Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Joshua Muravchik's New Piece


On the eve of President Obama’s speech in Egypt, Joshua Muravchik writes of recent defeats to the radical Islamist cause in Kuwait, and the larger trend across parts of the Middle East.
Thus continues a string of defeats for Islamists over the last year and a half from west to east. In September 2007, Morocco's Justice and Development Party, a moderate Islamist group, was widely forecast to be the winner. Its support proved chimerical: It came away with 14% of the seats, trailing secularists. Iraq's provincial elections this January signaled a turn away from the sectarian religious parties that had dominated earlier pollings. This trend, capped by Kuwait's elections, has important implications.”
Like all of Muravchik’s pieces, it is well worth your time. He also just released his new book titled The Next Founders: Voices of Democracy in the Middle East. I am looking forward to getting my copy.

(HT LGF)

Update:

Paul Wolfowitz also has a piece in the Wall Street Journal that I agree with, imploring Obama to not step away from the Bush administration’s “freedom agenda.” He writes:
Genuine democracy is a matter of making government accountable and transparent, not only through elections but through many other means as well, including a free press. It means protecting the rights of all citizens to develop their full potential, both for their own prosperity and for the society as a whole, by protecting equal rights under the law. That includes the right of private property, which is recognized clearly in Islam. In speaking to the Muslim world, it is particularly important for the president to emphasize the importance of protecting the rights of women and those of minorities -- subjects on which he can be particularly eloquent and persuasive.

Unfortunately, today's trend is in the wrong direction in much of the Muslim world. Church burnings and other intolerant acts are increasing. As a member of a minority himself, Mr. Obama is strongly positioned to speak out against that trend.

More generally, the president could counter the belief that the U.S. is indifferent to the fate of the world's Muslims or, worse, that we demonize Islam. He could remind his listeners of the many occasions in the past 20 years when the U.S. put its men and women in harm's way -- in Kuwait, Somalia, Bosnia and Kosovo, not to mention Afghanistan and Iraq -- to assist people suffering from tyranny or famine who happened to be Muslims
.”

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