February 3rd, 2012
12:07 AM ET

Zakaria: Democracy takes time

Editor's Note: Make sure to tune in Sunday at 10a.m. or 1p.m. EST for Fareed Zakaria GPS on CNN.

By Fareed Zakaria, CNN

Dozens of Egyptians were killed in a soccer stadium brawl this past week. This was the deadliest outbreak of violence since Hosni Mubarak was ousted one year ago. The violence didn't stop at the stadium and it begs the question: What has Egypt gained since its revolution? Take a step back and ask: What has the Arab Spring achieved in the last year? Has people power failed the people? What in the world is going on?

In Egypt, the military might be more entrenched than before. Meanwhile a quarter of the seats in parliament have gone to a group of ultra conservative Islamists. Only 2% have gone to women. Or consider Libya. It's veering towards anarchy. The local militias that helped topple Moammar Gadhafi have reneged on a pledge to give up their arms.

Look at Tunisia. You'll remember that a fruit vendor there sparked the Arab Spring by setting himself on fire. Well, now there are reports of many more such incidents of self-immolation. From Tunisia, to Egypt, to Libya, democracy has unleashed turmoil and long-suppressed expressions of Islamic fundamentalism.Perhaps, some will say, the Arab world didn't fully understand what it was getting into. Perhaps, others will argue, after years of living under tyranny, Arabs just don't know how to rule themselves.

I say, let's look at some history. Democracy has never been easy. Consider what so many democratic revolutions looked like - a year or two after they started. Take America: After the revolutionary war, the country was in economic, political, and social turmoil. By 1779, inflation was at close to 400%. Per-capita income had halved between 1774 and 1790. Remember the armed Shays' Rebellion of 1786? It was seen by many as evidence that people power would go awry and upend the union.

Or consider France. After the onset of the French Revolution things got really bad. The symbol of the revolution became not libertéégalité, fraternité but the guillotine.

Or look at India, the world's largest democracy. It welcomed freedom in 1947 after centuries of foreign rule. And yet the ensuing months brought with it mass riots over Partition, the deaths of millions of Hindus and Muslims. Five months after freedom, the father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi, was assassinated. In Indonesia, in the 1990s, a year after Suharto fell, a hapless man, BJ Habibie became president amidst economic collapse and rising Islamic radicalism. His presidency lasted exactly 17 months.

Now we remember the Eastern European revolutions of 1989. But those are really the exceptions that prove a much more messy rule. The process of becoming democratic has always been chaotic. Mistakes are made. Lives are lost. And in the most dire moments, people have always doubted that there would be a good outcome. We need to keep that in mind when we assess the Arab Spring.

Democracy might be messy. It's certainly complicated. It takes a while to consolidate. But for the first time in perhaps a millennium, the Arab people are taking charge of their own affairs. So let's cut them some slack. It's only been a year.

Make sure to tune in Sunday at 10a.m. or 1p.m. EST for GPS on CNN. For more of my thoughts throughout the week, I invite you to follow me on Facebook and Twitter and to visit the Global Public Square every day. Also, for more 'What in the World' pieces, click here.

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Topics: Egypt • Elections • Middle East • Protests • What in the World?

soundoff (849 Responses)
  1. Richard

    The Two-Party system we have in America is not democracy, it's a bollix. The 1% owns all the candidates. The rest of us are left to be abused, overcharged, neglected, and laid off. So our exporting of democracy is completely Pollyanna.

    February 4, 2012 at 1:54 am | Reply
  2. Benedict

    Freedom of speech and provision of basic human rights,these are the fundmental elements of democracy. The Arab Spring has basically,been the fight against totallarianism and the enthronement of equality. That said,it‘s been quoted that “Rome wasn‘t built in a day“;so it may be disheartening to watch clashes continue after the fall of autocratic rulers,but this is the road to Rome!

    February 4, 2012 at 2:13 am | Reply
    • Mohammad A Dar

      Human rights is nothing but a fraud to interference in other countries affairs. western hinduism labeled as democracy is nothing but absurdity of secular, self centered hindus to promote hinduism racism around the globe in defiance of human equality guaranteed by truth absolute.

      February 4, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Reply
    • Tahir

      When you will lose your children on this road to Rom you will really enjoy this journey.

      February 6, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Reply
  3. studdmuffins

    The wars of choice in both Iraq and Afghanistan made this possible. Democracy will never flourish in the ME (not to be confused with Maine, though it won't flourish there either).

