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EASING INTO ISLAMIC DEMOCRACY

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  • ummyakoub
    EASING INTO ISLAMIC DEMOCRACY Jane Lampman, Christian Science Monitor, 5/29/03 http://search.csmonitor.com/search_content/0529/p12s02-lire.html WASHINGTON - As
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 6, 2003
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      EASING INTO ISLAMIC DEMOCRACY
      Jane Lampman, Christian Science Monitor, 5/29/03
      http://search.csmonitor.com/search_content/0529/p12s02-lire.html

      WASHINGTON - As the US debated going to war in Iraq last fall, some
      American Muslims were pursuing their own small anti-terror campaign
      in the Muslim world. As part of an ongoing effort to promote
      democracy in the region, they provided an opening in three Arab
      countries for both Islamic and secular democrats to come together for
      the first time to debate the compatibility of Islam and democracy.

      In Morocco, Egypt, and Yemen, government leaders, opposition members,
      and civic activists joined in frank private and public workshops on
      such hot topics as human rights, women's rights, and religious
      tolerance.

      "What was so encouraging about the workshops was that we found the
      gap between moderate Islamists and secularists is narrower than
      ever," says Radwan Masmoudi, president of the Center for the Study of
      Islam and Democracy (CSID), the US-based think tank that sponsored
      the meetings with local civic groups.

      With the Islamic world in turmoil over the confrontation between
      militant groups claiming to defend Islam and authoritarian regimes
      standing for modernity, the key to a viable future is a coalition of
      moderate Islamists and non-Islamists committed to representative
      government, CSID says.

      All too often, though, those committed democrats are isolated,
      without the resources or outlet to take their case to the people. In
      some places, they've been harassed, jailed, or even killed for their
      efforts...


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