Saturday, January 29, 2011

Egypt on the Road to Democracy? Don't Bet On It

Crunching the pertinent numbers, Barry Rubin concludes that the chances of Egypt's "revolution" resulting in a Western-style liberal democracy (and not an Islamist-helmed sharia state) is the longest of long shots:
In Egypt, 30 percent like Hizballah (66 percent don't). 49 percent are favorable toward Hamas (48 percent are negative); and 20 percent smile (72 percent frown) at al-Qaida. Roughly speaking, one-fifth of Egyptians applaud the most extreme Islamist terrorist group, while around one-third back revolutionary Islamists abroad. This doesn't tell us what proportion of Egyptians want an Islamist government at home, but it is an indicator.
In Egypt, 82 percent want stoning for those who commit adultery; 77 percent would like to see whippings and hands cut off for robbery; and 84 percent favor the death penalty for any Muslim who changes his religion.

Asked if they supported "modernizers" or "Islamists" only 27 percent said modernizers while 59 percent said Islamists:

Is this meaningless? Last December 20 I wrote that these "horrifying figures in day might be cited to explain an Islamist revolution there....What this analysis also shows is that a future Islamist revolution in Egypt and Jordan is quite possible.
One more thing for all the naifs and optimists to consider: not for nothing is the Islamic rival to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights called the Cairo Declaration.

Update: Not to be missed--Claire Berlinski on Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood.

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