October 15th, 2012
10:31 AM ET

Having faith in political Islam

By Fareed Zakaria

Al-Qaeda understands that if the Arab world democratizes, it loses the core of its ideological appeal – which is why Al Qaeda's head, Ayman al-Zawahiri wrote a book condemning the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood's decision to support and participate in Egypt's democratic process.

So while we might despair over a particular statement or policy from the new Arab regimes, they have produced elected leaders with real legitimacy – and these leaders denounce Al Qaeda and violence and they do try in their own way to reconcile Islam and democracy.

Should we oppose them?

Watch the video for Fareed's full take on the debate over whether to support political Islam or secular dictators. Fareed Zakaria GPS airs on Sundays at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET.


soundoff (161 Responses)
  1. svpyadav

    Respected Mr. fareed Jakaria Garu,
    what is the meaning of Political Islam, can you describe ?
    Islam people also human, they need and having needful rights, you donot disgrace.
    And World Community must demolish Al-quedas regime, but U.S defends Al-Qaeda.
    reson is Al-Queda having weapons all are imported from U.S. and Islam community
    will not accept al-Quedas political entry, because of they well awared about democracy
    standards, and they fully followed U N O rules and regulations. so world community having faith on
    Political Islam.

    October 15, 2012 at 11:45 am | Reply
    • LR

      The US defends Al Queda? What planet are you on?

      October 15, 2012 at 11:07 pm | Reply
      • Laerrus

        The CIA FUNDS Al Qaeda, wake up man.

        October 18, 2012 at 9:42 am |
      • tmp

        US provided support and training to Al-Qaeda's spiritual leaders (i.e. Bin Laden) when they fought against the Soviets in Afganistan.

        October 18, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
      • ken

        You are completely wrong. Show me one piece of evidence that the US supports Al Qaedaand not any kind of conspiracy theory...just one piece of credible evidence.

        October 18, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
      • Fred Phred

        The CIA funded the mujahadeen, which turned into the northern alliance – the same northern alliance that kicked the taliban out. The CIA did not fund a group that turned on them. Wow.. what people will believe?

        A small group of radicals from the mujahadeen and mostly the pakistan ISI became Al Quaeda.

        October 18, 2012 at 9:31 pm |
      • TopView20

        And what language are you trying to speak?

        October 21, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
      • Chuckit

        Youre about to learn how Obama has been running arms to the Muslim brotherhood in Egypt and wait for it....... Syria.

        November 12, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • moses

      you fukkiinn muslims, go to hxxl and stay there, etrnally!

      October 17, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Reply
      • a.siddiqui

        mr. moses did you mean hitler was right to kill your buddies

        October 19, 2012 at 2:40 am |
      • TopView20

        Go Moses!

        October 21, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • adam4321

      I did not know that U.S manufactures AK – 47, but as usually it is easier to just blame U.S for everything

      October 17, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Reply
      • saif

        The creater of AK-47 said that he invented it for peace but unformtunately it used for terrorism

        October 18, 2012 at 8:59 am |
      • Now Why 2012

        During the 1980's, the US funelled thousands of Russian Made AK 47's that were purchased by Isreal into Afghanistan to supply the Afghan Freedom fighters, or the Muja Hadeen. These same freedom fighters were trained by the US CIA and their names were all kept on a list AKA Al Quida (english translation = The List)

        October 18, 2012 at 9:14 am |
    • kafir4life

      I Slamic logic!

      October 18, 2012 at 4:19 am | Reply
    • John Geheran

      As Kemal Ataturk, founder of modern Turkey, once observed "This is Islam, an absurd theology of an immoral Beduoin, a rotting corpse that poisons our lives". That about sums it up. The MB is playing for the long haul and, if not confronted in the short term, will ultimately poison the well.

      October 18, 2012 at 11:37 am | Reply
    • John Geheran

      John Geheran
      My dear fellow......Islam is a totalitarian philosophy masquerading as a religion. To understand the political nature of Islam you need to become familiar with Islamic jurisprudence, ahadith and the literature produced by Bulkhari as well as other credible Islamic scholars. You will also need to stop drinking the kool aid served at your local mosque or Madrass. Good luck.

      October 18, 2012 at 11:58 am | Reply
    • TopView20

      The USA and Europe should close the doors to the Islamic Arab world. Put them in the lowest ranks, ignore their problems and rantings. Europe and the USA would be better served by helping to develop Latin America (Central and South America). Thee people need help, they need education, and they need guidance and protection from many of their own leaders. In the long run, we can affect many more positive outcomes by focusing our foreign resources on our needy neighbors! The Arab idea is never going to happen. Our Latin Americans are not only our neighbors, they are Americans. They have much potential.

