The most basic demand for participating in any program is the ability to abide by its rules. When it comes to Democracy, the most basic rule is that there is no absolute power and that the democratic system remain place. Winning and losing in a democracy is not a zero sum game and multiple parties and multiple viewpoints come to the table, hammer out compromises and keep the country running. A party may lose one election but then come back and win another one. Violence gets shelved as a tool of transition.
Politics outside Democratic rules often yields zero sum games, ruthless contents of will and power, in which the punishment for political failure is imprisonment or death. Democracy is meant to shift that balance by allowing different sides to participate. What it requires however is that all sides abide by the premise of democracy, that the democratic system itself remain in place from turn to turn. That is the one thing Islamic parties can't and won't do.
Within a democracy, totalitarian parties are a trojan horse, whether they are Communist or Nazi or Islamist. They cannot be allowed to exist because they participate in the democratic process only with the endgame of ending democracy once they have amassed enough power.
Yet many Americans seemed to have trouble understanding this when it came to the Communist party, because the Democratic process, like the Geneva Convention and the Constitution and other consensual agreements, has been mischaracterized as universal. But no agreement is universal. An agreement can only exist between peoples or groups who agree to abide by its terms. Human rights cannot apply to those who violate them. Conventions on the treatment of prisoners do not apply to those who do not follow them. Democracy does not apply to the un-democratic and the anti-democratic.
Islamist party in the Muslim world and the West have learned to mimic the tactics of the Communist parties, to put on a Democratic facade for the West, to give lip service to the Democratic process while slowly taking over from the inside.
The election of a Muslim party to power is a De Facto coup, it's only a matter of time until the actual takeover happens. When it does, there may still be elections as in Iran, but the only ones running will be approved Islamist parties. Because while we may fail to understand that Democracy is a consensual agreement, the Islamist enemy understands it quite well and their system is quickly set up to suppress non-Islamist and Anti-Islamist organizations from within any electoral process.
And that is why Islam is Democracy's cancer, adept at exploiting Democracy's institutions and rules, its respect for human rights and sentimental willingness to believe that anyone can participate and become ennobled by the process, to come to power.
The false view of democracy as universal, rather than limited to those who accept its premises, has led to multiple disasters as the State Department has championed "Democracy" in Gaza, in Lebanon, in Egypt and Pakistan, only to be rewarded with terrorism and the rise of the Islamists, time and time again.
Now Rice is set to join the EU in backing Erdogan's Islamist party in Turkey over its secularist opponents. Never mind that the secularist military and political establishment were reliable American allies, while Erdogan has fed hatred of America. Never mind that Erdogan's AKP has conducted an assault on its opposition and subverted the judiciary. Never mind that Erdogan's AKP has undermined the War in Iraq from the start. Erdogan wants Turkey to join the EU... and that is enough for the EU to support him and apparently enough for Rice to stab the United States and its allies once again in the back... and back the totalitarian ambitions of an Islamic party.
Many "thinkers" such as John Esposito and Noah Feldman have resumed championing the discredited idea that Islam is Democratic or leads to Democracy, when the overwhelming evidence of history and geo-politics is not on their side. Not only is Islam not democratic, but by its very nature it is anti-democratic.
The Separation of Church and State in Turkey or anywhere else, protects government from religion and religion from government. Religion by its very nature holds by uncompromising absolutes. Government in a democracy deals in compromises. When government and religion bleed into each other, either religion becomes compromised or government becomes uncompromising. The former leads to the sort of hollow secularized religion you can see in the Church of England. The latter leads to the sort of fanaticism that drowns half a world in blood.
The fusion of Islam and democracy is a nightmare written in blood. It's an old nightmare over a thousand years old brought to life again by rising oil prices and Western weakness.
Meanwhile the consensual agreements that have formed the institutions of the West have become mischaracterized as universal, leaving Western institutions with no defense against the cancer of Islamism.