Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Neo-Liberal Arabs: How a Daring Elite is Shaping the Arab World

Neo liberalism has emerged in the Arab World since the 1990's and among its prominent figures we can state Fouad Ajami, Walid Phares, Shaker Naboulsi, Kenaan Mekiya and Nabil Sharafeddine. It emerged as a reaction to Arab ntionalism, to the Islamic revival, to the seiries of the Arab defeats in the Arab-Israeli wars, to the bad situation of the Arab World economically, socially and culturally, and to the lack of freedoms and human rights in Arabic-speaking middle-eastern countries. The main ideas of the neo-liberal Arab thinkers are: the seperation between state and religion, the disdain for Nasser and for Arab nationalism, realpolitik, the ideological disagreement with Hezbollah, Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood and the adoption of free-market democracy. The most famous media outlet of the neo-liberals is Elaph, a news website launched in 2001 in London. The neo-lib thinkers have impacted the Arab World. It is Kenaan Makiya who said to George W. Bush that the Iraqis will receive the American soldiers with roses, thus encouraging him to declare the war. Fouad Ajami was also a main proponent for the war. They saw in the invasion of Iraq a historic opportunity to spread democracy and liberal values in Iraq and-if the domino effect works- in neighboring states.

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