Many in the Arab world see globalization and democratization as symbols of Western imperialism. Fundamentalism has become a natural backlash to these ideas. However, Ahmad Moussalli claims that moderate Islam can actually accommodate modern globalization.Moussalli argues that most popular and influential Islamic political groups adhere to positions that absorb pluralism, democracy, and human rights. But globalization in the Middle East is significantly hindered by the United States' policy failures in the region, which have generated a significant amount of distrust toward the idea.The United States, as the only surviving superpower, must devise a post - Cold War framework that would become the basis of new strategies and policies in the Middle East. Moussalli contends that globalization will succeed in the region only if Islamic societies can be persuaded that the concept is part of an Islamic worldview, not the materialistic view of the West.With insightful and authoritative knowledge of Islamic organizations, including both moderate and radical groups, Moussalli calls for specific and practical changes in U.S. policy.
He cites the stagnation of the Arab-Israeli conflict and the occupation of Iraq as critical obstacles to improving relations, warning that continuing the current policies will leave "a lasting negative perception of the United States as the enemy" in the Arab and Islamic worlds.
Ahmad S. Moussalli, professor of political science at the American University of Beirut, is the author of several books, including The Islamic Quest for Democracy, Pluralism, and Human Rights and Moderate and Radical Islamic Fundamentalism.