U.S. Foreign Policy and Islamist Politics

Ahmad S. Moussalli

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"Shows the rich diversity of the Islamic movements and argues that the US should adopt a flexible and creative foreign policy toward these growing movements."--Mohsen M. Milani, author of The Making of Iran's Islamic Revolution

Many in the Arab world see globalization and democratization as symbols of Western imperialism. Fundamentalism has become a natural backlash to these ideas. However, Ahmad Moussalli claims that moderate Islam can actually accommodate modern globalization.

Moussalli argues that most popular and influential Islamic political groups adhere to positions that absorb pluralism, democracy, and human rights. But globalization in the Middle East is significantly hindered by the United States' policy failures in the region, which have generated a significant amount of distrust toward the idea.

The United States, as the only surviving superpower, must devise a post-Cold War framework that would become the basis of new strategies and policies in the Middle East. Moussalli contends that globalization will succeed in the region only if Islamic societies can be persuaded that the concept is part of an Islamic worldview, not the materialistic view of the West.

With insightful and authoritative knowledge of Islamic organizations, including both moderate and radical groups, Moussalli calls for specific and practical changes in U.S. policy. He cites the stagnation of the Arab-Israeli conflict and the occupation of Iraq as critical obstacles to improving relations, warning that continuing the current policies will leave "a lasting negative perception of the United States as the enemy" in the Arab and Islamic worlds.

Ahmad S. Moussalli is professor of political science at the American University of Beirut.

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"At once demystifying and exploratory. Simplifies and sterilizes the historical, economic, social, religious, and ideological tenets of the struggle between Islam and the West." Journal for Peace and Justice Studies

"Students will find U.S. Foreign Policy and Islamist Politics, and the subsequent references essential to objective discussion of the modern Middle East and the formation of just foreign policy. Laypersons will take note of a long history of cultural and religious animosity between the West and Islam, a history which texts of this nature are only beginning to reveal and combat. Teachers will find in this work a myriad of primer discussions focusing on peace, human rights, justice, and fairness, subjectivism, socialization, and historically rooted attitudes and language framework." Journal for Peace and Justice Studies

"Confronts one of the key questions for the future of the Middle East region: whether to include – or exclude – Islamist parties as protagonists and interlocutors in regional and international policy… a welcome addition to the literature on foreign policy and religion in the context of U.S. Middle Eastern relations.” Insight Turkey

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