Q. The pro-democracy uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt have resonated around the world, with even the Wall Street Journal going so far as to headline one column, “The Arab World's 1989?” Hosni Mubarak's resignation from his position as president of Egypt has resulted in the installation of a military government there that is promising reform and free elections, but is dogged by further protests, which are now spreading to other Middle Eastern countries.
But can democracy take root in an Islamic society? With the Muslim Brotherhood's involvement in the protests, there seems to be a danger that even though the protesters may get what they want in terms of elections, they may end up trading secular rule for religious theocracy.
Is Islam, which in the West is inextricably linked with authoritarian rule such as that in Saudi Arabia, compatible with democracy? Is there anything American faith leaders should be, or could be, doing to influence this change?