>From the Publisher
What comes after jihad? Outside the headlines, believing Muslims are increasingly calling for democratic politics in their undemocratic countries. But can Islam and democracy successfully be combined? Surveying the intellectual and geopolitical terrain of the contemporary Muslim world, Noah Feldman proposes that Islamic democracy is indeed viable and desirable, and that the West, particularly the United States, should work to bring it about, not suppress it.
Encouraging democracy among Muslims threatens America's autocratic Muslim allies, and raises the specter of a new security threat to the West if fundamentalists are elected. But in the long term, the greater threat lies in continuing to support repressive regimes that have lost the confidence of their citizens. By siding with Islamic democrats rather than the regimes that repress them, the United States can bind them to the democratic principles they say they support, reducing anti-Americanism and promoting a durable peace in the Middle East.
After Jihad gives the context for understanding how the many Muslims who reject religious violence see the world after the globalization of democracy. It is also an argument about how American self-interest can be understood to include a foreign policy consistent with the deeply held democratic values that make America what it is.
DDC BOOK REVIEW
Noah Feldman's AFTER JIHAD: America and the Struggle for Islamic Democracy goes right to the heart of why democracy is compatible with Islam: "If both democracy and Islam are universal because they rely on a principle of basic human equality, then we have a potentially rich common starting point for developing the relationship between the two ideas." Feldman's extraordinary understanding, imagination and common sense analysis of the Muslim world is remarkable. His book serves as a scholarly, yet practical, guide to how adaptable democracy is and how it can work for Islamic countries.
After Jihad is highly recommended reading for anyone, including skeptics who will undoubtedly come away with renewed appreciation for what democratic principles really mean. Indeed, it should be required reading for those who participate in helping others realize "homegrown" democracy that is essential to the need for freedom. How fortunate it is to have Feldman heading up the Constitutional team which will oversee and draft the constitution for a democratic Iraq.
Daniel B. Jeffs, founder
The Direct Democracy Center
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