But what kind of political Islam? On that depends the future. The moderate Turkish version or the radical Iranian one?
To be sure, Recep Erdogan’s Turkey is no paragon. The increasingly authoritarian Erdogan has broken the military, neutered the judiciary and persecuted the press. There are morejournalists in prison in Turkey than in China. Nonetheless, for now, Turkey remains relatively pro-Western (though unreliably so) and relatively democratic (compared to its Islamic neighborhood).
For now, the new Islamist ascendancy in Arab lands has taken on the more benign Turkish aspect. Inherently so in Morocco and Tunisia; by external constraint in Egypt, where the military sees itself as guardian of the secular state, precisely as did Turkey’s military in the 80 years from Ataturk to Erdogan.
Genuinely democratic rule may yet come to Arab lands. Radical Islam is the answer to nothing, as demonstrated by the repression, social backwardness and civil strife of Taliban Afghanistan, Islamist Sudan and clerical Iran.
As for moderate Islamism, if it eventually radicalizes, it too will fail and bring on yet another future Arab Spring where democracy might actually be the answer (as it likely would have been in Iran, had the mullahs not savagely crushed the >>>
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