Opinion: "Good Muslim, Bad Muslim, Moderate Muslim?" by Mark LeVine

October 2, 2006

Source: Tikkun


On October 2, 2006 Tikkun ran an opinion piece by Mark LeVine, a Professor of Middle Eastern history, culture and Islamic Studies at UC Irvine. "America has to choose: either we continue supporting corrupt, authoritarian and often brutal governments, or we support democracy and justice for the peoples of the Middle East and North Africa. There can be no middle ground. Two years ago, I organized a forum of leading younger Muslim activists at the Central European University in Budapest. Among those present were the Swiss-born scholar Tariq Ramadan and the Moroccan political and social activist Nadia Yassine. Both, in very different ways, are at the center of the Bush Administration's confusing policy of labeling certain Muslim religious leaders and organizations as 'moderate' and others as 'extremists' and attempting to isolate or support them based on this determination... The divergent treatment of Yassine and Ramadan demonstrate why this latest attempt to rein in growing antipathy towards the US across the Muslim world is doomed to fail: the support for moderate figures is inconsistently given, not backed up by changes in American policy, and easily subverted by the larger strategic and ideological agenda of Bush Administration officials."