After the Ottoman Empire
Its fragmentation, following its defeat in World War One - into the countries of Turkey, Iraq, Israel/Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria and parts of Saudi Arabia - has deprived the Islamicate world of a 'Great Power' that could potentially speak for Muslim interests and could exercise some form of leadership over the global Muslim community. The absence of a legitimate Islamic centre is one of the reasons why the Islamicate world is beset by divisions that cannot be usefully marshalled under the label of 'extremists' or 'moderates'.
'It is this cycle of declining legitimacy and increasing repression that plagues the political order in the Middle East.'
The United States has tried to exert control by using regional powers such as Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Egypt as its proxies. By relying on these proxies the US has often become involved in the internal politics of these countries. US support has often increased the coercive resources available to the ruling elites of these countries while at the same time it has also tended to undermine the legitimacy of these regimes.
Thus, these regimes have to place a greater reliance on coercion - which further undermines the legitimacy of the ruling elites... It is this cycle of declining legitimacy and increasing repression that plagues the political order in the Middle East. Within this context political groups seek to close the gap between rulers and ruled by making rulers more accountable, and find themselves facing a repressive machinery that is often supported by western powers.
For example, the Islamist party in Algeria, the FIS, decisively won the country's first free elections - only to have the army cancel the election, and begin a campaign of eradication against its activists.