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West Vs. East

Essay by   •  December 5, 2010  •  1,362 Words (6 Pages)  •  1,210 Views

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All to witness agree that civil society refers to participation by any citizen and therefore their behavior is not imposed by the state. Some believe, it only includes political activity engaged in through "nonprofit organizations" or NGOs. Others believe that, this includes any form of voluntary participation, whether in the public or private sector, religious or non religious, political or apolitical. Civil society includes not just the citizens who participate but also the institutions they participate in. These groups are called "civil society organizations" or "CSOs." . This is the civil societies strong point, that those CSOs are well manned and powerful. Another point is a civic culture, in which a majority of the people think their government is legitimate and that their institutions (if not the leaders at any particular moment) can be trusted they are doing the best for the people as a whole and not just a small group of elite. Another point is "social capital", this is the citizen version of economic capital. It is an important resource gathered by civil society that can be expended when a society finds itself in crisis. There is acknowledgment that civil society, civic culture, and social capital are all important for strengthening a democracy and also aiding to conflict resolution.

The U.S. for many years has provided large amounts of funding and training to Arab NGOs. The goal is to promote democracies, but such assistance has not achieved much in this regard. For civil society to contribute to democratic political change, a critical mass of civil society organizations must develop three main attributes: autonomy from regimes, a pro-democracy agenda, and the ability to build coalitions. Although NGOs have grown in number in the region in the past decade, these conditions have not yet been met.

In addition, the United States brings its own problems to its relationship with civil society in the Middle East. These include the narrow range of organizations with which it typically engages, popular antipathy to Washington's policies in the region, and the broader challenge of designing effective civil society assistance programs. Hawthorne recommends several ways in which Middle East civil society aid can be improved, while cautioning that modest expectations should be the watchword of such assistance. Accordingly, programs to strengthen such groups are emerging as a key element of the United States' new Middle East promotion initiatives. However, the United States and other donor countries should not overestimate civil society's democratizing role in the region

After the tragedy of September 11, 2001, the U.S. was left sunned and enraged. The U.S. not only wanted someone to blame, they wanted to retaliate against those who attacked them. This is the problem because the persons involved with the attacks had no direct connection to a particular country. With a combination of an enraged public and a leadership filled with misinformation, the American public looked on the region of the Middle East as an enemy. With no real investigation of who really pulled off the 9/11 attacks, the answer for most Americans " Militant Muslims".

The Middle East presents the United States with many dangers. Militant Islam rogue states, the Arab-Israeli conflict, disruption of oil and gas supplies, nuclear power , terrorism and drug-trafficking. And what Americans do in the Middle East has immense importance for the region, from saving Kuwait to brokering Arab-Israeli negotiations to making war on the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.

On the other side of the pond, the Middle Eastern people see the U.S. as an inhibitor of their land. Many Islamic groups look down on the U.S. and the West and look at there lives and there "pursuit of happiness" as an impure lifestyle and that it leads you away from your faith. This builds the bridge of the idea that the Islamic faith can not and will not conform to this "free" society.

Education is the key for change in this problem, educating and understanding the differences. This change for the better will come mainly from two sources: senior American scholars, who need to recognize and rectify their mistakes; and those who fund Middle Eastern studies - from the federal government to university alumni - who need to demand improvement. The time is ripe for both of them to start making changes.

The ideological and governmental crisis in the region was heightened with the attacks of 9/11. But the Islamic movement anger against the U.S. and the West was not something new. The Islamic movement came to the fore as a Right-wing alternative which had negative factor with the rise of capitalism. Even so, without the 1978-79 developments in Iran, these movements would still not have had a chance and would have remained marginal. It was in Iran that this movement organized itself as a state and turned political Islam into a considerable force in the region.

In my opinion, political Islam is a general title referring to the movement which sees Islam as the main vehicle for a Right

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