U.S. Foreign Policy – Egypt and Islam
U.S. Foreign Policy – Egypt and Islam Instance
Should the U.S. have a policy for 1) Egypt, and 2) Islam? Is it appropriate to have a policy toward members of a worldwide religion?
The U.S. has a policy for Israel. Does it have a policy for Jews?
The U.S. Constitution embodies a policy toward religions – freedom of belief. It is a nation founded in Christian-Judeo tradition, some say. That isn’t policy, however. It is history.
When religions operating inside the U.S. decide to advance rules and beliefs that 1) deprive members of Constitutional rights or 2) advocate acts by members that undermine the Constitution, then their “freedom and liberty” are subject to restraint.
In the case of Islam, there are breaches of U.S. Constitutional provisions throughout the world by 1) Muslims practicing their beliefs, and 2) by Governments that employ Islam as the basis for their laws. In those instances, Americans may find conflict.
When people from the nations and populations in conflict travel to and emigrate from these sources to the U.S., to what extent is the conflict imported. How are the conflicts managed? That is where government must produce policies for addressing these issues.
“Strength of Egyptian Islamists proves a test for Obama’s pro-democracy policy in the Middle East
The strong electoral showing of Islamist parties in Egypt has provided the first major test of the Obama administration’s pledge to support democratically elected governments in the Arab world, even when its preferred candidates lose.
U.S. officials described recent outreach to the Muslim Brotherhood, which appears destined to win the largest share of parliamentary seats, as a chance to put in practice policies President Obama outlined nearly three years ago in a major speech proposing a new relationship with the Muslim world centered on mutual respect.
Last May, three months after Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak resigned in the face of massive public protests and U.S. abandonment, Obama reiterated the theme, while acknowledging that “not every country will follow our particular form of representative democracy, and there will be times when our short-term interests don’t align perfectly with our long-term vision for the region.”
For now, White House officials said they are taking the long-shunned Brotherhood at its word, accepting promises of respect for the rule of law and civil rights and waiting to see how it governs.
“We have . . . had some good reassurances from different interlocutors, and we will continue to seek those kinds of reassurances going forward,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Thursday.
A senior administration official, speaking on the condition of anonymity about the sensitive talks, said that U.S. interlocutors are “not just in a listening mode; we are actively making clear that we want to see an inclusive Egypt that respects women and minorities, as well as the importance of regional stability. We’re hearing the right things, but the proof will be in their actions.”
The top U.S. diplomat for the Middle East, who arrived in Cairo on Wednesday night, told a news conference there that the United States has “no more important partner in the Arab world than Egypt.”
Assistant Secretary of State Jeffrey D. Feltman is expected to meet Friday and Saturday with Muslim Brotherhood leaders and other political figures. Those discussions are likely to be easier than the talks that began his four-day visit, with the current military-led government that replaced Mubarak.
Tensions between the two governments have been high since Egyptian security forces raided at least 10 pro-democracy civil society organizations, including three American groups, as part of a crackdown on dissent ahead of the crucial transition to elected governance.
The ruling military council had promised U.S. officials that the International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute and Freedom House — all Washington-based democracy-building groups that receive U.S. government funding — would be reopened and their confiscated equipment returned.
But the offices remain closed, and Egyptian government officials have publicly defended the raids and vowed to continue investigations into what they believe is illicit foreign funding.
After meeting with Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamal Amr, Feltman said he was “encouraged” that the organizations would be legally registered and allowed to operate.”
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Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel