There seems to be a widespread opinion that the only viable alternative to the Egyptian regime is the Muslim Brotherhood* and that therefore to support the protesters on the streets of Cairo is to support an Islamist theocracy. There is of course a danger that any broad based revolution will be overtaken by the most vile and fanatical elements within it- the French, Russian and Iranian revolutions all provide examples of that.
However while the danger shouldn't be overlooked the idea that either the Islamists are the inevitable victors in a democratic Muslim majority state isn't true. Over the course of almost a hundred elections in Muslim countries over the last few decades Islamic parties** have fared abysmally with only two clear wins- Algeria in 1991 and the Palestinian Authority in 2006. Both of these victories occured when the regimes had previously extinguished most other opposition groups.
A democratic Egypt is a much better bulwark against fundamentalists than a pro Western dictatorship.
* Glenn Beck is being pin pointed as being responsible for popularising that idea. Whilst Beck isn't Hitler he isn't a reliable figure for interpreting current events either.
** Of course even non Islamist parties are likely to believe things that are extreme and support brutal punishments for criminals, punishments for apostasy and hatred of Israel. However so do the tame dictators too so there is no deterioration in the situation really.
Interesting definition of optimism
1 hour ago