Transatlantic Cooperation and How to Engage the Muslim World

Written on October 8, 2010 by Ángeles Figueroa-Alcorta in Middle East

by Haizam Amirah-Fernández, Associate Professor at IE School of Arts and Humanities

Haizam Amirah-Fernandez, Associate Professor at IE School of Arts & Humanities

Since the beginning of the current decade, international relations and domestic politics in North America and Europe have been marked by a growing threat perception linked to the radicalization of Muslim individuals and groups worldwide. Although 9/11 was a turning point, the “clash of perceptions” had been building up for decades between people belonging to Western and Muslim cultures, but also among those of the same cultural background.
Radicalization processes are inevitably related to the political and economic situation in the Middle East. This makes them, to a large extent, reversible. Factors such as the persistent climate of conflict, the absence of prospects for a lasting peace, the accumulated frustration and rage caused by unmet expectations of the population, the continuation of authoritarian rule, and the foreign policies of Western powers are used by radical ideologues to feed a solid narrative of exclusion and confrontation. The little interest shown by authoritarian regimes—including Arab “moderates”—in promoting critical thinking and the respect for diversity has solidified the radical narrative by which the West is responsible for all that is wrong with the region.
For many years, the Middle East has been suffering a constant deterioration in regional security and stability, as well as in the domestic conditions in different countries. The effects of such climate are felt beyond the region. Events in the Middle East are connected to the radicalization of Muslim individuals and groups in other parts of the world, including Western countries. Projections do not give many reasons for optimism. Demographic pressures, unemployment and underemployment, authoritarian rule, ethno-sectarian power struggles, absence of peace, and radicalization processes will continue to shape the region for the predictable future…
You may read the complete article at: Transatlantic Cooperation and How to Engage the Muslim World.


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