However, democracy cannot be defined as the existence of parliaments and elections alone.
According to this view, democracy is a product of western culture, and it cannot be applied to the Middle East which has a different cultural, religious, sociological and historical background.
What should be targeted is a concept of organic, and not just mechanic, democracy that preserves the rule of law, separation of powers, and that is participatory and pluralistic.
Similarly, it is argued that the culture of Islam is incompatible with democracy. Basically, this conventional perspective of the Middle East thus contends that democracy in that region is neither possible nor even desirable
In other words, the bar should be maintained at the level of a pluralistic and participatory democracy
The advanced levels which the democratic world has attained at the end of lengthy processes may have created the perception in the region that democracy is a distant concept; this perception can be addressed
The US and the European Union needs to help in the translation of the demand for democracy into a political will.
I take the debate on the method of promoting democracy seriously
But foremost, I do not subscribe to the view that Islamic culture and democracy cannot be reconciled.
Therefore, the question is not whether such democratization is possible, but instead how to meet the yearning of the masses in the Middle East for democracy; in other words, how to achieve democratization in the Middle East
The purpose cannot be creating self-styled democracies, but rather encouraging steps that are conducive to establishing democratic rule at universal standards. Obviously, this would be a formidable journey
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