by Camille Pecastaing
January 03, 2013
Islamists in power only have themselves to blame for failing to reach out to the skeptics, to give them hope and ask for patience, to meet them halfway over a constitutional deal. But the riotous reaction to the new order can have tragic consequences in a time when the region needs Western help. The Middle East is, in so many ways, a normal place, where the concerns of daily life are food, children, jobs, and housing. But its politics are defined by violence, oscillating between the oppressive shroud of autocracy and the riotous vandalism of the street. The case for violence has yet to be made because, looking at the history of past decades, violence is nothing more than a fetishism that has accomplished very little. It has, however, tarnished the image of the region, deterred foreign investment, prevented economic recovery and weakened the institutionalization of democratic debate.