The Arab Spring is one of the most hopeful movements for a peaceful world.
The Islamic world has been so resistant to democracy that some have seen democratic government as un-Islamic. This charge has not only come from opponents of Islamic nations, but from some Islamist theorists. Many regimes, from merely authoritarian to brutally fascist, have been protected by the anti-democratic united front of Islamic states.
The Arab Spring looks like it will break that anti-democratic tradition. If a group of stable democracies were established in the heart of the Islamic world, then the pressure for better government would ripple out all the way to Morocco and to Indonesia. The "bloody borders" of the Islamic world that Samuel Huntington famously noted would turn to normal, peaceful, compromising, nation-upbuilding politics.
The most important nation trying to establish Islamic democracy is Egypt. When an Islamist, Mohammed Morsi, was elected president after the overthrow of the dictator, many were worried. That he represents the Muslim Brotherhood, which had assassinated the previous president for making peace with Israel, was even scarier. However, I remain hopeful that having political responsibility will make the Muslim Brotherhood a more responsible and normal political party.
I was very distressed, therefore, when President Morsi proclaimed dictatorial powers. The oppressed imitate their oppressors.
However, there was broad and sustained resistance in Egypt to Morsi's dictatorship.
Today, responding to the protests, Morsi annulled the decree giving him dictatorial power.
The conflict is far from over in Egypt, but this is a hopeful sign for a happier world.