Tony Blair's latest speech on Islam is significant as much for what it doesn't mention as for what it does. Not long ago, a speech of this sort would have been rich with contrasts between dictatorship and democracy. Democracy, the audience would have been told solemnly, equals freedom and modernity.
Instead Blair mentions the word 'democracy' only three times.
The first time he's referring to Israel and the second time he disavows the entire program of dropping elections on Muslim countries and expecting their populations to make the right choices. Instead he argues,
"Democracy cannot function except as a way of thinking as well as voting. You put your view; you may lose; you try to win next time; or you win but you accept that you may lose next time. That is not the way that the Islamist ideology works."