Muhamad Mugraby


The geographic area that this Essay attempts to explore is the one generally known as “the Middle East” and includes the Levant, plus Arabia, Iran, and Pakistan, and is herein referred to as “the Region.” The Levant runs roughly from Egypt in the West to Iraq in the East. The Region is embedded in a wider area that runs from Morocco to India and even Bangladesh. This broad area will be referred to as “the Broad Region.” The main thrust is on the Region, but with frequent references to the Broad Region. All the countries of the Broad Region have something in common: the demise of democracy and the rapid decline of the rule of law. Undeniably, there are many exceptions, such as India. On further examination it is not difficult to establish that certain impediments to the rule of law, and thus, to democracy, are, to a lesser or greater extent, commonly shared among the countries and the peoples of the Region as well as the Broad Region. To be more precise, the rule of law and democracy, according to the Western tradition, were never fully realized in these areas. This Essay presents some of the reasons why.