      October 21, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Reply
      • bill stevens

        I agree. Islam has entered it's "dark ages" phase and will be stuck there for the next 400 years. If we seal them off from the rest of the world and let them out when they've grown up, we can focus on peoples who will actually be grateful for our help.

        October 22, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • Mary

      Fareed is not disgracing Islam, sometimes I believe too many non English speaking people as a first language, do not comprehend our meanings well. He speaks of the radicals (as we all do)as being the problem, not the majority of Muslims.In no way does US support Al Qaeda and NEVER would intentionally give the weapons. When Afghanistan was fighting Russians, US supported Afghan people, there was no group called Al Qaeda at that time. There are some radical Muslims, including Al Qaeda who want to push their radical extremist views on the world, to both Muslims and non Muslims. Their brand of political Islam is how they think everyone should live, under sharia and with one religion as the government in the world. To many people,Religion should never be a part of government, it should be practiced in the home. Mixing it with government or laws makes religion appear violent and oppressive, as it does in Iran. You can give equal rights to people under government laws which apply to everyone fairly, including women and other religions.

      October 24, 2012 at 1:22 am | Reply
  2. nagy lajos

    erröl-is beszéltem már!!!!
    uraim az agy beállitása ugy is müködik ha mutatnak neki -valakinek az arcárol egy fotot ott fog állni és zokogni!!!!sőt ha másikat mutatnak ami gyülöletet vált ki belölle megfordul és az ellen harcol-ez a világháboru gyözelme nem a szobeszéd nagy lajos dorog hun

    October 15, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Reply
    • neutral_observer

      Nagy
      You make even less sense after translating your mindless statement from hungarian into english.
      Te itt tele szart te hülye kis idióta. I mean seriously......

      October 17, 2012 at 11:09 pm | Reply
      • erosco

        You had an excellent and rational description of why we shouldn't believe in a sorcerer or God, in your other post. One thing I'd add, once you rid your mind of the illusion of a supreme being, you will feel freedom to think like you have never before. Its an amazing feeling, to look at the world without being a slave to a totalitarian dictator. The world is beautiful.

        October 18, 2012 at 10:49 am |
  3. Des Currie

    The Americans have standing for presidecy a candidate who adheres to an obviously false religion hanging on the coat tails of Christianity and CNN asks if an Islamist is okay? Oi vey.
    Des Currie

    October 15, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Reply
    • Andrew

      All religion is false, makes no difference which lie a particular candidate or leader follows, it is still a lie.

      October 15, 2012 at 6:33 pm | Reply
      • LR

        Proof please, Andrew. What are your sources?

        October 15, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
      • Barry G.

        Obviously Andrew is so smart that he doesn't need sources. Obviously he's smarter than the likes of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, all of whom were deeply religious.

        Obviously Andrew is determed to follow in the footsteps of Voltaire; and, Andrew will, no doubt, experience what Voltaire experienced in the last hours of his life–not to mention what he's going to experience for eternity.

        October 17, 2012 at 11:40 am |
      • David Ellis

        @LR You use words like proof and sources but I do not think you understand what they mean. One does not need proof of Santa's non-existance.

        October 17, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
      • Steve SD

        Agreed. Proof is needed. I didn't believe Harry Potter was real until I read the books as proof. The movies were just icing on the 'proof cake.'

        October 17, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
      • karlotious

        Barry please do not confuse fear of being ostracized as support for your religions. there is a reason the top echelon of intelligence is atheist.

        October 17, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
      • Rich in TX

        @Karlotious:

        "According to a survey of members of the American Assn. for the Advancement of Science, conducted by the Pew Research Center in May and June this year, a majority of scientists (51%) say they believe in God or a higher power, while 41% say they do not."

        articles.latimes.com/2009/nov/24/opinion/la-oe-masci24-2009nov24

        But you keep on keepin' on; whatever makes you sleep comfortably.

        October 17, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
      • CTed

        First, one need not prove a negative. It's a lie until someone proves it. God has not been proven, therefore he is in the category of imaginary, like leprechauns and unicons. You don't have to prove these things don't exist until someone actually shows you evidence of their existence, until then its not worth debating.

        I don't know about Andrew but I am CERTAINLY smarted than Aristotle, Socrates and Plato, who also all thought the earth was flat, there were four primary elements and disease was caused by any number of things, none of which were germs.... So yes, they also believed in god, but that's not a strong argument now is it.

