Democracy: Be Careful What You Wish For

(Washington Post) - Youssef M. Ibrahim Everywhere you look in the Middle East and the Muslim world, including places such as Pakistan and Indonesia, fundamentalism is rising, thanks to the social services, medical care, and religious education that Islamic groups provide as an alternative to the failed services of failed states. Yet Islamic fundamentalism appeals not only to the poor. Most leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood are graduates of engineering and medical schools, people one might consider less inclined to blindly embrace religion. The rising power of radical Islam is driven by two forces. One is anger that the bankrupt states of the Muslim and Arab world have offered nothing better than the sort of repression Assad's father, Hafez Assad, delivered for years. The other is deep mistrust of U.S. intentions and policies toward Palestinians, Iraqis, and Muslims in general - before and, more so, after Sept. 11.

2003-03-25 00:00:00

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