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.
The Iraq Model
Part of the US Foreign Policy in the Middle East
was/is to make Iraq a model of democracy for the
The hope is that democracy will allow the diverse
populations of the Middle East to finally get along …
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
Creates an immediate conflict of interest.
Is there a rivalry?
Iran is considered the leader of the Shitte world, and
their influence has been growing since 2003.
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.
Iraq and Iran
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 …
Iraq and Iran continued
Sharia Law is the religious code and religious law of
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
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
What if Muslim Americans want this stuff in the USA?
Sharia Law has been the corner stone of the Islamist
movement, especially among Shiites.
Concerns of Sharia Law
in the USA
The Brotherhood's 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.“
The Brotherhood's stated goal is to instill the Qur'an
as the "sole reference point for ...ordering the life of
the Muslim family, individual, community ... and
The movement officially opposes violent means to
achieve its goals, although at one time encompassed
a paramilitary wing and its members were involved
in massacres, bombings and assassinations of
Their language in their charters make us nervous.
It’s a group that has membership across this Middle
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.
Why these guys worry