    February 4, 2012 at 5:52 am | Reply
  4. YounanMarketingAndManagementAssociatesInc,Int'l Intst'r

    Well when everyone practically has the same bad cold, you have to learn to blow nose a different way.
    my quote

    February 4, 2012 at 6:03 am | Reply
  5. markjuliansmith

    Humanity Needs 'Religions of Freedom'=No Terror + Non-Adherents & Women free from violence & equal under law Secular and Religious and Reality + Freedom to Disagree,

    Not 'Freedom of Religion'=Terror + Non-Adherents & Women Subject + Beating + Throwing the first Stone + Blasphemy the cornerstone of genocide. With the bonus of counter terror.

    No culture has the right to demand a place in any society where their presence delivers 'Permanent Terror' and subjugation of women under the cover of 'Freedom of Religion' or for any other reason.

    Time for Humanity to accept with relative certainty 'Freedom of Religion' has failed to deliver security, peace and well being – And demand the foundation text where it exists against Other particularly women are deleted from informing new citizens Other are less and necessarily destined for 'grievous harm'.

    The Arab spring is a chill winter particularly for women because the 'young' unbeknownst to them, imbued with Western Ideology of 'free' and accountability of elites, were in fact taking apart the very walls which held a worst evil in check. They have got rid of evil and replaced it with an even greater evil – just ask the cafe owners on the streets of CAIRO – the ones without long beards.

    The foundation text which drives society changes or nothing does.

    February 4, 2012 at 6:49 am | Reply
    • Mohammad A Dar

      Start it with elimination of hinduism, racism, source of hinduism terrorism against humanity. There is no place worst in illegality of hinduism, racism against humanity than hindered land india, hindus living in hinduism, racism by faith.

      February 4, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Reply
      • markjuliansmith

        @Mohammad Frankly if you were at all honest you should wince everytime you hear your name. If Hinduism is an example then your namesake is not alone. In fact Mohammad if you actually had the courage to check, you would soon find the N?zi construction of Other is exactly the same. This is why we have Islamic 'permanent terror' Solace for not being alone – I think not. Not that anyone named Jesus should take comfort either.

        February 5, 2012 at 1:43 am |
  6. The Joke of the day!

    To be honest with you, I am not sure what does Democracy mean? I think it is a big joke to talk about Democracy when people can not eat or drink. I think it is a big joke when we try to impose Democracy on someone? I think it is a big joke to keep the mouth shut when we know we are doing the wrong things and thinking to ourselves we are doing the right thing. The worse of all, when we know that Democracy is not really really working but we lie to ourselves and believe it is the right way.........

    February 4, 2012 at 7:30 am | Reply
  7. rory wong

    So US or the west should leave the other country alone,democracy will come . By bombing or any military mean does not help. The rest of the world ,people is not dumber than you .They know what is good for themself. Peaceful revolution cause less life than what the west did with brutal force

    February 4, 2012 at 7:46 am | Reply
    • Patrick

      > So US or the west should leave the other country alone
      I agree, we can start by canceling their aid.

      > By bombing or any military mean does not help
      Actually it does. That’s how the U.S. and many other countries have done it.

      > The rest of the world ,people is not dumber than you
      I beg to differ after reading this comment.

      > They know what is good for themselves. Peaceful revolution cause less life than what the west did with brutal force
      Really…really? These cultures are older than the U.S. and are hundreds of years behind in their social practices. What peaceful revolutions are you referring to? I’ve yet to see one.

      February 4, 2012 at 9:25 am | Reply
  8. james

    that arab summer is next

    February 4, 2012 at 8:24 am | Reply
  9. Patrick

    Short answer: nothing.

    February 4, 2012 at 9:19 am | Reply
  10. scirocco86

    Arab spring has achieved nothing good ! Islamists are taking control, Sharia law is beeing implemented.
    Remember Islam is the religion of hate.

    February 4, 2012 at 10:06 am | Reply
    • Mohammad A Dar

      Every criminal labels La, the truth as hate in his hinduism, Truth is factual and hinduism is a fabrication of pot head hindus, followed by their hindus like slaves.

      February 4, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Reply
  11. Phil Muse

    I agree with you, Fareed: "Let's cut them some slack. It's only been a year." I feel President Obama is prepared to do so. The trouble is, there are benighted elements in this country that will predictably overreact when the Arab Spring resolves itself into a series of Islamic republics of various descriptions, whether they be radical (read "hostile") or not. We need to beware of our own cold war mentality that has gotten us into trouble so often.

    February 4, 2012 at 11:16 am | Reply
  12. Kevin Deziel

    Excellent connclusion. For centuries Arab citizens have been totally ignored in the West – by both its leaders and the media – To qoute Marwan Bishara "the US sees the region through the prisms of Israel, oil, terrorism, or radical Islamism." I see the similiarities with your concluision and his abervations. Arabs from the street are not just a mirage. They have the capibility to give a lesson in peace and stibility, and drive fear and loathing away.

