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Islamists fail to accept dwindling grip on power ‘Transparency in democracy is must’

After the apparent failure of the Egyptian Brotherhood to adjust to the new democratic reality and because of what appears to be its hunger for political power; few other Islamic parties are also currently an the edge. In the post-Arab Spring democratic environment, Islamists might have started to lose whatever political power they succeeded in obtaining in democratic elections. What seems doomed to failure almost all popular “reform” movements which advocate the reordering of government and society in accordance with Sharia is that they are historically undemocratic.

The last statement is not; but a realistic reflection about the real situation of politics in the Middle East — an elected Islamist government tries to hold on to power despite an increasing rejection of its ideology among the common people.

What seems to drive this increasing anti- Islamism politics is the realization of ordinary people in the Middle East that Islamists have a problem in dealing with opposing voices.

Whoever objects to the politics of a democratically elected government will be branded as undemocratic by those Islamists in power! What Islamists parties seem to misunderstand about democracy is that it is actually a plural democracy; people get elected for a particular period of time; then they will be elected out of office.

However, due to decades of oppression by some authoritarian regimes, many Islamist parties tend to hold on to power and reject whatever democratic criticism leveled against them. In fact, it is safe to argue here that Islamic parties do not acknowledge their mistakes because they fear the repetition of previous persecution and oppression.

Moreover, it is quite difficult to expect centuries of anti-democratic tendencies to wash away just because a dictator has been overthrown. What needs to change is the central mechanism of democratic thinking in the Middle East.

What seems to ruin some ME democracies is the archetypal antidemocratic sentiments; prevailing ways of thinking in this region of the world. Moreover, reality tends to hit hard; and when it hits hard Middle Eastern political reality tends to turn gruesome. In a post-Arab Spring political scene Islamists might not be able to maintain their quasi-democratic-Islamic stance.

They need to adjust to the realities of a continually changing democracy. They need to convince themselves and their more ardent followers that the others can sometimes be right! One fundamental mistake Islamic parties tend to repeat is that they insist on not acknowledging their democratic failure whenever it happens, and we can see this failure to acknowledge democratic shortcomings not just in the ME, but in other parts of the world where Islamists are active in the local political scene.

The Arab Spring is turning into a democratic catastrophe for Islamist politics. It is difficult in a changing post-modern world to curb civil liberties of people; transparency in democracy is a must, not just a wishful desire.
Follow me on Twitter: @khaledaljenfawi

By: Khaled Aljenfawi

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