Islamism and democracy

“Many moderate Islamists accept the legitimacy of democratic procedures (although many doubt their sincerity). They’re willing to participate, unlike the bin Ladenist types who reject democracy on principle. Having someone like the controversial al-Jazeera cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi consistently preaching the virtues of democracy to a vast al-Jazeera audience is worth a thousand marginal pro-American figures saying the same thing. Still, liberals (at least) can’t help but be disturbed by their socially conservative views on homosexuality, gender relations, the relationship between religion and state – to say nothing of their hostility to Israel.”

Marc Lynch (Abu Aardvark) offers some thoughts the US response to on democratic Islamism.

Washington Monthly, 5 May 2005