Toward Muslim Democracies

Issue Date April 2007
Volume 18
Issue 2
Page Numbers 5-13
file Print
arrow-down-thin Download from Project MUSE
external View Citation

About two-thirds of the world’s Muslims live under governments chosen through competitive elections. The remaining third lives mostly in the Arab world, a region that poses the hardest challenges for democratization. The road ahead is long and arduous, but this will not daunt the Arab and Muslim democrats who are fighting to make democracy a reality in the lands and among the people they love. We may not be as brutal as our autocrats or as numerous as our theocrats, but we are determined to fight the battle for the future, to fight for democracy, and we would welcome help.

About the Author

Saad Eddin Ibrahim, founder and chairman of the Ibn Khaldun Center for Development Studies and professor of political sociology at the American University in Cairo, delivered the 2006 Seymour Martin Lipset Lecture on Democracy in the World (see box on p. 6). Dr. Ibrahim has been one of the Arab world’s most prominent spokesmen on behalf of democracy and human rights. His 2000 arrest and subsequent seven-year sentence for accepting foreign funds without permission and “tarnishing” Egypt’s image sparked a loud outcry from the international community. In 2003, Egypt’s High Court of Cassation declared his trial improper and cleared him of all charges. He is the author, coauthor, or editor of more than thirty-five books in Arabic and English, including Egypt, Islam, and Democracy: Critical Essays (2002).

View all work by Saad Eddin Ibrahim