« Surveying the Sunni-Shia question | Main | Petraeus: motion of the ocean »

January 23, 2007



But the term 'moderate Islamist' in American usage means something different from 'al-wasitiyeen al-ulamaniyeen,' doesn't it? To Americans, it means pure and simple someone who doesn't use anti-American rhetoric. To people like Mabrouk it actually has a political and theological project attached to it, as well as a strong class referent--he's sneering at them as ulama', i.e., elitists. Maybe in the past there has been some overlap between the two designations (e.g. Tantawi and the Azhar establishment refraining from "bashing" the U.S. and condemning Palestinian suicide bombers) but isn't that correlation disappearing fast--and likely to fade still further as attacks like the one on Amr Khaled intensify? IOW, as American foreign policy becomes harder to defend, even people who might be inclined to declare their affinity place themself publicly in opposition, and refuse to engage. I'd be curious to hear from AA and other people on the ground lately who can confirm or deny my impression, but this episode would seem to be a pretty clear illustration of some of the mechanisms by which "gunboat democracy" has turned out to be a historic (if predictable) ideological failure.


How much of the American outreach to "moderate Islam" is originating out of the office of Karen Hughes?

The comments to this entry are closed.

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Blog powered by Typepad