Open Letter to President Bush


Re: democracy promotion

(with 105 signatures)

For Immediate Release:   Monday, Sept. 11, 2006




Media:  For further information, please contact: Radwan A. Masmoudi, President of CSID, at 202-251-3036 or 202-265-1200.   


Dear Friends: 


If you wish to support this important message to President Bush, we strongly urge you to add your name to the list of signatories. To add your signature, please send your name, organizations, and country to:


Thank you for support,


Radwan Masmoudi

Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy



Open Letter to President Bush re: democracy promotion 


Dear Mr. President:


As Arab and Muslim intellectuals and activists concerned about the promotion of democracy in our region, we urge you to reaffirm‚Äö√Ñ√Æin words and actions‚Äö√Ñ√Æ America ‘s commitment to sustained democratic reform in the Arab world.  It is our belief that the main problem with U.S. policies in the Middle East (in particular in Iraq , Palestine , and elsewhere) is precisely their failure to live up to America ‘s democratic ideals of liberty and justice for all. We have been heartened by the strong commitment to liberty you had expressed in your November 2003 speech at the National Endowment for Democracy and then your second inaugural address, when you said that “All who live in tyranny and hopelessness can know: the United States will not ignore your oppression, or excuse your oppressors. When you stand for your liberty, we will stand with you.”


Despite some initial skepticism, those statements nurtured hope in our region. We realize that democracy is not easily attained and must ultimately come from within. But it can receive encouragement and support, both of which it badly needs today in Arab countries. The minimum support the people of the region yearn for is precisely what you have undertaken in your NED speech: to break with 60 years of US support for non-democratic regimes in the region, and to make that known to the world in unequivocal terms. This would be more consistent with the principles of the United States, which has, since its birth, been intimately connected with the ideals of democratic governance enshrined in its founding documents—ideals that speak to all generations and peoples everywhere.


We know that some in the United States , worried by recent Islamist gains among voters in Palestine and Egypt , are having doubts about the wisdom of pushing for freedom and democracy in the Middle East .  These worries are exploited by despots in the region to perpetuate the untenable status quo.  However, there is no way to advance liberty without inclusion of all elements that are willing to abide by democratic rules, and reject violence.  Democratic participation is the only way to combat extremism and pressure all groups, including Islamists, to moderate their stance in order to maximize their share of the vote.  The US should continue to press for an end to regime repression of democratically spirited liberal and Islamist groups, and to emphatically distance itself from such repression and condemn it in the strongest terms whenever and wherever it occurs. We are confident that if Arab citizens are able to have their choice, they will choose democracy, freedom, peace and progress.


A return to the pre-9/11 status quo is not the answer.  It will only embolden ruling autocrats, hurt Arab reformers, and damage America ‘s credibility.  In the end, it will probably strengthen the very forces that America fears.  The shore of reform is the only one on which any lights appear even though the journey demands courage, patience, and perseverance.


Perhaps emboldened by the impression that America is wavering in its support for democracy, some autocrats have recently intensified repression.  This makes the need for sustained U.S. and international support and pressure more urgent than ever. The region needs to hear again that the course of freedom and democracy is the only course which America , guided by both interest and principle, will support.


To mention but one case where U.S. influence may do much good, Egypt has lately seen a regime crackdown on opposition activists. In February, the government postponed municipal elections and renewed the emergency law. The regime has not even spared Egypt ‘ s venerable judiciary which has steadfastly proclaimed its independence in recent months. And liberal opposition politician Ayman Nour, who was allowed to run in last year’s presidential election and won 7.6% of the popular vote, second behind President Mubarak, was arrested and sentenced in a murky process to five years in jail. The health of Mr. Nour, a dear friend and colleague of many of us, continues to deteriorate. We pray that you will take his case to heart and let the Egyptian regime hear your concerns. Hundreds of other activists (including doctors, university professors, journalists and civil society activists) whose only crime was to express their desire for freedom, continue to languish in jail and suffer torture and police brutality. This brutality often included sexual molestation and public humiliation of women activists and journalists by pro-government thugs.


As you have argued, the war against terror and extremism can only be won by helping Middle Eastern countries reform their closed political systems. As societies become more open, citizens can voice their grievances through legitimate, democratic means, making them less likely to resort to violence. You are right to believe that democracy and pluralism point the way to peace and moderation.


We hope that you will consider our words, recall how much is at stake in the Arab world, and ponder how costly silence and mixed signals can be when freedom is under assault. We entreat you to do everything you can to ensure that a small number of authoritarian rulers will not control the future of more than 300 million Arabs, more than half of whom are not yet 20 years old.  Freedom and democracy are the only way to build a world where violence is replaced by peaceful public debate and political participation, and despair is substituted by hope, tolerance and dignity. 




Name, Organization, Country

1. Radwan Masmoudi, Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy, USA

2. Aly Abuzakuk, Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy, USA

3. Sherif Mansour, Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy, USA/Egypt

4. Khalid Cherkaoui Semmouni, President of Center Moroccan of Human Rights, Morocco

5. Qamar-Ul Huda, United States Institute of Peace, USA

6. Anwar N. Haddam  , Liberty & Social Justice Movement , Algeria

7. Randa Slim, International Institute for Sustained Dialogue (IISD), USA

8. Abdelwahab El-Affendi, Centre for the Study of Democracy, University of Westminster , UK

9. Ibrahim M. Hussein, Alliance of Egyptian Americans, USA

10. Najah Kadhim, International Forum for Islamic Dialogue , UK

11. Abdelazim Mahmoud Hanafi, Kenana Center for Research and Studies   , Egypt

12. Najib Ghadbian, University of Arkansas, US / Syria

13. Anna Mahjar Barducci, Middle East Media Research Institute , Italy-Morocco

14. Malath Arar , GE Infra, Energy , USA

15. Ahmed Subhy Mansour, International Quranic Center , USA / Egypt

16. Ahmed Shabaan, ICDS  , Egypt

17. Abbas  H.Rahi, Iraqi Organization for Rehabilitating Society and Environment, Iraq

18. Serdar Abdullah, Writer and Activist, Iraq 

19. N. Greenger, Activist, USA 

20. Asher Abrams, Dreams Into Lightning, USA 

21. Shizuka Tajima, Activist, Sweden 

22. Haytham Mouzahem, Independent Researcher and Journalist, Egypt

23. Ibrahim Dadi, Islamic Thinker, Algeria

24. Othman Mohamed Ali, Pharmacist and Islamic Researcher, Canada/Egypt

25. Adel Mohamed, Center for the Study of Islam , Egypt

26. Hamdi Shehab, Alwasiqa Center for Citizenship and H R, Egypt

27. Ahmed Farghali, Alwasiqa Center for Citizenship and H R, Egypt

28. Mohamed Abdel Aziz, Ibn Khaldun Center for Development Studies, Egypt

29. Mohamed Allawzi, Activist , France

30. Hamdi Abdelaziz, Sawasia Center for Human Rights, Egypt

31. Ghassan Ali Othman, Islamic Researcher, Sudan

32. Mohieb Alarnaoti, Activist, Egypt

33. Safei-Eldin A. Hamed, Alliance of Egyptian Americans AEA, USA/Egypt

34. Marwa Abdelkader Helmi, Activist , Egypt

35. Mohamed Fawzi, Human Association for Development Studies, Egypt

36. Hazim Alluhaibi, President of the Iraqi National University, Iraq

37. Naiem A. Sherbiny, Ibn Khaldun Center for Development Studies, USA

38. Saeed Abdel Hafez Darwish, Forum for Development and Human Rights Dialogue, Egypt

39. Dhuha Rouhi, President of Association of Women Entrepreneurs (AWE), Iraq

40. Ashur Shamis, Libya Human and Political Development Forum, Libya

41- Amr Hamzawy, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, USA/Egypt

42- Nadia Lachiri, Forum Des Femmes Marrocaines- MEKNES-, Morocco

43- Chedley Aouriri, Tunisian Community Center, USA

44- Hesham Abdelsalam Alsadr, Secretary-General of the Iraqi Civil Group, Iraq

45- Mohamed Shaker Mohamed, Geologist, Saudi Arabia 

46- Randa Al Zoghbi, Program Director for Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), Egypt

