The sight of determined Iraqi voters casting their ballots in last Sunday's elections has strengthened hope that Iraq can evolve into a model of democracy in the Islamic world. Surveys by the Pew Global Attitudes Project over the past three years suggest that support for democracy is shared throughout much of the Muslim world.
Jodie Allen, who has recently joined the Pew Research Center, has prepared a commentary drawing upon earlier surveys by Pew and others on attitudes toward democracy in predominantly Muslim countries. The review finds substantial preference for representative over authoritarian government supported by confidence that democracy can work in these countries, even as religion continues to play a strong or even strengthened role in political life. Enthusiasm for democratic principles does not, however, automatically translate into positive views of the United States.
Read the full commentary Iraqi Vote Mirrors Desire for Democracy in Muslim World at the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press Web site.