No Cause to Delay Democracy
|Sunday, October 9,2011 21:33|
|By Marc Lynch|
Marc Lynch is the director of the Institute for Middle East Studies at George Washington University.
Egypt is facing a moment of truth. The great hopes of its revolution are fading as activists rage against the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces and society divides over the role of Islamists. If Egyptians hope to live up to the promise of their revolution, the military must push forward with parliamentary and presidential elections, facilitate a consensus on a Constitution and return to the barracks before next summer.
Many in the West have grown uneasy about Egyptian democracy. The sacking of the Israeli Embassy has raised fears about the future of that crucial strategic relationship. The emerging power of Islamists frightens many observers, as does the weakness of the liberal forces whom they would prefer to see emerge to lead an Egyptian transition. It is easy to be persuaded by those who call to defer elections until liberal forces are more prepared, the economy is in better shape and society is less polarized.