The political order of the modern Middle East, one that has stood in place through the strength of autocratic regimes for more than a century, is under threat. The threat comes not from Western democracy or from Islam but from a potent combination of the two: political Islam, whose mere existence undermines the monarchies and military dictatorships that have so often suppressed its adherents. Some governments will continue to suppress them, of course, but the ones that work with them will eventually gain influence at the expense of those who do not.

The monarchies and military dictatorships of the modern Middle East are under threat from a potent combination of Islam and democracy.
(KHALIL MAZRAAWI/AFP/Getty Images)
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