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Sunday, January 22, 2012

'Human Rights Watch' tells the West to overcome its aversion to Islamists

With Islamists winning 70% of the seats in the Egyptian parliament according to final results released this weekend (Hat Tip: Memeorandum), 'Human Rights Watch' has warned that the West must overcome its aversion to Islamists. This is from the last link.
HRW executive director Kenneth Roth said in the group's annual report that the past year's Arab Spring pro-democracy uprisings across the region have shown it is vital for the West to end its policy of backing "an array of Arab autocrats" in exchange for supporting Western interests.


The West should also be more consistent in supporting pro-democracy forces in the Arab world and elsewhere, he said in HRW's 690-page report on human rights abuses worldwide.

"The international community must ... come to terms with political Islam when it represents a majority preference," he said. "Islamist parties are genuinely popular in much of the Arab world, in part because many Arabs have come to see political Islam as the antithesis of autocratic rule."

"Wherever Islam-inspired governments emerge, the international community should focus on encouraging, and if need be pressuring, them to respect basic rights - just as the Christian-labeled parties and governments of Europe are expected to do," he said in the introduction to the report.

He added that the international community "should adopt a more principled approach to the region than in the past. That would involve, foremost, clearly siding with democratic reformers even at the expense of abandoning autocratic friends."

Islamist blocs have emerged as major political forces in both Tunisia and Egypt.
Genuine popularity from a mass of illiterates who don't understand what voting means? Why should the West support this? Why not just ignore them and let them wallow in their own primitive stupidity? Why does anyone think that the Islamists are going to respect the rights of others? Find me one example where they have done so in the past.

'Human Rights Watch' isn't the only one doing some wishful thinking about the implications of this election. So is the New York Times.
But the two groups have described very different visions and appear to be rivals rather than collaborators. The Brotherhood has said it intends to respect personal liberties and will focus on economic and social issues, gradually nudging the culture toward its conservative values. By contrast, the ultraconservatives, known as Salafis, put a higher priority on legislation on Islamic moral issues, like the consumption of alcohol, women’s dress and the contents of popular culture.
What could go wrong?

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