        And Richard. I can join the AAAS and so can you, by buying a subcribtion to "Science" magazine, check out their site. so a poll of members of AAAS does not a poll of scientists make. I did notice that as a WHOLE the poll found slightly more than half believed in god the only two actual categories of scientsts cited (Chemists and medical professionals) believed at rates BELOW 40%....

        Other polls of strictly scientists have found rates more in line with OP's position.

        October 17, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
      • neutral_observer

        Agreed. It's beyond my understanding how so many people are willing to suspend reason and common sense soley on indoctrination, upbringing and fear.

        Please read all the proof you need from such higher intellects as Stephen Hawking, Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss. It's EASY to just go-with-the-flow of religion and faith: It takes WORK and intellectual acuity to understand that God is an invented notion for which there is zero proof of its existence.

        Uneducated people simply don't have the intellectual tools or wherewithal to sit down and UNDERSTAND the science behind the origins of the Universe and living organisms including Mankind. Most people are too lazy or un-curious to want to REALLY KNOW what the deal is. Religion is like a cheap yet entertaining flick, requiring no effort. It's "existence for dummies". To understand the rational, credible and largely DEMOSTRABLE truth behind the existence of "everything", you need to be prepared to reallllly dig-in and READ.

        Hawkings has declared that there is no reason why there would have to be a "god" in order for the Universe to have come into existence. Dr. Krauss demonstrates through Quantum Mechanics that it's fully possible that "something" can come from "nothing", specifically the Big Bang; Dawkins makes an undisputable and convincing case based on PROOF that Creationism is an invented folly that cannot be compared to the straight-up fact of Evolution.

        Educate yourselves; and if you truly do so it's quite likely that you will find it hard to buy-in to much of the fantastic garbage you have been fed by people who just never asked "why?".

        October 17, 2012 at 11:24 pm |
      • samnet45

        Oh, I'm oh so sorry. I forgot to bow down and worship the perfection of the almighty god of science today. All of you are so biased that you are blind to ANY other solution that cannot be proven through books, testing and theory. "All religions are false". To make that statement you must be a theologian and have spent your entire life studying ALL of the religions on the face of the Earth without biased to find such an absolute conclusion. What was your hypothesis? What did you use as a control group? Can you list all of your sources? What scientific methods did you use? I myself don't follow a religion, but I do believe in God.

        October 18, 2012 at 8:26 am |
      • TheTruth

        I've often observed that those who claim there's no proof of God's existence have never, in fact, searched for proof. They seem to lack the courage to search for the truth, and console themselves with baseless claims. If you have the courage to face the truth, even if it means that you've been wrong all along, try starting with the Evidence That Demands A Verdict series by Josh McDowell.

        If you have the courage.

        October 18, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
      • bill stevens

        Neutral – I am a biochemist who does in fact understand the inner workings of cells and the metabolic pathways by which they create complex molecules from more simple raw materials, among other things. The marvelous complexity of life at the molecular level is one reason why I am no longer an atheist, although still not an adherent to a theistic religion. There is no proof that life evolved from inorganic raw materials, that is a statement repeated ad nausem by those who are frightened by the idea that perhaps a creator is responsible for the existence of life. And, I might add, Richard Dawkins is a blowhard pseudo-scientist making money off of people who as you described, are too lazy and uneducated to read about the truth of what is proved and what is still theory. Referring to him as a credible scientist shows your shallow hand in this argument.

        October 22, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
  4. lee

    You will support them if they follow slavery economic policy that helps foreign company to steal natural resource . If they do not , you will not . It depends on economic policy .

    October 15, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Reply
  5. deniz boro

    Just seems too parellel to the Kurdish issue, although it might be viewed local.

    October 15, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Reply
  6. lee

    And now why you care a lot about Egyptian ? Because of your support , despot had humiliated and tortured us , we did not forget it . The USA was the reason of why despot was at power for years . You think we are fools ? Just to be noted 92% egyptian hate Zionist and egyptian do not want to get slavery help

    October 15, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Reply
    • LR

      The Israelites were the slaves in Egypt for a long time. We are done with that. Remember the Pyramids? Did they not build it to your specs?

      October 15, 2012 at 11:10 pm | Reply
      • Frenk

        Ok LR. Pyramids were not built by slaves. They where build in motivation of religion, and employees who worked there were treated very well. This fact reflected the quality of the building. Go read Western history or do a basic research and you will see.

