November 3, 2011
The Overblown Islamist Threat
Marwan Muasher, International Herald Tribune
Tunisia’s election last month, in which the Islamist party Ennahda claimed more than 40 percent of the seats in the national assembly, reinforced the conventional wisdom that Islamists will be the biggest beneficiaries of the Arab Spring.
Held down for years by autocratic regimes, so the argument goes, Islamists will be able to exploit their popularity in new elections and ultimately gain control. This raises fears among secular leaders in the region and in Western capitals.
The West wants to pretend that Islamist parties don’t really exist. This won’t work. Political Islam will not go away because the West ignores it; Islamist parties will, however, become more moderate if they are included in government. ...
TAGGED: Tunisia, Islamist