The Chicken Theory of Islamist Parties

The "pothole theory" is time-honored in the U.S.; if a party doesn't meet local needs, it will be ousted in the next election.  It is a hopeful theory, because it is self-correcting. With Islamic conservatism sweeping the Middle East and North Africa, the administration has been portraying the Muslim Brotherhood as a service provider responsive to "the people" and thus to the pothole theory.  The underlying assumptions are: a)      The Brotherhood will submit itself to "the people" periodically for reelection.b)      Other parties will be able to criticize the Brotherhood and offer an alternative. c)      The Brotherhood will transfer power to the opposition if "the people" so choose.   This is a stretch on many levels, but more worrisome than the pothole theory is the "chicken theory" of organizational "wings."  This postulates that while the Brotherhood (and Hamas and Hezb'allah)...(Read Full Article)

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