ON-Lion Letter
In his essay on "The Transformation of the Arab World" in the July 2012 issue of the National Endowment for Democracy's (NED's) Journal of Democracy, European University Institute professor Olivier Roy offers a comprehensive interpretation of the "Arab Spring" and its potential for leading to democracy.  In the new, January 2013 issue, Hudson Institute senior fellow Hillel Fradkin critiques Roy's interpretation.
"Although the Arab revolts were launched by demonstrators 'calling for dignity, elections, democracy, good governance, and human rights' -- what one might reasonably call a secular, liberal, democratic agenda -- the protesters were not the primary beneficiaries of the elections that ensued," according to Fradkin in "Arab Democracy or Islamist Revolution?"  "Indeed, as Roy fairly observes, they did not even try to win these elections:  'They merely wanted to establish a new political scene.'

"Instead," Fradkin continues, "the electoral beneficiaries, especially in Egypt, were Islamist parties.  But these parties are bearers of the tradition of Islamism and its core project of building an Islamic state in which religion will indeed, to use Roy's words, 'dictate what politics should be.'  Hence it seems fair to ask whether the future may hold not democratization, but rather a process in which the Islamists pursue 'their supposed "hidden agenda" of establishing an Islamic state' and achieve their goal."

Fradkin directs Hudson's Center on Islam, Democracy, and the Future of the Muslim World, which is substantially supported by The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee, and is the founder and co-editor of its Current Trends in Islamist Ideology.  Bradley also supports the Journal of Democracy.
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