Islam, Obama and the Empty Quarter – Why democracy activists miss George W. Bush

22 May


Published in the Wall Street Journal, May 17, 2010

The term Empty Quarter refers to a desolate stretch of land in the southeastern corner of the Arabian Peninsula. More recently it is aptly used as a metaphor to refer to the quarter of the Muslim world that is still undemocratic. Other Muslim majority countries, such as Indonesia (250 million people), Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nigeria (over 100 million each), and Turkey (80 million) have been steadily democratizing. Most Arab countries, on the other hand, are lagging behind. They make up one fourth of the Muslim world (300 million out of 1.2 billion).

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