Islamists want democracy
According to Marc Lynch from The National, the moderate Islamist movements‘attempts to participate in democratic processes throughout the Arab world have been stemmed by secular authoritarian regimes. Despite such setbacks, moderate Islamists remain “committed to democratic participation even in the face of massive electoral fraud and harsh campaigns of repression.” However, Lynch worries that “the toll of repression is beginning to show” as the Islamist leadership have begun to disagree about which measures to follow.
Using examples from both Jordan and Egypt, Lynch concludes that “the Islamist debate today is not about the legitimacy of democracy – it is about how to respond to frustrated efforts to play the democratic game.” He fears that if moderate Islamists cannot find their voice democratically, then more radical leaders will take control. Furthermore, by cracking down on moderate Islamism, Arab regimes “weaken the foundation of democracy as a whole” and diminish public freedoms, transparency and accountability.