Foreign Policy has a great piece out from yesterday on how the peaceful democratic uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt have gotten very little response from Al Qaeda, and other similar jihadi groups. Assumedly because they see how much of a threat this could pose to them.
Whereas jihadi ideologues generally supported the protesters and eschewed controversy, actual jihadi militant organizations were more confrontational. In general, they have argued that success of a revolution is not determined by how autocrats are overthrown, but by whether the succeeding government imposes the jihadists’ conception of Islamic law.
In general, these revolutions are very bad news for jihadists. Tunisia and Egypt prove incontrovertibly that the basic jihadi strategic thesis of mandatory violence is wrong: Arabs and Muslims can indeed remove corrupt Arab regimes without violence, and the United States is not implacably opposed to their removal. In fact, the United States will help usher them to the exit. In the short run especially, that new dynamic will hinder already woeful jihadi recruitment efforts around the Middle East.
In the long run, just like the communist nations saw how free nations prospered so much more, the Islamic nations with relatively free democracies are the ones who will undercut the ability of jihadi groups by showing that people can live well there, while fundamentalist controlled nations, like Hamas controlled Gaza and Iran, see their prosperity squandered by their extremist leaders.