Democracy in the Arab World

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For years Americans and Arabs have done talks on democracy. For instance when President Clinton asked the Palestine leader Yasser Arafat to agree upon the Camp David peace plans that had been negotiated on July 2001, Arafat more and so answered with words that meant: "If I do what you ask, Hamas will take over tomorrow." The Arab Saudi spokesperson, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, constantly reminded the American government if they push their government to hard, the results may not be Jeffersonian style democracy but a Taliban style theocracy.

The worst part from all that is, they might be right. The Arab leaders of the Middle-East are autocratic, corrupt and iron handed. But they are much more liberal, tolerant and pluralistic than what might become of their replacements. The elections in many Arab countries may deliver politicians that have a similar views of the Middle-East that are similar to Usamah bin Laden than a monarchy Jordanian liberal leader such as King Abdullah. In 2005 the emir of Kuwait, with support from America, recommended that women should have a right to elect. But the Kuwait parliament which was picked in a democratic way (but was also full with Islamic fundamentalists) denied the initiative. A similar dynamism is real in almost every Arab country. In Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Jordan and Morocco, in almost every political issue, the monarchies are usually much more liberal than the people they lead. And event though they talk much about elections, many Islamic parties have shown negative impressions on democracy; they see democracy as a form of western government. They will happily try to attain power by elections, but will develop their own theocratic regulations. So like we have all seen and happened most of the times, one man, one voice, and one time.

So is democracy suitable for the Middle-East? That is question which we will try to elucidate from this essay.

The Arab World

Nowadays the Arab world are trapped between countries that are autocratic and a society that has shallow way of thinking, these two are not a suitable condition to which democracy can grow upon on. The grievous dynamic relation between these two has created political conditions which are filled with religious extremity and violence. When the country tries to be repressive, the opposing society grows much more violent, pushing the country to be much more repressive. Unlike the West, where liberalism generates democracy, and democracy has become the fuel for liberalism. The path that Arabs has taken, has established a dictatorial government which then from this dictatorial government, terrorism has been born. But terrorism is the only manifestations that which has been continually publicized, but in fact there are more problems which are the cause of the dysfunctional relationship between government and its people. There are economic failures, social entrapments and intellectual impoverishments. The central dilemma of democratic reform in Arab countries can be summed up fairly simple. Presidents and kings remain too powerful, untrammeled by the limits imposed by effective parliaments and independent judiciaries. Countervailing institutions remain weak, if they exist at all, not only because constitutions and laws deliberately keep them that way, but also because they are not backed by organized citizens demanding political rights, participation, and government accountability. This does not mean that there is no desire for democracy on the part of Arab publics. Recent opinion surveys suggest that in the abstract there is strong support for more open political systems, increased protection of human rights, and broader personal liberties. However, the existence of a general, diffuse sense that democracy is a good thing is quite different from the existence of organized constituencies that provide a counterweight to the authoritarianism of incumbent governments. The demand, or better the desire, for democracy is...
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