    February 4, 2012 at 11:31 am | Reply
  13. Primus

    "Achieve"...? It is a major mistake to equate change generally with achievement. What did the black plague "achieve"? What did the holocaust "achieve"? "Change" does NOT generally equate with achievement.

    February 4, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Reply
  14. Alexy Gourgourinis

    Fact of the matter is that the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamic fundamentalist organizations (including Hamas) have justifiably used the "democratic process" as a means to gain political control. The "Arab Spring" is not a democratic movement. It is the culmination of decades of frustration, fueled mostly by deteriorating economic prospects and geometrically increasing poverty rates. Democracy has emerged as the vehicle of choice that fundementalist groups will use to gain legitimacy. Poverty, despair,and hopelessness make breeding grounds for radicalism, and as such, the popular majority of Arabs are indeed fundamentalist believers. Not all radical and militant, but fundamentalist nevertheless. It is obvious that the "democratic process" will bring about a more "uniform" political landscape in the M.E....what is interesting is that standing and fallen regimes certainly shared a common link, in that public policy (including economic and financial policy) was infested with corruption, greed, and most important lacking any sort of clear strategic planning with regards to combatting civil woes...in contrast, the Islamic fundementalist groups have emerged from the "political darkness" with cohesion, discipline, strong financial fundementals and clear strategic goals (which are being met).
    Regarding the message that Mr. Zakharia's article conveys, I think that he has looked at the issue from a very naive viewpoint. You need to stop looking at historical anachronisms and focus more on the reality of today. History will teach you nothing here. In very simple terms, you need to come to terms with the fact that the poor have rebelled, and the very same democracy (which for almost a century has been a new name for "crusade" in the western political dictionary) has brought about a wave of fundementalism that can't be ignored. The. Very idea that we need to give "time" for democracy to mature is silly. Democracy comes in many shapes and forms, and inthink it is accurate to state that democracy as the west has come to embrace it, is not compatible with the religious preferences of the Arabs and Muslims in general. I think that the generic term democracy will be used in order to give the new power elite legitimacy, whilst establishing their own sociology-political system according to Islamic principles (however they are interpreted by the clergy).
    I think that what will make an interesting read is how Israel will position itself inn this new order? Is it's very survival under severe threat? Furthermore, will the new regimes "play ball" with the puppet masters of global economic influence, or are we looking at a genuine, new economic order?
    As for Egypt, Libya, Yemen, and Tunisia. Well, good luck with that. Worse, much worse has yet to come!

    February 4, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Reply
    • Mohammad A Dar

      One has to look deeper in to western claim on democracy, "power of choice", west never had democracy but aristocracy, hinduism, racism and masters and slaves relation ship, people of lower status by tribes in following of Pharoahnic hinduism, racism, human as gods. Most touted democracy of Romans was nothing but monopoly of 2% of Roman citizens protected by incest in line with hindu Pharaoh's way of secession. On the other hand teachings of Moses, Jesus and Mohammad Pbt were of individual freedom of choice in truth absolute. Islamic (shalom) teachings are directed at individuals, such as it is commanded to human, not just of Islamic faith but to whole humanity by Allah the limit most high including the prophets Pbt. "I MADE YOU MY ASSISTANT (kHALIPHA) ON EARTH AND YOU THANK ME NOT", West never had clue of democracy but plagiarized and corrupted from Islamic teachings, not subordinated to truth fundamental but left on the mercy of human soul, desire to manipulate and control humanity like animals by the powerful, without any accountability in truth. Yes there will be democracy in Muslim countries but based on truth absolute and hindu plagiarized western democracy based on hindu soul, desire has no room in Islamic world.

      February 4, 2012 at 7:23 pm | Reply
      • ReligionIs4Dolts

        I fart in your general direction. Your mother was a hamster. And your father smelled of pig intestines.

        February 4, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
      • Mohammad A Dar

        hindusism of a hindu, by the way, hindus are followers of secular ism, self center ism and pig means nothing but secular or self centered. nothing personal but linguistically correct label for a hindu.

        February 4, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
      • Mohammad A Dar

        For your information Islam existed before hindus corrupted it to enslave humanity, by the way to clear your hinduism ignorance about Islam, draw a pyramid upward and drop a pyramid on same axis up side down and high light the meeting points of them, and be surprised what you see. Every pyramid has a circle around it,try to figure out what does a circle of 360* means or ask Anderson Cooper for explanation, if he knows any thing.

        February 4, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      Mahound the Paki is at his anti-Hindu rant again, as if the entire world consisted of Hindi Indians! HA HA! Yes, islam is such a wonderful gateway to democracy.....oh, I mean a means to continue oppressing people, especially women. You muslim monkeys need a scapegoat for your uncontrollable s&xual urges so you r@pe your 2nd class women and then blame the r@pe on them so you can stone them to death! IDIOTS! And what are you talking about "freedom of choice"? From what? STATE-SPONSORED RELIGION?! DOLT! And not just ANY religion, but a COUNTERFEIT, ripped off of two preexisting religions (Judaism & Christianity), which were themselves ripped off of preexisting religions. You have NO claim to truth, STONE AGE monkey man!

