|Though I'm not sure wheter I agree the following does raise some interesting points:
Via this blog: http://www.freedomist.net/ which had an entry with this headline: "Muslim Arabs Value Democracy" I found this study called "The Worldview of Islamic Publics in Global Perspective"
The study argues that statistics do not show that Islam is an obstacle for democracy.
There are also other thoughts that study provokes:
- Middle Eastern rulers are using "political rent" by claiming that if they will be replaced by fundamentalists if democratic elections are held.
( - The CCP of China might be using "political rent" by claiming that China will fall apart in a bloody civil war if the CCP does not retain power (this will generate international tolerance/support for the CCP).)
- One of it's hypotheses is:
"if a country is Islamic, the likelihood of support for democracy among its citizens is very high, but the political system of that country does not allow this support to manifest in democratic political order. High public support and closed political system do live together because the political opportunities available within the political system are very minimal to the extent that they cannot be exploited to change the existing system or democratize it."
- It could be that Muslims are supportive of reforming Islam, but that religious Islamic power is structured in such a way that opportunities available within Islam are very minimal to the extent that they cannot be exploited to change the religion or modernize it.
The strategy of toppling authoritarian regimes so that democratic forces get their oppertunity could be extended to include the toppling authoritarian religious Islamic structures so that modernizing forces get their oppertunity.