The United States and other Western nations often claim to be engaged in “democracy promotion” around the world, but is this actually the case? After all, isn’t a core component of the democratic process accepting as legitimate the government that the people elect to govern them? It is becoming increasingly evident that the democratic model promoted by powerful Western nations includes an unspoken caveat that the only elected governments deemed legitimate and acceptable are those that represent Western liberal values. And if a government should actually advocate a different set of values, such as those rooted in the Islamic tradition, then it must be delegitimized as occurred recently in Egypt and previously in Algeria and Palestine. The inevitable consequence of such an approach for Muslims will be a growing disenchantment with democracy and an increasing acceptance of violence to resolve political differences.
Tag Archives: elections
The US loves to point out flaws in other countries’ elections. We slammed Yugoslavia’s September presidential election because international observers were not allowed to verify the fairness of the electoral process, and Peru’s recent elections after international observers said the ruling party denied opposition candidates access to the media. The same observers also accused Peru’s ruling party of using state police power to restrict the activities of opposition candidates. And government policies resulting in the disenfranchisement of ethnic minorities have often led to elections being condemned as undemocratic by outside observers. But US elections are above such unpleasantness, right? Wrong.