After the Bush Administration's eight years of steadily declining favorability ratings in the Muslim world, Americans seem ready to bridge the yawning chasm that has opened between the United States and Muslim-majority countries.\n Moreover, he makes no mention of the CIA's use of "enhanced interrogation" techniques, or its secret network of prisons and its reliance on extraordinary renditions as part of its counter-terrorism strategy. The United States is not at war with Islam; Islam, Christianity, and Judaism share many common values; people should be able to select their government freely, and that government should be transparent, accountable, and just; the United States is committed to engaging Muslim communities and fostering debate about a future vision of Islam, but "Muslims should be the primary participants in this debate;" and that the United States is committed to engaging indigenous and credible Muslim activists, including mainstream Islamic political parties.
Bridging the Divide: Us Efforts to Engage the Muslim World
Engaging the Muslim World, by Juan Cole. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009. ix + 247 pages. Notes to p. 270. $26.95.A Necessary Engagement: Reinventing America's Relations with the Muslim World, by Emile Nakhleh. Princeton, NJ and Oxford, UK: Princeton University Press, 2009. xix + 144 pages. Acknowledgements to p. 146. Gloss. to p. 150. Sources to p. 153. Index to p. 162. $26.95.In the first six months of his presidency, Barack Obama has clearly signaled his administration's desire to turn a new page in America's relations with the Muslim world. The new President has promoted several dramatic measures designed to restore the United States' tarnished image in the Middle East and beyond. In his inaugural address, Obama issued a call to the Muslim world for "a new way forward based on mutual interest and mutual respect." He signed an executive order to shut down Guantanamo as well as the Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA) network of ...