensive experience engaging with Islamists in the region, and focuses on Morocco, Jordan, and Yemen, because of their relative political openness and the strength and vibrancy of their Islamist political opposition.Successful Strategy. A successful Islamist engagement strategy both empowers individuals and strengthens institutions to yield greater transparency, more accountability, and shifts toward moderation. Training and empowering individuals cultivates moderates within the parties and enhances their political sophistication and influence. Meanwhile, as regimes in the Arab world resist or manipulate political reforms, strengthening democracy’s infrastructure is as important as supporting individuals. Independent electoral procedures and monitoring help to establish free and fair elections. Institution building ensures appropriate checks on executive power and a strong rule of law. Strengthening parliaments is especially crucial, as Islamists participate primarily in legislatures.In assessing whether Islamist parties have moderated in response to U.S. engagement, it is difficult if not impossible to quantify or measure shifts that may themselves be relative and subjective. Directly linking greater moderation to specific U.S. engagement activities is also highly problematic. At best, this engagement should be considered a contributing factor. Nevertheless, the tentative results in Morocco, Jordan, and Yemen are promising enough that continued engagement with moderate Islamists should be encouraged, albeit with greater emphasis on institution building and an eye on the broader context of the ideological battle in the Muslim world between extremism and moderation.

Naher Osten Demokratieförderung ist keine Einbahnstraße

Marina Ottaway

die US-. Verwaltung unter Druck Demokratieförderung Bemühungen im Nahen Osten wieder zu beleben,aber Schwung zu politischen Reformen in den meisten der Region ins Stocken geraten. Opposition parties are at lowebb, and governments are more firmly in control than ever. While new forms of activism, such as laborprotests and a growing volume of blogging critical of government and opposition parties have becomewidespread, they have yet to prove effective as means of influencing leaders to change long-standingpolicies.The last time a U.S. administration faced such unfavorable circumstances in advancing political reformswas over 30 years ago, when the Helsinki process was launched during the Cold War. That experiencetaught us that the United States needs to give reluctant interlocutors something they want if itexpects them to engage on issues they would rather not address. If Washington wants Arab countriesto discuss the universal democratic principles that should underpin their political systems, it needs to beprepared to discuss the universal principles that should underpin its own Middle East policies.

ISLAM, DEMOCRACY & THE USA

cordoba-Stiftung


In spite of it being both a perennial anda complex debate, Arches Quarterly reexamines from theological and practicalgrounds, the important debate about the relationship and compatibility between Islam and Democracy, as echoed in Barack Obama’s agenda of hope and change. Whilst many celebrate Obama’s ascendancy to the Oval Office as a national catharsis for the US, othersremain less optimistic of a shift in ideologyand approach in the international arena.While much of the tension and distrust between the Muslim world and the USA canbe attributed to the approach of promotingdemocracy, typically favoring dictatorshipsand puppet regimes that pay lip-service todemocratic values and human rights, the aftershockof 9/11 has truly cemented the misgivingsfurther through America’s position onpolitical Islam. It has created a wall of negativityas found by worldpublicopinion.org,according to which 67% of Egyptians believethat globally America is playing a “mainlynegative” role.America’s response has thus been apt. Byelecting Obama, many around the world arepinning their hopes for developing a less belligerent,but fairer foreign policy towards theMuslim world. Th e test for Obama, as we discuss,is how America and her allies promote democracy. Will it be facilitating or imposing?Außerdem, can it importantly be an honestbroker in prolonged zones of conflicts?