Où sont les islamistes ?

NEW YORK – Dans le courant des années 1980 en Pologne, alors que le régime communiste était en butte à l’hostilité d’une population désenchantée, le porte-parole du gouvernement, Jerzy Urban, a fait remarquer à un journaliste étranger que la Pologne n’avait le choix qu’entre deux options : le communisme ou l’Église catholique. « C’est soit nous » dit-il, « soit la Vierge noire de Częstochowa ».

Les dirigeants autoritaires du Moyen-Orient ont lancé sans relâche des avertissements analogues. Le président égyptien Hosni Moubarak n’a pas été en reste : c’est l’État policier ou les islamistes ; Moubarak ou les Frères musulmans. Ce message a été suffisamment convaincant pour que les gouvernements occidentaux, et en particulier les États-Unis, continuent à fournir généreusement armes et argent à Moubarak et aux autres « alliés » arabes.

Pour ceux qui sont favorables à l’expansion de la démocratie dans le monde, ce point de vue manichéen présente un dilemme inconfortable. L’Occident serait en « guerre contre l’islam », pour citer Ayaan Hirsi Ali, une militante d’origine somalienne. Cela signifie-t-il pour autant qu’il faille renoncer à la démocratie si des partis islamistes ont une chance de remporter des élections ?

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