Democracy and anti-democrats

Over the last few years, events in countries like Algeria, whose free democratic elections were cancelled by army officers to prevent a probable Islamic fundamentalist victory, have drawn attention to a number of issues that are in urgent need of consideration. Apart from the fact that the political reverberations of the Algerian incident are still being felt throughout the region, the fact that it happened helped to focus attention on a thorny problem for democrats everywhere. Many people have found themselves plunged into a dreadful dilemma -- torn between their liberal democratic principles on the one hand, and the immediate and practical threats of oppression and the withholding of human rights on the other. To add to their anguish, the Algerian incident has been taken by certain Islamic fundamentalists to provide justification for their claim that democracy is little more than a tool of cynical Western capitalists.
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