There is a real policy debate going on in Washington on how to tackle the participation and presence of Islamists forces in Egypt and elsewhere. The Muslim Brothers are positioning themselves within the growing reform camp in Egypt and they have a liberal democratic agenda when it comes to political reforms.
On December 2, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace sponsored a panel debate on the parliamentary elections in Egypt.
The central thrust of U.S. policy in Iraq must now be to help Sunnis organize an autonomous region and to convince Shias and Kurds that it is in their interest to make this possible. Paradoxically, announcing now a timetable for the inevitable withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq could give Washington additional leverage in influencing all sides to accept the necessary compromises.
Saudi Arabia, because of the country’s regional and religious significance, is an important barometer of political reform in the Arab world. Amr Hamzawy, Saleh Al Mani and Assad Shamlan evaluated the prospects for political reform in Saudi Arabia in a discussion moderated by Hisham Melham.
The U.S. government repeatedly makes the mistake of defining as “moderate” those authoritarian Muslim rulers who fulfill America’s foreign policy goals, and U.S. officials have been muted in their criticism of the rulers they finance. But American officials must recognise the contradiction in their simultaneous support for democracy and dictatorial Muslim regimes.
Discussants examine recent developments in a number of Gulf countries and analyze their significance in the overall process of political reform in the Gulf region. The workshop looked at the process of political change in specific countries, focusing on the domestic factors driving the reform process, how far the transformation has progressed, and how it is likely to unfold in the future.
On November 12-13, The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Italian Istituto Affari Internazionali, in partnership with the German Herbert-Quandt-Stiftung, organized a two-day workshop in Rome to discuss the policy preferences and reform strategies of non-violent Islamic movements in different Arab countries.
On November 3, the Democracy and Rule of Law Project and the Central European University co-sponsored a panel debate on how significant anti-Americanism actually is to American foreign policy.