        October 17, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
      • RM

        im pretty sure they were built by slaves

        October 17, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
      • Keith

        America doesn't care if a country is Democratic or not. We have never tried to spread Freedom or Democracy. All we care about it power

        October 17, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
      • Science rules

        RM you're pretty sure because cartoons told you. Experts that have studied ancient Egypt will tell you it wasn;t just slaves perhaps not even a majority were slaves. The regular population built them too.

        October 17, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
      • JLS639

        Pyramid build took place while the Nile was at its peak level in annual floods. It was the social event of the year. Artisans from all over Egypt and some ordinary citizens came to work, worship and party. While there may have been a few slaves involved in building them, most of the people involved were the wealthier social classes of Egyptian society.

        October 18, 2012 at 8:53 am |
    • Gail Duituturaga

      The reason Egyptians were kept in bondage by their government is because they did rise up until last year and do anything about it. Internet made that possible and the internet was invented by the West. So in essence the West helped the Egyptians overcome their submission to their leader.

      October 17, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Reply
    • Mary

      Lee, US supported Mubarak who said you either accept me who will keep the terrorists at bay or you accept the chance to have terrorists leading Egypt. They tried to get along with Mubarak is that supporting him? Just as they will try to get along with Morsi. They also told Mubarak on MANY occasions he could have problems if he didnt improve economy, jobs and listen to his people. US was right, and they also discussed human rights with him. So they didnt always agree with him. He wasnt threatening the US. Extremists threaten the world. Mubarak tried to contain the extremists. Things could have been far worse in Egypt if he hadnt. Im not saying everything he did was right, US didnt always think he was right. American people care about all people in the world, and I think most of the people of the word are good people. We just have to work together to stop the extremist Islamists together, because they are making life difficult for all of us and trying to creat division. Americans know there are good Muslims too. There is too much misunderstanding.

      October 24, 2012 at 1:39 am | Reply
  7. Hugo Corv

    I am absolutely astounded that Mr. Zakaria is allowed to write an article on CNN supporting the murder and persecution of minorities in Islamist states.

    That's what Political Islam is.

    October 15, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Reply
    • Hugo Corv

      Mr. Zakaria, why don't you go back to plagiarizing clean articles? At least the writers whom you were ripping off were not racist and bigoted against non-Muslims. What you're doing now is even more morally bankrupt.

      October 15, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Reply
      • Bakr

        What you're saying is merely a subjective opinion, nothing more. Don't try to pass off your personal feelings as facts, because they're not.

        October 15, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
    • hello

      There are many muslim countries. Do you know how many have been run by a theorcratic government? The answer is a fraction. In their own countries muslims have only known persecution. There haven't been enough Islamic governments to determine how political Islam will govern. That's the whole point of the article. We've been propping up dictators so long we don't know what Islamic governments would do. The whole reason why we have been against them is because the west was alot more christian than it is today. It was a clash of religions and christians wanted muslims to be kept down. In the cases where there were Islamic governments such as Taliban in Afghanistan, or in Iran, or in Saudi Arabia yes there were bad things that happened. However that cant be attributed to Islam, it is attributed to dictators protecting their rule (saudi arabias case), ignorant uneducated people and extremists (afghanistan case), and Iran isn't that bad. They had a relatively good economy previous to the sanctions, they have scientific achievements. There is no law in Iran to wear burqas many Iranian women dont. Do they have bad policies Sure, name me a country that doesnt. People in the US are always complaining about policies in laws. The US has been a democracy for hundreds of years. But when was it that women got the vote? when was it that slavery was abolished? when was it that segregation was ended? Has racism ended? How long ago was it when the government introduced prohibition? How many protests have been shut down through force? You're comparing young nations or nations where democracy hasn't been allowed to take hold by the West to nations that have been democratic for a long time.

      October 17, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Reply
      • hello

        And contrary to the mindless dribble of ignorant or racist people since Iran became a theocracy it hasn't invaded anyone, it fought a war with Iraq because Saddam invaded which he did with the full blessing of the West. Iran hasn't said it wants nuclear weapons and has denounced them several times. Their flaw is they are becoming powerful so its neighbours, Israel, and the West want to bring it back down. Say it for what it is, I'm ok with that because it is understandable. Countires compete for dominance. But to lie and say that it is an aggressive country and it has stated it wants nukes is a lie. It supports militant groups? yea thats bad. But so do we. We supported the ouster of a democratically elected government in Iran and supported the installation of a dictator in its place, how about all the Latin American nations as well. The US isnt about democracy its about its interests. If the US knew that an Islamic government would be benefical to it economically or strategically they'd be all for it. However part of US interests is (behind closed doors) is support of Israel since its a religious duty of christians stand with Israel. Since that's when Jesus will come back (supposedly).