      February 4, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Reply
      • Mohammad A Dar

        No need to be a hindu, but, be a huamn, Muslims have never claimed to be god of hindu's, Monkey, better get some education, knowledge, before spewing your hinduism about Muslims, be a human not a hindu in line with god of hindus, Monkey.

        February 4, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
      • Mohammad A Dar

        Religions are hinduism, absurdity of hindus, and falling for hinduism of pot head shamans is absurdity of hindus, Islam never is hinduism, religion but Theen, the way of truth, a hindu has no clue of, but sunk in his hinduism, ignorance to be slave of his pot head shaman snatan, man god to be his slave in his filth of self center ism, secularism.

        February 4, 2012 at 8:48 pm |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      Mohammed al-Swine-Entrails...you need to chill out. Watch some Monty Python and some South Park. (or don't you get those programs where you live in your @$$-backward country???) You will surely wake up and realize your mistake in falling for one of the oldest mind tricks in the book.....RELIGION. D'OH!

      February 4, 2012 at 8:32 pm | Reply
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      Moohammed: Muslims have never claimed to be god of Hindus????

      Oh, then please explain the tens of millions SLAUGHTERED in the MUSLIM CONQUESTS of India!

      February 4, 2012 at 8:45 pm | Reply
      • Mohammad A Dar

        If so was true, there would have no hindu left in India like natives of north America, slaughtered and converted to hinduism absurdity called Christianity but hindus of European decent but of Egyptian and Persian origin.

        February 4, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
      • ReligionIs4Dolts

        You are WRONG about Native Americans. For one thing, they existed in North AND South American continents. For another thing, even though their numbers have been greatly reduced by systematic genocide by European and later, American (and yes, Christo-Fascist) forces, they are not extinct. Some interbred with other races, others retained their more-or-less pure Native races. Now WHO needs to read more before he speaks?

        February 4, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
      • ReligionIs4Dolts

        And for your information, you are chatting with one of those Native Americans who is descended from mixed breeding with the "conquerors" so I know what I am talking about.

        February 4, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
      • Mohammad A Dar

        The one who did not accepted hinduism absurdity called Christianity, Pharoahnic hindu savior ism were slaughtered and forced to adapt their masters hindu christian names along with absurdity called Christianity. Muslims never did it any where in the world, hindus are still in majority in India. Please get some lessons in true history of humanity.

        February 4, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
      • Mohammad A Dar

        Hope you know true history of native Americans than to be hindu of manipulated mixed history. By the way here is a question for a mixed native American. Kochi Indian, Sue Indian, translate them, for your information they all have literal meanings.

        February 4, 2012 at 9:17 pm |
      • ReligionIs4Dolts

        What are you talking about, Moe? I don't even pretend to be a Christian! Atheist is more to the point, although you can also count me among those who don't give a #h|+ as long as you're not trying to shove your "turn or burn" religion crap down my throat.

        "Hindus are still in majority in India."
        Well, I wonder why?! Maybe because they were there FIRST before islam was even made up by your self-serving, opportunistic "prophet"!!! Hinduism predates your phony islam by probably as much as 6000 years!
        Also, ever hear of Siddhartha Gautama Buddha? Predates your phony islam by about 1000 years!

        February 4, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
      • Mohammad A Dar

        hinduism of a hindu, Buddha, do you know the meanings of this word?, Tibetan Buddha was borne in Swat valley of Pakistan and of a hindu decent, A hindu User and abuser of knowledge gained from ten tribes of Israel, known as Pushthoon, after their holy book Pushtha in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He promoted nothing but hinduism absurdity of racism in line with Pharoah's, kings as gods and priest as a god and Favorite of hindu criminal kings of the Romans, every one of them made their subjects pray to them as gods, Your post is nothing but proof of your atheism, self center ism, otherwise known as pig ism, having no knowledge of truth but hinduism fabrication in your soul, desire.

        February 4, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
      • ReligionIs4Dolts

        D'OH! Pakistan did not exist when Buddha was alive (nor did islam). Why do religious freaks always have such trouble with temporal logic (time lines)?

        February 4, 2012 at 9:45 pm |
      • Mohammad A Dar

        For your information Islam existed before hindus corrupted it to enslave humanity, by the way to clear your hinduism ignorance about Islam, draw a pyramid upward and drop a pyramid on same axis up side down and high light the meeting points of them, and be surprised what you see. Every pyramid has a circle around it,try to figure out what does a circle of 360* means or ask Anderson Cooper for explanation, if he knows any thing ab out 360* he propagates.

