Dictators block democracy in Middle East, experts say

Emergence of ISIL a result of Assad's dictatorship, one scholar contends

Dictators block democracy in Middle East, experts say

World Bulletin / News Desk

Dictatorships in the Middle East and northern Africa prevented democratization in those regions and created a base for extremist organizations to rise, experts said Thursday.

The head of the Center of the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID) Radwan Masmoudi said dictatorships left no options for citizens and blocked opportunities for peaceful oppositions to emerge. The best example of if, he said, was in Syria.

Syrians conducted peaceful demonstrations for nine months to protest the government but when the regime of President Bashar al-Assad began massacring citizens, he said the situation turned into a civil war as Assad is still in power.

Masmoudi contrasted Syria with Tunisia where a similar uprising occurred during the Arab Spring and where he said is now trying to achieve a peaceful transition to a democracy through national dialogues between opposition parties.

Masmoudi presented his views at the Politicizing Islam: Exploring Means and Objectives conference held by the Trends Institution think tank in Washington DC.

Geneiva Abdo from another think thank, the Atlantic Council's Rafik Hariri Center, said the weakening of national governments led to a strengthening of religious identities in which competition between groups emerged for which one would be the decision maker in a country.

The emergence of ISIL was a result of that group’s will to become the decision maker, according to Abdo.

Last Mod: 04 Kasım 2016, 09:23
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