There is a lot of talk in both the liberal and conservative press about democracy coming to Egypt and other nations in the region. In some instances that may prove to be the case. But in large measure the demand is for self-determination, not for democracy. The two are not the same.

Democracy is a system of ongoing rule by the will of the people. Self-determination is the right to chose the form by which to be governed. The choice can be democracy or some other form of government. Following the revolution, the French exercise their newly won self-determination by choosing one man rule, Napoleon. In large measure, the choice in the Muslim world is to be ruled by God and not by man. It’s called shariah, and shariah is not democracy.

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