Don’t Fear the Muslim Brotherhood

As Egyptians head to the polls today, pundits are hesitant to celebrate, fearing the country’s first free elections in decades will be another vote for Islamic parties gaining power across thew new Middle East. But in the Guardian, Al Jazeera director general Wadah Khanfar says Western talkers should stop worrying about the “problem” of political Islam and recognize its potential to produce democratic stability. “Reform-based Islamic movements, such as the Muslim Brotherhood, work within the political process,” Kanfar writes. “In western discourse Islamists are seen as newcomers to politics, gullible zealots who are motivated by a radical ideology and lack experience. In fact, they have played a major role in the Arab political scene since the 1920s.”