        October 17, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
      • doughnuts

        The answer is: All of them.

        October 18, 2012 at 9:20 am |
  8. j. von hettlingen

    Political Islam means that Islam – as a relgion – is viewed out of its political aspect and that the religion should dominate all aspects of life and rule the country .

    October 15, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Reply
    • deniz boro

      There is a seldom known nonfiction named "Majnun; the Madmen in Medieval Islamic Society" (by Micheal W. Dolls copyright reasons; realy a hard book to find since it was not a best seller for the topic I suppose) for mainly on how mentally ill was seen and treated back than. Including a lot of Galen medicine and HUMOURS. Back than a man suffering from love was seen as a MADMAN since he was sharing his heart which was supposed to be devoted to God with a mortal woman. This book also tells of a Medieval Muslim Judge (kadi) who prohibited the production of women's shoes so that women will not be able to get out of their houses and cause a sin 🙂

      October 17, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Reply
      • deniz boro

        By the way I know this book by heart for I had informally translated it into Turkish (400 and so pages) for a Turkish Psyciatrist who was interested in the history of madness.

        October 17, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
      • hello

        You're talking about the stupidity of Medieval times? Everyone was stupid at that time, look at Europe. To a smart person youd look to see if Islam itself has those policies. And it doesn't. These are man made policies. If you want to bash medieval people go at it, but you cant use it to bash Islam.

        October 17, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
      • deniz boro

        Dear Hello, I am born a Muslim and have not changed my religion eversince. It is just that I hate to see the religion I was born under be taken back centuries and I hate people who twist it to their purpose. I hate to see the harm people do by corrupting Kuran. I hate those people who use the name of Kuran and Islam in such wile acts. My mentioning Middleages was just a polite attemt not to blame any one person.

        October 17, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
    • doughnuts

      There is no sereration of Religious Islam, Political Islam, or Cultural Islam. It is all one over-arching ideology that infects all aspects of a society.

      October 18, 2012 at 9:22 am | Reply
  9. Lyndsie Graham

    Let me get this straight Fareed, you mean by "democratization" is to put these countries more firmly under the control of the right-wing thugs Washington? This, no truly sane person would want and especially if one is a Muslim. No world power, the U.S. included, should ever become dominant in the Middle East!

    October 15, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Reply
  10. God

    Funny how the idiot religious people always claim that they are right and the others are heretics and infidels. There have been ~2600 gods existing on this world from one time or another, and everyone claims that theirs is the correct one. Watch the Daily show last Thursday and watch what crazy christians that we have in the US congress. Religion had is shot, it was called the dark ages. We need philosophers and scientists as our leaders, not lawyers, businessman and religious zealots. Our problems stem from the idiot religious people voting people to congress because of their stances on abortion and gay rights, not important things like education and equality. Religion will destroy countries like it always has, we need to adopt reason and prosper.

    October 15, 2012 at 6:12 pm | Reply
    • Bakr

      I hear this all the time, science may have died in Europe during the Dark ages because of Christianity, but the rest of the world, particularly the middle east was just fine. The Islamic golden age continued the studies of science, astronomy, mathematics and philosophy, this was during the dark ages.

      It is not religion that destroys nations, it is human stupidity. Did the soviet union collapse because of religion? No, it did not. You're giving too much emphasis on religion and simply underestimating the level of human stupidity. Super powers of the past, present and future will not rise and collapse because of religion, they will rise because of economic and social harmony and collapse because of expansionism and debt.

      Simply saying religion is the cause of humanities problems is dismissive of other symptoms, and that is perhaps more dangerous than religion will ever be.

      By the way, I'm agnostic.

      October 15, 2012 at 8:13 pm | Reply
      • LR

        You cannot simply ignore the role of religion in these Islamic based societies. What has been true on occasion has not ALWAYS been true.Your brush is painting with too broad a stroke, IMHO. Good post, though.

        October 15, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
    • Taskmaster

      Funny how the idiots that claim there is no God always call on him when they think that they about to die.. They blame every thing bad on religion,but at that moment they think they are looking death in the face they call on the God that they have rejected and denied all their lives.

      October 18, 2012 at 9:35 am | Reply
  11. FU

    Nope.

    October 15, 2012 at 6:34 pm | Reply
  12. joebob

    The sum of that questions explains itself – no they are not.

    October 15, 2012 at 6:53 pm | Reply
  13. Ferhat Balkan

    Islamism (Political Islam) and dictatorship are not the only 2 options that the Arabs have. Dictatorship has a higher potential for destruction and oppression, while Islamism can lead to misinterpretation of the Koran and hinder progress in the long run. They could choose to be secular and democratic, but it's their choice to make. No matter what their choice will be, I hope they'll find peace. The Middle East has been in turmoil for too long.