        February 4, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
      • ReligionIs4Dolts

        Yeah, right! You're trying to convince me that islam existed in the 6th century B.C.? HA HA HA! Judaism wasn't even written down until at least 4 centuries after Hinduism existed in its earliest forms. And we all know that islam didn't exist until 7 centuries after Jesus.

        So anyway, Moe, now that you know I am in the U.S., let's level the playing field here. Where are you from? Pakistan?

        February 4, 2012 at 10:10 pm |
      • ReligionIs4Dolts

        I meant 4 MILLENIA for Judaism....not 4 centuries.

        February 4, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
      • Mohammad A Dar

        I do not render my loyalties to no one but truth absolute, one of human and resident of earth till my last breath. believing in way of truth but no Hinduism, religions, By the way before Prophet Abraham Pbh, their was Noha, pbh, before hindu's manipulated truth to enslave humanity. So Islam existed way before hinduism, denial of truth was ever invented.

        February 4, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
      • ReligionIs4Dolts

        I am "human and resident of earth" but I do not ask your loyalty, only your locality.

        Noah is a jfolk tale, a story that the Jews ripped off from Babylon. Babylonians had the "flood" story of Gilgamesh written down probably 1100 years before the Jews, so who is copying? Hmmmmmmm,,, Also Babylon had Hammurabi's Code written down before Jews had Ten Commandments...so again who was copying from whom? Not to mention who is copying from Judaism......oh yes, islam.

        February 4, 2012 at 10:36 pm |
      • Mohammad A Dar

        Look for history of settlement of Babylonia, from Egypt to Iraq, makes perfect sense, one reference in fact and other in hinduism buy hindus, ignorents of Babylonia. One truth by the prophets and other hinduism by ignorant hindus in manipulated form.About my location, do not worry I AM ON THIS EARTH.

        February 4, 2012 at 10:47 pm |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      Come on, Mohammed, do you know what it means to "chill out," HABIBI?

      February 4, 2012 at 9:00 pm | Reply
    • Noneyo beeswax

      You can always claim that economic conditions are what spur revolutions because based on history they usually do. If anyone recalls the winters leading up to the French Revolution were particularly bad (at one point the price of bread was fixed by the government, which did nothing to address the shortage). This does not mean that nothing positive came out of it or that any political change can claim to be wholly good or bad. The point Zakaria is trying to make is that without an outspoken/absolute authority you actually have to deal with tons of people who don't agree with each other in the same room trying to get things done: Specifically (I think) he is trying to make the point that when that happens it is obviously never pretty, but such is the price of giving everyone a voice. Regardless of how temporary that freedom might be, the fact that the countries are not simply imploding into complete anarchy in a matter of days speaks volumes about what a different place the middle east is today. Awesome job Zakaria! I never thought I could go to a major news site and find a very serious discussion of world affairs, that is so informed yet careful.

      February 7, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Reply
  15. .

    When I see the protesters in Cairo and compare them to the retards in the Occupy movement, there is such a contrast. The Occutards are a bunch of spoiled, middle class, ne-er-do-wells who have blown their freedom on drugs and sloven life styles. The arab protesters are truly oppressed - they want their FREEDOM. And when they get it, they'll WORK.

    February 4, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Reply
  16. Bob

    Fared,

    Just because your the muslim, you are trying find excuses . You are comparing 100 years back to the modern time
    and reasoning that democracy takes time. What about East Germany, Nepal, all eastern european countres..
    where ever there are muslims there are probelms period.

    February 4, 2012 at 6:46 pm | Reply
    • James

      Bob,
      You are absolutely right. If a religion in its essence teaches revenge, to avenge blood, how it will ever evolve?
      Not to mention that reports and other TV channels prove and write that these revolutions are instigated and planned from outside, especially in the case of Syria were certain protestors were paid to go out on the street. Therefore, out 30 million Syrians you hardly see 1 million protesting which is hardly the majority despite the effort of news fakers to multiply the number of protestors. Hence, imposing democracy by force doesn't work.

      February 5, 2012 at 12:32 am | Reply
    • Tahir

      Have you visited east europeon countries and seen what democracy has rewarded them.Just corruption and chaos.

      February 6, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Reply
  17. hajid

    Maybe another 14 centuries of democracy development in Islam world will prove that Fareed's assumption is gravely WRONG. It just gave some Muslims false hope without any realization of true Democracy.

    True Democracy is totally against Sharia.

