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The Message to Muslims: Accept Democracy But Do Not Elect An Islamic Party

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.

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