For me, however, something about events of the past few months feels new and irreversible. Too many people in too many places - Egypt, Iran, Lebanon and elsewhere - are defying their oppressors and taking risks for freedom. Across the region the shouts of "Kifiya!" - "Enough!" - have become a rallying cry against dictators.
With luck, the Middle East may catch the so-called third wave of democracy, which has rolled through 100 countries since the fall of the dictatorship in Portugal in 1974. But whether it will be a spring wind or a sandstorm will depend in great part on how the Islamists are accommodated in Egypt, Lebanon and Palestine in the months ahead.
Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice have hinted recently that the United States would accept the outcome of any fair and free elections, even if it brings Islamists to power. That hint should be explicated in a clear doctrine.
A government open to all and serving all is our best weapon against both autocracy and theocracy.
(Saad Eddin Ibrahim, chairman of the Ibn Khaldun Center for Development Studies and a scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, is a candidate for president of Egypt. )
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
"Kifiya!" - "Enough!"
Saad Eddin Ibrahim's editorial Islam can vote, if we let it from May 2005. Disappointed I didn't find it earlier. Here's his conclusion but read it all.