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The Center for the Study of Islam Democracy

The US Favoring of Liberal Opposition, Pro-Good Governance Forces in the Muslim World: Assessment of the Past & Recommendations for the Future

US promotion of good governance in the Muslim world varies in form — from US politicians’ statements in support for Muslim opposition to tyrannical regimes to financial support and funding; from official meetings with Arab pro-freedom forces and opposition groups to non-official backing. But mostly, the US is known to have mainly backed liberal forces that adhere to liberalism as an ideology.

The forces known in the Arab world as “pro-West” entities — labeled traitors by the Arab dictatorial regimes and large segments of the Arab population — are the receivers of the largest magnitude of US backing.

To what extent is this true? And if the US has, in many cases, and in certain periods of time more than others, given priority to democracy in the Muslim world, has the US supported liberal pro-democracy entities mainly and not other pro-freedom and pro-good governance entities, such as leftists and “moderate” Islamists, given the latters’ popularity among the Muslim masses? Why has this been the case? And what are the repercussions of this US policy of backing the Muslim world’s liberals in every way? Is this really the right route to be pursued by the US to help achieve democracy in the Muslim world? What are the repercussions of risking the marginalization of other popular, powerful, active, and well organized pro-good governance entities like Islamists, and sometimes leftists, that in many cases constitute powerful opposition against tyrannical regimes. What is expected of the Obama administration in this regard?

The paper is to comprise 4 parts:

Part 1 presents in brief the history of US backing of liberal forces in the Muslim world and the forms in which this backing has taken place. It also highlights the magnitude of influence and popular support that these liberal opposition entities had in their countries when compared to other non-liberal forces.

Special focus will be on Egypt as a case study. Examples of US aid to liberals in other Muslim-populated countries will be cited.

Part 2 analyzes the reasons why the US has favored liberal opposition to Muslim regimes and assesses the repercussions of this policy.

Part 3 further highlights the information provided in parts 1 and 2 through presenting’s coverage of this issue, which has been given special focus on the website.

Part 4 focuses on the Obama reign and makes recommendations for the new administration.


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