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"The more authentic Muslim modernists are those who have already taken a step across the historical threshold toward an enlightened skepticism of the whole Islamic tradition. There are many Muslim intellectuals who have done this, some of them contributors to the collection Islam and Democracy in the Middle East."

"A rich lode of empirical examples and sober working hypotheses about democratic prospects."

"Unlike many other contemporary books on the subject, it tries to distinguish between the issues of politicization of Islam and Islamization of political affairs, differentiating between 'political Islam' and 'liberal Islam.' "

"A comprehensive assessment of the origins and staying power of Middle East autocracies, as well as a sober account of the struggles of state reformers and opposition forces to promote civil liberties, competitive elections, and a pluralistic vision of Islam."