Islamic prof says U.S. made world better

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  1. jimnyc

    jimnyc ...

    Aug 28, 2003
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    A professor of Islamic law in the Middle East says the United States has made the world a better place because of its policy of armed force to eliminate dictatorial threats such as the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq.

    "America has done many positive things and changed the world for the better," said Dr. Abd Al-Hamid Al-Ansari, former dean of the faculty of Islamic law at the University of Qatar.

    Responding to nearly universal criticism of the U.S. from the Arab press, Al-Ansari wrote an article titled "What Do We Demand From America?" in the Feb. 4 issue of the London Arabic-language daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat. Excerpts were translated by the Washington, D.C.-based Middle East Media Research Institute.

    "Let us imagine the world if America had listened to the French and German logic saying: Give the murderers of the Serbs and the Arabs a chance for a diplomatic solution," Al-Ansari wrote. "Would Bosnia, Kuwait and Iraq be liberated [today] … ?"

    The Islamic professor criticized European leaders who indicated democracy is not suitable to Arab culture, implying by their actions: "Leave the backward ones alone to consume each other … ."

    "See now how many countries are turning towards democracy," he wrote. "Even Afghanistan has a constitution. In Iraq, [they are drafting] a new constitution and handing over the regime, and Libya has changed … ."

    Al-Ansari contended there are lessons to be learned from this.

    "First, the tyrants don't leave until bombs fall," he said. "The peoples alone are not capable of struggling with dictatorial regimes except with powerful external help … ."

    He urged the United States to "further encourage the democratic trend and reward the countries that have succeeded in the area of political, social, and economic reform, with aid, support, investment and free trade agreements."

    Al-Ansari said there are those in the Arab world and elsewhere who think the world has become a worse place because of U.S. action and insist "America is using the war on terror and [the idea of] spreading democracy as a pretext for unrestrained hegemony, empire creation and expansion in the world in disregard of international law or the principles of morality."

    But this viewpoint sees a "half-empty glass," he said, focusing "only on the negative traits of America because of the widespread media distortion of [America's] image that prevails in our countries."

    Al-Ansari, stating "America's positive deeds surpass its negative deeds," said the U.S. has a track record of establishing democracies "and the most outstanding examples are in Germany and Japan."

    He contended if the U.S. had not been prompted to action with a terrorist strike on its own soil, "we would not be able to fight [terrorism]."

    Al-Ansari added, however, "might alone is not enough."

    "Terrorism has an ideological and cultural base that must be dismantled, and therefore America needs to encourage the countries to reexamine their educational systems in full – not only the curriculum – and must give financial and professional aid in developing the educational system … ."

    Al-Ansari said the Arab media "help vilify the image of America and increase hatred for it," but he asserted they are not "acting in a vaccum," referring to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

    "America's bias in favor of Israel provides fertile ground for blackening the image of America in the Arab and Muslim public awareness," he claimed.

    Echoing the emir of Qatar, he said, "We call on America to view our problems with greater balance, justice, and honesty. This is what will improve its image in the Arab and Islamic world … ."

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