    February 4, 2012 at 9:48 pm | Reply
    • Mohammad A Dar

      One has to look deeper in to western claim on democracy, "power of choice", west never had democracy but aristocracy, hinduism, racism and masters and slaves relation ship, people of lower status by tribes in following of Pharoahnic hinduism, racism, human as gods. Most touted democracy of Romans was nothing but monopoly of 2% of Roman citizens protected by incest in line with hindu Pharaoh's way of secession. On the other hand teachings of Moses, Jesus and Mohammad Pbt were of individual freedom of choice in truth absolute. Islamic (shalom) teachings are directed at individuals, such as it is commanded to human, not just of Islamic faith but to whole humanity by Allah the limit most high including the prophets Pbt. "I MADE YOU MY ASSISTANT (kHALIPHA) ON EARTH AND YOU THANK ME NOT", West never had clue of democracy but plagiarized and corrupted from Islamic teachings, not subordinated to truth fundamental but left on the mercy of human soul, desire to manipulate and control humanity like animals by the powerful, without any accountability in truth. Yes there will be democracy in Muslim countries but based on truth absolute and hindu plagiarized western democracy based on hindu soul, desire has no room in Islamic world. No need to kosher a pig in hindu Maggi ism, trickery.

      February 4, 2012 at 10:05 pm | Reply
      • Mohammad A Dar

        One has to wonder, if a hindu has a brain to wash or senseless like Pharaoh's considering brain to be use less part of the body but Goad, the belly , corrupted to be called god in hinduism to fool humanity.

        February 4, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
      • Blessed Geek

        Your sentences are so obfuscated that they hardly make sense. You are exhibiting symptoms of syntax dyslexia, where people throw words together just for shock effect.

        February 5, 2012 at 12:44 am |
      • Mohammad A Dar

        Yes, they have a shock effect for a person without knowledge of history, not of mental dyslexia but of years of studies of subject. from corruption of original language "Latin" to corruption of truth by crocks to enslave humanity under the cover of religions. Do not be impressed from what you see but look for under current causing the waves. It is not what you see but how you understand it.

        February 5, 2012 at 11:05 am |
      • coriolana

        Honey, what has hinduism got to do with American democracy? Are you still drinking that koolaid?

        February 5, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
      • ReligionIs4Dolts

        coriolana: Mohammad thinks that anyone who is not muslim is a hindu. Makes me wonder what happened to the old standby, "infidel." Don't muslims use that term anymore? Or perhaps Moe doesn't read his quran as often as he should. ;).

        February 5, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
      • pirate

        Mohammad should study English some more before commenting in English...

        February 5, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      "teachings of Moses, Jesus and Mohammad Pbt were of individual freedom of choice"

      No freedom of choice in Judaic/Islamic law. Do what I say. Don't do what I say. (Or rather, do/don't do what I'm telling you that this alleged "god" said, even though you have no way of corroborating my story that this alleged "god" actually appeared to me in the mountains/cave when I was there all ALONE, nor that this alleged "god" actually TOLD my anything). It is fact, based on modern knowledge, which was completely unknown to ancient, supersti-tious peoples, that malnutrition, particularly deliberate FASTING, can cause HALLUCINATIONS, both visual and auditory. Also ancient peoples had no knowledge of mental disorders such as schizophrenia, which are characterized by intense audio/visual hallucinations!

      February 4, 2012 at 10:19 pm | Reply
      • Mohammad A Dar

        No need to be hindu, denier of truth aoutb my post, read what it says,
        On the other hand teachings of Moses, Jesus and Mohammad Pbt were of individual freedom of choice in truth absolute.
        KEY WORD, "IN TRUTH" absolute 360*. rest of your post is your hinduism in your soul, desire.

        February 4, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
      • ReligionIs4Dolts

        Spare the world your brainwashing. Go blow yourself up. Allahu akbar! HA HA HA HA!

        February 4, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
      • Mohammad A Dar

        One has to wonder, if a hindu has a brain to wash or senseless like Pharaoh's considering brain to be use less part of the body but Goad, the belly , corrupted to be called god in hinduism to fool humanity. it is an insult to be human to be hindu ignorant of the dark ages.

        February 4, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      I love it! Mohammed, you responded to yourself! HA HA HA! Come on dude, lighten up. What are you Pakistani, Egyptian, Iranian. Saudi, etc.? One thing's for sure, you're one (stereotypically) angry Muslim. That's why I loathe all the Abrahamic religions...because they are all so belliigerent!

      February 4, 2012 at 11:05 pm | Reply
      • Mohammad A Dar

        Very hindu, superficial and artificial, no facts, truth but all soul, desire, the way of a hindu.

        February 4, 2012 at 11:28 pm |
    • Tahir

      Sharia supports all systems if they benefit humans. Democracy may be one of them. Democracy obtained with gun(Syria) is forbidden in Islam.

