Top German scholar rejects Western blueprint for Islamic democracy

Berlin, Oct 7, IRNA, A leading German Middle East expert here Saturday evening dismissed Western blueprints for democracy in Islamic countries.

Speaking at the cultural section of the Iranian embassy, the head of the Hamburg-based Leibniz Institute of Global and Area Studies, Udo Steinbach said, “If you look at the American blueprint for democracy in Iraq, one has to say it has failed.”
“Each Islamic country has to form its democracy based on its culture and tradition. Each society has to rediscover its values in its own tradition, culture and religion,” he added.

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Steinbach stressed the need for the Arab world to change “but not according to Western paradigms.”
He lamented the fact that Western countries are “not good advocates of democracy and human rights”, given their support for despotic regimes in the Islamic world.

Steinbach also lashed out at the West’s hypocritical stance on the recent election outcome in the Palestinian-run territories which brought Hamas to power.

“Fair elections were held in Palestine, yet the West has set conditions which have nothing to do with democracy. This was about Israel…,” the expert said.

He made clear that the Western policies remained “one obstacle” for the Islamic world’s quest for real Islamic democracy.

“We (the West) are part of the problem,” Steinbach said.

He pointed out to Iran’s “fascinating” efforts since the victory of the 1979 Islamic revolution to establish real Islamic democracy based on its “own tradition and religion.”
“The Islamic revolution was a revolutionary attempt to establish Islamic democracy …,” said the former director of the renowned German Orient Institue in Hamburg.