    October 15, 2012 at 8:17 pm | Reply
  14. Islame

    The pope says mohammad is the devil.

    October 16, 2012 at 11:05 am | Reply
    • deniz boro

      and a historical and deeper look into the original holly books say the devil is an angle of God.

      October 16, 2012 at 11:33 am | Reply
      • Fred Phred

        Acute or obtuse angles?

        October 17, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
      • Jack 3

        That would be a Right Angle

        October 17, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
      • deniz boro

        It had to be 180 degree. Or we can get into a sub-debeta on horoscopes. Thank you for reminding me of my "Freudian slip" though 🙂 Kind'of liked it.

        October 17, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • TamOra

      That's not appropriate (Islame). Mohammed is the best human being walked on this earth. Buy it or leave it; it is your problem.

      October 17, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Reply
      • I

        I don't buy it. At best mohammad is a pedophile.

        October 17, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
      • Jack 3

        He was a gay paedophile but now he's satans punk

        October 17, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
  15. deniz boro

    Simply read Asimov's Foundations. Most believe Isaac Asimov is a sci-fi writer, but this series clearly sets the path to a dominating power and eventualy unity. Simply in summary: 1) RELIGIOUS DOMINATION (pity Turkey gave up the Caliph authority in 1923 on the path to Democracy. There is a large Turkish group who does not forgive Ataturk for that:) ) ; 2) TRADING/ TECHNOLOGICAL DOMINANCE; 3) EQUAL INTERACTION

    October 16, 2012 at 11:30 am | Reply
    • TiredOfPaying

      You're missing two important aspects: Foreknowledge of eventual Galactic Empire (America's Manifest Destiny) and the Second Foundation guiding from the shadows using Psycohistory. Perhaps the latter is the Illuminati and the New World Order?

      October 17, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Reply
      • deniz boro

        Perchance?

        October 17, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
      • deniz boro

        But between you and me I am all for Gaia:)

        October 17, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
      • deniz boro

        Say tired of playing there is a asying of the Turkish Father Ataturk which goes: "If you will educate people, you first have to go down to their level".

        October 17, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
  16. Abbot

    Double standards. Who is Zakaria think he is? bringing his islamist mentality to the US media. If the west elects a Christian Fundementalist as the president, Zakaira will have his panties in a wad. And he is asking us if its okay to support a Islamist regime.
    We have to oppose Islamist regimes becasue they are about subjigating women and minorities. This is against US values and should always oppose even if democaratically elected.

    October 17, 2012 at 11:38 am | Reply
    • ok

      Islam isn't about subjugating women and minorities.

      October 17, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Reply
      • sfsdfsdonli

        ofcourse its about subjagation of women and minority. To ensure the core of Islamic fath is stable and strong, Islam will suppress will try to suppress any threat against it. Wether it be womens liberty, other religions or secularism. The problem with christianity was the church not the religion itself. The problem with Islam is itself, and the fact that its prophet was a crude warlord.

        October 18, 2012 at 9:40 am |
    • CTed

      Right so why do we support them... I'm looking at you Saudi Arabia.... Iraq.... Bin Laden.... The Shah of Iran.....
      We've supported so many islamic dictators it's not even funny. Why can't we support democratically elected islamist leaders?

      October 17, 2012 at 8:44 pm | Reply
      • Brian

        It's clearly not okay because we didn't pick them. America hates democracy.

        October 18, 2012 at 9:02 am |
  17. wwrrd

    Elections are nothing more than a method for Islamists to become dictators. The islamists love democracy as long as they are on the outside and stand a chance of getting elected. Once in however, they will make sure that door is shut for anyone else with an opposing view.

    They will surely become a theocracy or outright dictatorship. Yet another reason why democracy won't work in Islamic countries.

    October 17, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Reply
    • Sean

      Absolutely right! Applauds... applauds...! I wonder whey no one from the Obama Admin can see that?

      October 17, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Reply
    • hello

      Oh yea? How many Islaimst dictators have there been? There's Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, and maybe Iran (dont know much about its politics). Did Egypt have an Islamist dictator? Jordan? Syria? Iraq? Yemen? Tunisia? .... The answer is no. They just had (have) dictators, who persecute everyone including islamists. You're just part of the flock of ignorant parrots. You just repeat what everyone says without actually looking to see how man islamist governments there are.