      February 5, 2012 at 8:49 am | Reply
      • coriolana

        then live as a slave. We here really don't give a flying rat's hindquarters anymore.

        February 5, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
      • Tahir

        why you feel pain when Hamas try to get freedem in the same way as Syrian people

        February 6, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • Tahir

      Democracy has brought nothing to east Europe, go and ask people about the living standard before and after democracy and have a visit to china also to see the results of dictatorship.USA and Europe are begging before china for Money. China has proved that Democracy has failed

      February 6, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Reply
  18. Emmanuel Abraham

    You are right .It will take at least 5-10 years to get a stable democracy. For short term , thing look bad but long term there is hope

    February 4, 2012 at 10:02 pm | Reply
    • Tahir

      you look very optimistic. you have to wait for centuries

      February 5, 2012 at 8:43 am | Reply
  19. James

    Fareed,
    I must ask why do you call your article Arab spring? It's rather Islamic spring? Who came to power in Tunisia? Who is in power in Egypt? and soon in Libya. Please remember not all Arabs are Muslims so besides the Muslims the rest of the Arabs got "Fall".

    February 5, 2012 at 12:37 am | Reply
    • Z

      I am Tunisian and I totally agree with you! this is an Islamic spring no doubt. I grow up and been educated in Tunisia and only left the country 5 years go, I was chocked by the outcome of the October Election. The last 50-60 years of Tunisian history did not prepare us to this kind of outcome. Tunisia was the most progressist, modern country in the region. II don't recognize my country or the people I grow up with. I really don't know how this could have happen in Tunisia... we made few steps back . Many of us regret the former president and his dictatorship at least security and economic growth were granted then. Now people are struggling, unemployment is higher than ever and foreign investors leaving the country!

      February 5, 2012 at 5:58 am | Reply
      • Tahir

        Enjoy democracy as being enjoyed by Iraqi people.

        February 5, 2012 at 8:40 am |
    • Tahir

      This spring is initiated by USA to have its own people in these countries.Why this spring has falied in bahrain is a proof who is initiated this spring.USA puts weak people in govt so that it can rule over them. Read the treaty made by dictator Musharaf and pakistani president Zardari with the help of Rice( read her book).USA puts corrupt and weak people to rule over them.

      February 6, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Reply
  20. M. Stark

    What has it achieved? Easy: anarchy, lawlessness, fear and murder. I hope they're happy!

    February 5, 2012 at 12:55 am | Reply
    • Tahir

      if you get democracy with terrorism you will enjoy such things definitly

      February 6, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Reply
  21. mmi16

    Forging enduring governments is never neat and clean. The US Revolution wasn't and neither has any other change in government been done without violence and bloodshed.

    February 5, 2012 at 2:15 am | Reply
  22. CHINA AND RUSSIA HAVE BLOOD ON THEIR HANDS AND THEY MUST BE ELEMINATED ANY WHERE

    أكد وزير الخارجية التونسي رفيق عبد السلام اليوم السبت أن حكومة بلاده اتخذت قرارا بطرد السفير السوري في تونس، فيما أعلن الرئيس التونسي أن بلاده سحبت اعترافها بشرعية حكم الأسد، وذلك في وقت دعا فيه رئيس البرلمان العربي سالم الدقباسي الدول العربية لطرد السفراء السوريين المعتمدين لديها.

    وقال عبد السلام في مقابلة مع الجزيرة، إن قرار الحكومة التونسية جاء احتجاجا على المجازر التي جرت وتجري اليوم في حمص وفي غيرها من المدن السورية، وأوضح أن وزارته ستقوم بتنفيذ القرار في القريب العاجل وستستدعي سفيرها في دمشق.

    وتوقع الوزير أن تحذو معظم الدول العربية حذو بلاده في هذه الخطوة، وخص بالذكر مصر والمغرب ودول الخليج، وقال "نحن ننسق مع شركائنا في الدول العربية".

    February 5, 2012 at 2:37 am | Reply
    • Tahir

      Have you forgotten the blood in Iraq.Please add USA and Europe to your good list.

      February 5, 2012 at 8:38 am | Reply
      • forreal89

        sounds like you are not happy please leave the U.S. I have seen your type before complaining about this great country while you reside here

        February 5, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
      • markjuliansmith

        Throw the first stone the culture who has not blood on their hands?

        The list is all inclusive – so although hypocrisy is an integral part of being human – on this question nobody is clean.

        You of course can claim relativity – a million is of course is worth more than 100,000, 100, 10, 1 – Guess it depends on which side of the numbers you are on – and if as the victor you have the right to rewrite history.

        February 5, 2012 at 8:26 pm |
      • Tahir

        Why I cannot complain against a country where I am living.if a country is going in a wrong direction democracy give me right to speak Mr dictator.

