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Better Elected Islamists Than Dictators

From the Panel

  • Against: daniel pipes

  • Arab Spring, Muslim Winter
    Daniel Pipes, FrontPageMag.com, December 2, 2011 Despots are usually not a threat to the U.S. whereas elected democrats are our very worst enemies.
  • Friendless in the Middle East
    Daniel Pipes, National Review Online, November 8, 2011 Retrograde and aggressive, Islamism denigrates non-Muslims, oppresses women, and justifies force to spread Muslim rule. Middle Eastern democracy threatens not just the West's security but also its civilization.
  • Twenty Years of Illusion about Islamism
    Daniel Pipes, National Review Online, June 2, 2012A deeply anti-democratic ideology cannot bring on democratization.
  • Wait Out the War in Syria
    Daniel Pipes, The Washington Times, August 21, 2012Sitting out the war in Syria will prove to be a smart move. In addition to the moral benefit of not being accountable for horrors yet to come, staying away permits the West eventually to help its only true friends in Syria, the country's liberals.

  • Against: M. Zuhdi jasser

  • The Twin Faces of Islam
    M. Zuhdi Jasser, The Arizona Republic, June 23, 2012 No Muslim has an internal Jeffersonian light switch. Before Muslims can plant the seeds of liberalism through Muslim reform, they need to till the fertile soil of change.
  • Blasphemy Bans Threaten ‘Arab Spring,’ Religious Freedom
    M. Zuhdi Jasser and Katrina Lantos Swett, The Hilll, May 16, 2012 Blasphemy bans in the Middle East threaten individual rights to freedom of religion and expression and often have led to human rights abuses.
  • Democracy and Political Islam Can’t Coexist
    Oren Kessler, Jerusalem Post, March 18, 2011President of U.S. Islamic Forum for Democracy tells ‘Post’ American Islamic groups refuse to engage on ’separation of mosque and state.’
  • A Letter to the People of Egypt From an American Muslim
    M. Zuhdi Jasser, The Blaze, February 16, 2011A secular constitution founded in the inalienable equal rights of every individual, blind to faith and yet under God, is the only path that will fulfill the destiny the Egyptians long for.
  • The Islamist Threat Inside Our Military
    M. Zuhdi Jasser, Wall Street Journal, August 18, 2011There should be a moratorium on granting conscientious objector status to Muslims based on claims of religious faith.



  • Islamists, Dictators, and Bad Choices
    Abraham H. Miller, American Thinker, December 11, 2011The Obama administration has jettisoned Egypt's Hosni Mubarak, a compliant dictator who represented our interests, in favor of the chimera of a popular democratic movement that, like the one in Iran in 1979, has proved to be merely a stepping-stone to the rise of the fundamentalists.
  • Arab Spring Will Just Bring Upon Islamist Dictatorships
    Moshe Arens, Haaretz, November 22, 2011The toppling of the Arab dictators was inevitable; unfortunately, however, just as inevitable is what is going to follow their overthrow.
  • Dangerous Illusions About Islamism
    Robert R. Reilly, Washington Times, April 20, 2012The idea that an Islamist victory will lead to democracy is misguided and dangerous.
  • The Arab Winter Approaches
    Bruce Thornton, Defining Ideas, Hoover Institution, November 22, 2011Turkish Prime Minister Reccep Tayyip Erdogan once said, ‘Democracy is like a train. We shall get out when we arrive at the station we want.’ As we survey the consequences of the Arab Spring, it seems more likely that the 'station' will not be one that we, in the West, will want.
  • FOR

  • Egypt Elections: Sharia Can Support Democracy
    Mahmood Delkhasteh and Hassan Rezaei , Christian Science Monitor, May 23, 2012In Egypt elections for president today, the role of Islam in government is a big question. But a freedom-based interpretation of sharia can support democracy in the Arab world. Such a form of sharia in the early stages of the Iran Revolution set a precedent – before it was snuffed out.
  • Learning to Live With the Islamist Winter
    Tamara Cofman Wittes, Foreign Policy, July 19, 2012The fact that Islamists' real political success has yet to be tested underscores how important it is to refrain from declaring either triumph or disaster based on any given incremental development in a tortuously complex process that is ultimately about political bargaining.
  • Democratic Muslims? Why Not?
    Haroon Siddiqui, The Daily Star, June 9, 2012Islam is compatible with democracy and liberalism.
  • Alarmism on Islamism
    Paul Pillar, National Interest, December 4, 2011Democratization in the Arab world certainly is fragile and can stumble badly in the months and years ahead. Islamist parties will be in the thick of any such bad news—not because they are Islamist, but because their political success has put them in that position.