      October 17, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Reply
  18. ogre12

    The answer to all arguments provided in this forum is Jesus it is just that simple.

    October 17, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Reply
  19. Jason Telly

    Should CNN have people of credibility on staff or those who cheat and steal material of others such as Fareed? Time to put honest questions on this forum for debate.

    October 17, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Reply
  20. Sean

    Any dictator is a million times better than any Islamic theocracy. The evidence is clear in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Iran and the list goes on. Even in Saudi Arabia if it was not for oil the country would be another Afghanistan.

    October 17, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Reply
    • mikeanders

      False question. It is like asking who was crueler, Pope Urban II or Nero.

      October 18, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Reply
  21. Jack 3

    Islam has no plce in America...this is a political religion that is bent on control

    October 17, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Reply
  22. TiredOfPaying

    Note to self: After inventing the Time Machine, first go back to 700 AD, then 1936 and finally yesterday with the winning lottery numbers. Bring plenty of ammo.

    There is no greater evil than Islam. Its entire purpose is to enslave all they can and kill the rest. It is completely incompatible with any form of dissent or tolerance. Islam has given us our alternatives: Convert or Die. I choose a third course: Islam must be exterminated for Humanity to flourish.

    October 17, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Reply
    • Brian

      Ever hear of the "dhimma?" Look it up, you redneck.

      October 18, 2012 at 9:04 am | Reply
    • Afee

      First look up The Muslim Rule of Spain 711–1492; then look up The Spanish Inquisitions, you will know how Muslim treat follower of other religions under its rule and how does Christianity compared.

      October 23, 2012 at 11:12 pm | Reply
  23. krm1007 ©™

    Let's look at the Indian experiment for a second. Not sayin democracy is bad just that it is not a panacea for every scenario in the third world.

    "Experimental Democracy" has failed in India. An experiment that was being shoved down India's throat by western countries too eager to propagate their own values on a country that was trying to decolonize itself while trying to shed the communist skin of being a Soviet ally. India was thus trapped. What has become evident now is that this "Experimental Democracy" has marginalized the country. The marginalized groups of the country – Dalits and ‘backward’ castes/classes, indigenous ‘tribal’ people and religious minorities have been disenfranchised. "The belief that corruption is the important issue in the country is shared only by the minority living in urban areas and towns who have been beneficiaries of economic liberalization policies mandated by western countries. The most important challenges of Indian society remain as follows: justice, social and economic equality and equal access to certain standards of life for all Indians. “While India seems too eager to please its western masters and put on a progressive and softer face for CNN for public consumption, people see through it. The consequences of this "Band – Aid" approach will be brutal for India geo-politically when it realizes that the GDP statistics that it has been relying to gage its progress has not amounted to much in the long run.

    October 17, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Reply
    • Hamilton Talbot

      I agree with you. Democarcy is the trojan horse being used in India to open the billions up to consume western goods.

      October 17, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Reply
    • ysc

      So the alternative to democracy that will work better (or has worked better) in India is....what?

      October 17, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Reply
      • Hamilton Talbot

        Probably an Army takeover in India would work the best from the western lens. Quicker decision making to open up markets for western goods and services. We will call call it benevolent democracy (wink wink)

        October 17, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
      • ysc

        @Hamilton Talbot: So are "western goods" a good thing or bad thing for India? Difficult to determine from your two comments above.

        October 17, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
      • Hamilton Talbot

        @ysc.....It does not matter from western perspective whether good or bad. That is for you Indians to figure out. From the western lens it is all about creating demand for their G&S so that their economies prosper. Does the British East India Company ring a bell?

        October 17, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
      • ysc

        @HT - well, I'm not Indian or from India. I was just wondering whether *you* (not the west) think western G&S are good/bad for India....I'm guessing you think it's bad? If so, what do you (and krm1007) think will work in India, if not democracy? My point - it's easy to criticize democracy, but trickier to suggest and implement alternatives that are better, IMO.

        October 17, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
      • Amit-Atlanta-USA.

        I came across this from an earlier posting. Thought it may answer your queries.

        "I continue to read with interest the thesis presented on CNN that India is “Too Big To Succeed” in a socio-politico context. Although experts use this in an economic sense, its geo-political connotations are indeed powerful. Empowering subjugated minorities in India by splitting it into smaller states would trigger uber economic demand for western nations who have given so much financial and technology aid to India with no return to show for the investment. I concur with this approach and find the premise to be on solid footing. Central Asian States (CAS) are a case in point on this successful approach. We need to understand that India has an unmanageable large population mired in poverty and we are spinning our wheels trying to feed it. It is also too big of a geographical unit to govern and for democracy to take traction."