        February 6, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
  23. Z

    If what's happening in Tunisia is the Arab definition of democracy, I don't want democracy!
    Our Issue in the Arab world is that the change was brutal, our politicians, our elite were not prepared to it. Worst Tunisians in general were not ready for it and once they had what they were aspirating too (freedom of speech and "democracy") they did not know how to manage it! We in Tunisia are paying a very high price for it now and only time will tell us if it was worth it. So far I doubt it...

    February 5, 2012 at 5:42 am | Reply
  24. crm

    I do not believe that democracy will ever work in the Muslim world. The people are too barbaric and uncivilized to accept the compromise that is required for democracy to work. In the US, if our party loses the election, we accept it and try to vote the winner out at the next election. In the Middle East, if your party loses you get your guns and RPG's and try to kill the winners.

    February 5, 2012 at 7:58 am | Reply
    • Bill

      In order for democracy to work, the people need to truly accept the separation of church and state, and I don't see this ever happening in the middle east.

      February 5, 2012 at 10:51 am | Reply
    • Mohammad A Dar

      Civility is result of obedience to La, the limit in truth, not as you perceive it in your secular ism, self centrism, a absurdity of shamans under the inductance of cannabis.

      February 5, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Reply
      • ReligionIs4Dolts

        Hindu of hindi hinduism, hindu pot head shaman hinduism of hindu hindu hinduism. S T F U Retard!

        February 5, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
      • Mohammad A Dar

        Restarted, perfect word to define a hindu.

        February 5, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
      • ReligionIs4Dolts

        Restarted? Ahhh. Makes so much sense Moe!

        February 5, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      Moe, what other talking points has your prophet programmed into your limited mind? You sound like a broken record.

      February 5, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Reply
      • Mohammad A Dar

        It is not a broken record as you assume in your hinduism but deficiencies in hindus understand mechanism.

        February 5, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
      • ReligionIs4Dolts

        Your thoughts would probably be clearer if you were a pot head, Moe.

        February 5, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
      • Mohammad A Dar

        No thanks, I am better off without hindu sanatans, shamans source of revelations.

        February 5, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
      • Tahir

        you are also programmed by US media. you will never know it. At least we know we are programmed by Quran

        February 6, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • Tahir

      Have your forgotten german babaric behaviour and the english barbaric behaviour in india and other parts of word.you have to be barbaric like Mr Bush.If you dont have barbaric people democracy never works in your country.

      February 6, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Reply
  25. Tahit

    Compare china and india.They started 60 years before with democracy in india and dictatorship in china.The result is obvious and can be seen easily even by a blind man from streets of india and china. Nothing will be obtained from democracy of arabic countries except blood of innocent people.

    February 5, 2012 at 8:23 am | Reply
  26. History Studend

    The reason their attempts at their democracies will fail for the time being is because they started from the bottom up. A revolution needs to start near the top of the food chain, with the people who are just below those in power working the masses into a frenzy to overthrow the tyrant, and then installing themselves as stable leaders. When the Proletariat leads the revolution, it leads to the French Revolution.

    February 5, 2012 at 9:35 am | Reply
  27. David

    Democracy is a concept that is foreign to Islam. Islam is about Islam, submission to Mohammed's teachings, Sharia Law, and the conversion or subjegation of all non-Muslims. There's nothing in there about democracy. Zakaria can't be that dim. This was never going to happen.

    February 5, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Reply
    • Tahir

      if democracy is only know to christians why US supports dictators in saudia, bahrain, dubai, pakistan. Pakistan dictators have enjoyed US friendship so much not even enjoyed by best friend Israel.

      February 6, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Reply
  28. forreal89

    WHATEVER just stay over there. We do not need anymore of these crazy maniacs in our society. All I do is see them crying screaming and attacking.

    February 5, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Reply
    • Mohammad A Dar

      Founding fathers of USA based independence of USA on principal of truth, not hinduism of inhuman secularism, self centrism, hindus, enemies of American fundamental need to stay away from USA with their absurdity of secularism .

      February 5, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Reply
      • ReligionIs4Dolts

        Hinduism of hindu hindi hindu hinduism hindu hinduism pot head shamans hinduism of hindu hinduism.....blah blah blah

        February 5, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
  29. Jay Shelley

    Why wait? The gloves are clearly on the table. We need to attack now, or face a nuclear first strike by the ragheads.

    February 5, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Reply
    • Mohammad A Dar

      hindu, desperadoes.

      February 5, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Reply
  30. coriolana

    Oh please! What has the Arab Spring achieved? Exactly nothing.

    February 5, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Reply
    • Tahir

      It will never achieve any thing.India has achieved nothing with democratic spring.Campare 60 years of india and china with same start in 1948

      February 6, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Reply
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