A History Worth Remembering – a short review of Iranian engagements

International news outlets bolstered the recent round of 5+1 negotiations in Geneva, with the BBC reporting an “upbeat mood” and CNN and Reuters speaking of “cautions optimism”, calling the talks “serious.” President Barack Obama has just urged Congress to halt new sanctions on Iran and an Iranian official pledged a “new approach” to the long-stalled talks. President Rouhani, a thirty-five-year veteran of the Islamic regime’s national security, is now the master of a new form of Iranian engagement that is gradually being adopted by both the United Nations and the White House. Is this a new era? Or is it perhaps a repeat of a forgotten one? There is a pattern to the way of the Mullahs. A brief review of history can shed some light on the recent Iranian rhetoric. View full post…

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Illiberal Democracy on the Rise?


Recent events highlight the need for liberal institutions in the Middle East; here’s how to promote them.
by Daveed Gartenstein-Ross & Nir Boms
04/13/2006 12:00:00 AM

When Americans learned that 41-year-old Afghan citizen Abdul Rahman could be put to death for converting to Christianity, they were outraged. Chuck Colson spoke for many when he wrote, “Is this the fruit of democracy? Is this why we have shed American blood and invested American treasure to set a people free?” (Although Abdul Rahman was ultimately whisked away to the safety of Italy, the apostasy laws used to charge him haven’t been repealed.) When the Abdul Rahman case is added to Hamas’s electoral victory in the Palestinian territories and the Muslim Brotherhood’s gains in Egypt’s recent parliamentary elections, a disturbing trend emerges: the rise of illiberal democracy in the Middle East. View full post…

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A Democratic Middle East?

By Nir Boms and Erick Stackelbeck
FrontPageMagazine.com | October 4, 2004

On Oct. 1, over 30 Middle Eastern American groups gathered at the Wardman Park Marriott Hotel in Washington, D.C., to discuss something that is only whispered about in their native lands: freedom.

The Middle Eastern American Convention for Freedom and Democracy, a conference organized by the Washington-based Center for Freedom in the Middle East along with a number of Middle Eastern American pro-democracy groups, had hundreds of participants representing a wide range of countries, ethnicities and religions.

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Taking Back Islam

Moderate Muslims say their faith is compatible with freedom.

June 03, 2004, 8:47 a.m.

By Erick Stakelbeck & Nir Boms

There’s an elephant in the room whenever the current U.S. operation in Iraq is discussed: Is Islam truly compatible with democracy? Or do the U.S.’s troubles in stabilizing Iraq signal that Muslims simply have no desire to live in a free, democratic society?

Right now the answers to these questions are unclear. For every modern Islamic “success story” like Turkey or Malaysia, there are Islamist nightmares like Saudi Arabia and Iran.

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