        October 18, 2012 at 10:25 am |
      • Amit-Atlanta-USA.

        The above mssage was for @ysc

        October 18, 2012 at 10:27 am |
      • ysc

        @Amit – hmm, you mean India should consider "balkanizing" like the former Yugoslavia and the USSR for purposes of better manageability? Interesting idea....should it happen, hopefully it won't be tragic like 1947.

        October 18, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • Amit-Atlanta-USA.

      @krm007....apparently your thesis is that socialism has failed in India nad so has democracy. Secularism has been a bummer.Are you imlying that army takeover in India is in the offing? If so, would you then agree that ISI has infiltrated the Indian Armed Forces and orchestrating this inevitability?

      October 18, 2012 at 10:30 am | Reply
      • mikeanders

        You raise an interesting question, not only about India. Does Democracy have an optimal value with respect to population size? I think that would make for some interesting social science/political research. In fact, I suspect there has been some done already.

        Town Hall Democracy -vs- Mega-Media Controlled Democracy. What are the implications?

        Fascinating!

        October 18, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • Patrick

      I agree with you that an implosion of India is the only answer. Albeit controlled.

      October 18, 2012 at 10:32 am | Reply
    • Billy

      Now that i think about it US is the largest democracy with a population of about 300 million. There too the people feel disenfranchised.

      October 18, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Reply
  24. samonrusty

    Count the number of jews you see on U.S TV add to that the men behind the scenes, the Producers, CEO's etc. Is it democracy to have 2% people have control of a country?

    October 17, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Reply
    • TiredOfPaying

      According to Romney, 2% is twice as much in control as needed.

      October 17, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Reply
      • Rachmad

        The schematic at the end is as siplme as it can get you can't really simply or complicate a circuit diagram reading a circuit diagram can be a bit strange first couple times you just need to learn how to number pins and how to read things like capacitor and diode polarity. Google circuit diagram symbols and you're bound to find tons of stuff!

        December 29, 2012 at 2:38 am |
    • Hamilton Talbot

      Democracy is to to keep the majority looking the other way while the few plunder and line their pockets to control media, politics, wall street etc. Seldom works in poor and illiterate countries. India is a good example.

      October 17, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Reply
  25. Kelly

    Question: Is it better to have to have elected Islamist in the Arab world, or secular dictators?

    Answer: It is better to have leaders that are acceptable to the people in the countries they run. Which is both – but only as long as it is the people within who at best, choose that leader, or at least, accept him or her. America should come to grips with its decreasing ability to dictate the individual destinies of the 200+ countries and territories of the world. Just imagine a scenario where Chinese citizens would call upon their government to arm to the teeth, random individuals in the US in order to help them topple a government to which they are opposed. It could never happen!. We are drunk on the suppositions that 1)might equals right, and 2) we have some pre-ordained mission to be the arbiter in every global case (though we seem to only lay down judgments in the ones where there is substantial treasure to loot!)

    October 17, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Reply
    • Hamilton Talbot

      need to revrt back to" Khalifa" form of govt.

      October 17, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Reply
  26. paowan

    Which is better, dictators who are friends or democraticly elected goverment who are enemies?

    October 17, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Reply
    • Jacob

      The best is a benevolent dictatorial democracy.

      October 17, 2012 at 6:07 pm | Reply
    • Fabian

      wa'alaikum salam it's nice to meet you, brother Hathim Yoosuf. Thanks for your visit. I am rellay sorry for limited info about Abu Bakr Ba'asyir at this blog. I never up date the recent news about the process at the court, it makes me sad to find that the justice can't be reached by all people here. Most of good person (good public figures) are arrested and being prisoned, while the corruptors can fly abroad and go anywhere they want. Next time, Insha Allah I attempt to share the info about Abu Bakr and also terrorism issue in Indonesia. By the way, where do you come from?

      December 29, 2012 at 2:36 am | Reply
  27. deniz boro

    Hey Folks..If you do not have hours to watch USA domestic matters now. Do not ever try to set your opinion on any one American speaker. It so goes that just everybody is speaking. And mostly speaking for the elections. Remember that's not the Voice of America 🙂

    October 17, 2012 at 8:52 pm | Reply
  28. a slozomby

    i fully support the middle east's right to choose a brutal theocratic democracy over a brutal secular dictator.

    October 17, 2012 at 9:31 pm | Reply
  29. mahmoud el-darwish

    An interesting topic. Why not pose the question to the DCIA ?

    October 17, 2012 at 10:45 pm | Reply
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