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  • 1. The Iraq Model  The Bush Administration thought of politics as the relationship between individuals and the state. In the Middle East people see politics as the balance of power between communities. There are no politics in the authoritarian regimes – it’s the regimes way or the highway.
  • 2. Remember  Part of the US Foreign Policy in the Middle East was/is to make Iraq a model of democracy for the Middle East. The hope is that democracy will allow the diverse populations of the Middle East to finally get along …
  • 3. Is there a rivalry?  As of right now a little– but the rivalry between Sunni and Shiite is growing quickly. Most Islamists are Shiite (as a minority group throughout much of the Middle East - democracy is the only way Shittes can have any voice). Most of the ruling classes of the Middle East are Sunni. Creates an immediate conflict of interest.
  • 4. Iran  Iran is considered the leader of the Shitte world, and their influence has been growing since 2003.
  • 5. Iraq and Iran  Since US occupation of Iraq, Iran has built an extensive support network amongst Iraqis. This closeness between Iraq and Iran has caught the US off guard. Since they fought each other in a war for most of the 80’s we assumed they would continue to be cold towards each other. The hole Sunni/Shiite thing was not considered?
  • 6. Iraq and Iran continued …  Saddam’s Baath party was Sunni and they did everything they could to drive Shiites out of Iraq. Less diversity would equal more control of Iraq. Even resorted to pogroms to get the job done. Many Shiites who left Iraq in the 80’s and 90’s are now going back home. These returning Iraqis have strong connections with their Shiite neighbors now …
  • 7. Sharia Law  Sharia Law is the religious code and religious law of Islam. Sharia deals with many topics addressed by secular law, including crime, politics, and economics, as well as personal matters such as sexual intercourse, hygiene, diet, prayer, and fasting. Interpretations of sharia vary between cultures. Its source is from the Koran and Muslim religious scholars.
  • 8. Concerns of Sharia Law in the USA  Woman’s rights Some punishments are seen as Medieval Separation of church and state to promote life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. Freedom of religion, of expression, of thought … No room for debate, Sharia Law comes from God and is infallible . What if Muslim Americans want this stuff here? Sharia Law has been the corner stone of the Islamist movement, especially among Shiites.
  • 9. Muslim Brotherhood  The Brotherhoods credo was and is, "Allah is our objective; the Quran is our law, the Prophet is our leader; Jihad is our way; and death for the sake of Allah is the highest of our aspirations.“
  • 10. Continued …  The Brotherhoods stated goal is to instill the Quran as the "sole reference point for ...ordering the life of the Muslim family, individual, community ... and state". The movement officially opposes violent means to achieve its goals, although it at one time encompassed a paramilitary wing and its members were involved in massacres, bombings and assassinations of political opponents.
  • 11. Why these guys worry the USA  Their language in their charters make us nervous. It’s a group that has membership across this Middle East. They have potential to unify the Middle East into an a new Caliph, or Muslim Empire. It’s unlikely, given the numerous rivalries in the Middle East, but it’s a possibility nonetheless.