47- Cankurd MD, Member of KDP-S and Kurdish PEN Club, Germany 

48- Dr Mohamed Gamal Heshmat, University Prof & former PM, Egypt

49- Jamal E. Ryane, Global Migration and Gender Network Consultant, Netherlands

50- Omar M. Najib, Attorney At Law, USA

51- Ali Al-Ahmed, the Institute of Gulf Affairs, USA

52- Louay Safi, Syrian American Congress, USA

53- Shifa Garba, Zaymar Services, Nigeria

54- Faeza AlEbadi, The New Iraqi Women Association, Iraq

55. Hassan AlIbrahimi, Iraqi Human Rights Watch Association, Iraq

56. Omar Hisham Altalib, Minaret of Freedom Institute, USA

57. Bachir Edkhil, President of ALTER FORUM, Morocco

58. Amer AlAmir, Architict, Painter, & Writer, Canada/Iraq

59. Mohammad Harbi, Journalist, Egypt

60. Abdellatif Saied, Activist, Egypt

61. Amir Aldargi, Thinker, Norway/Iraq

62. Zaienab Alsellami, Women and the Future Association, Iraq

63. Shaza Nagi, Women for Peace, Iraq

64. Abeer Azzawi, Women for Peace, Iraq

65. Kawther Rahim, Human Rights and Civil Society organization, Wasit Province, Iraq

66. Hafez Ben Othman, Activist, Tunisia

67. Omar S’habou, Pr‚àö¬©sident of the Maghrebian Alliance for Democracy, France

68. Sabry Fawzy Gohara, Surgeon and professor of surgery, USA

69. Mustapha Kamel Al-Sayyid, Professor, Cairo University, Egypt

70. Abdulmajid Biuk, Transparency Libya, USA/Libya

71. Mohamed Nabieh, Center for Developing Democratic Dialogue, Egypt

72. Said Galal, Activist, Egypt/Canda

73. Wagih Khair Ikladious, Rewak Ibn Khaldun Association, Egypt

74. Safia Fahassi, President of the Algerian Coordination of Families of Missing eople, Algeria

75. Ibrahim AlHadari, Social and Environmental development Association, Egypt

76. Mohamed Hafiz Alhafiz, President of the Iraqi/Japanese Friendship Organization, Iraq

77. Sameer Jarrah, Arab World Center for Democratic Development, Jordan

78. Nadi Abou Zaher, Committee for International Complains (CIC), Palestine

79. Saleh Hadi, Association for Human Rights in Wasit, Iraq

80. Ibrahim Hussien, Egyptians Without Borders, USA/Egypt

81. Sayed Salem, Islamic Researcher, Palestine

82. Nuha Al Darwish, Model Iraqi Society Organization, Iraq

83. Mohamed Albadri, Egyptian Liberal Party, Egypt

84. Nesma Ahmed Ibrahim, Ibn Khaldun Center for Development Studies, Egypt

85. Mamdouh Nakhla, Alkalema Center for Human Rights, Egypt

86. Hatem Abdelhadi, Egyptian Writers Union, Egypt

87. Mohamed Youssef Bakeir, Economical Consultant, Egypt

88. Amal Mohey Eddin, Alwasat Islamic Party, Jordan

89. Alidrissi Omari Abdelmajid, Human Rights Activist, Singapore

90. Refaat Ismail, Independent Activist, Egypt.

91. Touria Khannous, Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdellah University, Morocco

92. Sandra E. Parson, Independent Activist, USA

93. Wasef Tubishat, General Director, Democracy Watch  Jordan

94. Marawan Alfaouri, President of Alwasateya Forum, Jordan

95. Mohsen Ashri, Activist, Egypt

96. Mahmoudi Abdelkader, Egyptian Liberal Party , Egypt

97. Sami Bawalsa, Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy, USA/Jordan

98. Stuart Laughton, Musician, Canada

99. Tamer El-Tonsy, Activist, UK

100. Nor Ali, Businessman , Turkey

101. Khaled Chouket, Director of the Centre for the Support of Democracy in the Arab World, Netherlands

102. Elhamy Elmeligi, Journalist and Activist, Egypt

103. Maytham Gaber Matar, High Commission for Civil Society Organizations in Diqaneya , Iraq

104. Emad Shahin, Professor at the American University of Cairo (AUC), Egypt

105. Touria Khannous, Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdellah University , Morocco








To add your name to the list of signatories, please e-mail name, organization, and country to: