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18 mars 2011 5 18 /03 /mars /2011 10:17
Letter to President Obama about Libya

(1565 Signatures) Web Links


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Honorable Barack H. Obama
President of the United States of America
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest
Washington D.C., DC 20500-0004


Dear Mr. President:

We the undersigned scholars fully appreciate and applaud your concern about not repeating the rush to unilateralism, which has too frequently defined American foreign policy in the Middle East in recent years. We also remember the strong commitment you made in Cairo on June 4, 2009 to support efforts to promote democracy in your “New Beginnings” speech to the Arab and Muslim worlds. In that speech you stated:

 

"I do have an unyielding belief that all people yearn for certain things: the ability to speak your mind and have a say in how you are governed, confidence in the rule of law and the equal administration of justice, government that is transparent and doesn't steal from the people, the freedom to live as you choose. These are not just American ideas. They are human rights. And that is why we will support them everywhere."

These comments were widely hailed throughout the region and received as a strong signal that your administration would robustly support the rise of popular democracy wherever it occurred.

Over the past two months the Arab world has been shaken to its core by a profound and widespread popular call for democracy. This call has transcended all social classes, ethnic groups and religious confessions. The historic extent and nature of this appeal is of monumental historical significance. Oppressive and corrupt regimes in both Tunisia and Egypt have already been swept from power, and are actively challenged now also in Yemen and Libya.

 

Although non-violent popular movements were able to topple the regimes of Tunisia and Egypt, the case of Libya has been different. The protests, which began there on February 17th, started peacefully, as they did throughout the region. However, the regime of Colonel Gaddafi quickly responded by resorting to the use of military forces against unarmed civilians. The regime’s orders to its armed forces to use planes, helicopter gunships, heavy caliber machine guns and similar weaponry against unarmed protestors quickly prompted mass defections from the Libyan armed forces to the side of the protestors. The regime’s subsequent use of mercenary forces against the civilian population has only escalated the level of violence.

 

In response to calls for an American-led no-fly zone over northern Libya you have argued for the need for regional and international sanction for such a measure. We contend that with the recent unanimous vote of the League of Arab States, numerous calls for such action from states within the region, as well as wider calls from traditional American allies such as France and Britain for such action, legitimate sanction for the speedy imposition of a no-fly zone now exists and we call upon you now to assume a leading role in halting the horrific violence being perpetrated by Colonel Gaddafi’s forces by swiftly taking the following concrete actions:

(1) Working closely with U.S. allies, NATO, and the United Nations to create a coalition that will impose as quickly as possible a no-fly zone for all Libyan military aircraft over the full extent of northern Libyan airspace, and implement such measures as may be required to render the Libyan air force inoperable throughout the country.

(2) Joining France in recognizing the provisional government of Libya based in Benghazi as the sole legitimate government of Libya.

(3) Entering into immediate dialogue with the provisional government to determine how the U.S. and the international community may provide this legitimate government with both humanitarian and military assistance.

(4) Assist in the jamming of military communications by the Gaddafi forces.

(5) Issue a clear warning to all military officers and mercenaries supporting the Gaddafi regime that they will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of international law if they participate in crimes against humanity; and offer protection to any senior officers now loyal to Colonel Gaddafi who choose to defect.

Mr. President, we now stand at a pivotal moment in the struggle for democracy in the Arab world. If the words you spoke in Cairo nearly two years ago are to have any meaning, you must now assume a leading role in supporting the massive popular uprising for democracy throughout the region. The Libyan case is for the moment the most pressing, but people throughout the Arab world will judge your words in Cairo by your actions now. The support you promised for democracy in Cairo must be substantive and swift. To extend such support is not only to stand on the right side of history, we believe that it is also critical to the long-term national interests of this country.


Sincerely,


 

Larry Diamond  

Director, Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law, Stanford University


John L. Esposito 

Director, Al-Waleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, Georgetown University 


Akbar Ahmed 

Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies, American University  


Francis Fukuyama 

Institute for International Studies, Stanford University 

 

Michele Dunne 

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace 

 

Robert R. LaGamma

President, Council for a Community of Democracies

 

Aly R. Abuzaakouk 

Director, Libya Forum for Human and Political Development 

 

Imbarek El Shamikh

Ex- Prime Minster of Libya

 

Esam Omeish

Libyan Emergency Task Force

 

H.E. Ali Suleiman Aujali

Former Libyan Ambassador to the United States of America

 

Mohamed M. Bugaighis, Ph.D

Chairman, American Libyan Freedom Alliance

 

Ashour Ben Khaial

Former Libyan Diplomat

 

Radwan A. Masmoudi 

President, Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy 

 

Saad Eddin Ibrahim 

Founder Director, Ibn Khaldoun Center for Human Rights Studies

 

David J. Kramer

Executive Director, Freedom House

 

Shadi Hamid 

Director of Research, Brookings Doha Center

 

Joseph K. Grieboski

The Institue on Religion and Public Policy

 

David N Dorn

International Director, American Federation of Teachers

 

Thomas Michel, SJ

Woodstrock Theological Centre, Georgetown University

 

Rev. William Wesley Elkins

Drew University, Adjunct Professor, United Methodist Church

 

S. Abdallah Schleifer 

Professor Emeritus of Journalism and Founder, Adham Center, The American University in Cairo

 

Sherman L. Jackson

University of Michigan

 

Hamza Yusuf

Zaytuna College

 

Vincent J. Cornell

Emory University

 

Douglas M. Johnston 

President, International Center for Religion and Diplomacy

 

Rabbi Josef Potasnik

Board of Rabbis of New York

 

Richard J. Cohen

University of Virginia

 

I. William Zartman 

SAIS-Johns Hopkins University 

 

Reuven Kimelman

Brandeis University

 

Laurence O. Michalak

University of California Berkeley

 

Rabbi Dr. Marc Gopin

George Mason University

 

Gabriel Marcella

Retired, US Army War College

 

Christopher S. Taylor 

Director, Drew University Center on Religion, Culture and Conflict 

 

 

Asma Afsaruddin 

Indiana University 

 

Tamara Sonn 

College of William & Mary 

 

Antony T. Sullivan 

Near East Support Services 

 

 

Emad Shahin 

University of Notre Dame 

 

Ingrid Mattson

Director, Macdonald Center for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations, Hartford Seminary

 

William L. Sachs

Center for Interfaith Reconciliation

 

Whitney Bodman

Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary

 

Senator Mike Gravel

The Democracy Foundation

 

Stephen McInerney

Project on Middle East Democracy

 

Nayereh Tohidi

California State University, Northridge

 

Richard W. Soudriette

Center for Diplomacy and Democracy

 

Richard C. Rowson

Council for a Community of Democracies

 

Louay Safi 

Georgetown University/CMCU 

 

 

Najib Ghadbian 

University of Arkansas 

 

Patrick M. Cronin 

Center for a New American Security 

 

 

Abbas Milani 

Iranian Studies Program, Stanford University 

 

 

Jean-Louis Juvet 

Neuchâtel University (CH) 

 

 

Catherine Balten 

University of Notre Dame 

 

Radwan Ziadeh 

George Washington University 

 

 

Maher Hathout 

Muslim Public Affairs Council 

 

 

Joseph Bock 

University of Notre Dame 

 

 

Fred Dallmayr 

University of Notre Dame 

 

 

Steven B. Bloomfield 

Harvard University 

 

 

Jose Casanova 

Georgetown University 

 

 

Robert Pastor 

American University 

 

 

Mohamed Nimer 

American University

 

Ahmed E. Souaiaia 

University of Iowa 

 

 

Joseph V. Montville 

George Mason/American Universities 

 

 

Sheila Musaji 

Editor, The American Muslim 

 

Rafik Beekun

University of Nevada

 

Abdulaziz Sachedina

University of Virginia

 

Pamela K Taylor

Muslims for Progressive Values

 

Chibli Mallat

Harvard Law School and Utah University Quinney College of Law

 

Dr. Khursheed Mallick

East-West University

 

Ermin Sinanovic

US Naval Academy

 

Jamil Jreisat

University of South Florida

 

Nader Hashemi

University of Denver

 

Alejandro Beutel

Muslim Public Affairs Council

 

Hamid Abdeljaber

Rutgers University- New Jersey

 

Siraj Mufti

International Center for Peace, Tucson

 

Philippa Strum

City University of New York

 

Nathan Roberts

University of Texas at Austin

 

Mary Knight

New York University

 

Bruce Lawrence

Professor, Islamic Studies, Duke University

 

Sohail Nakhooda

Kalam Research and Media, former editor-in-chief of Islamica magazine

 

Robert F. Shedinger

Luther College

 

Harvey Teres

Director, Judaic Studies Program, Syracuse University

 

Peter Ochs

Bronfman Professor of Judaic Studies, University of Virginia

 

Rick Love

President, Peace Catalyst International

 

Daniel Madigan, SJ

Georgetown University

 

Alonzo L. McDonald

Former Chief-of-Staff under US President Jimmy Carter, Chairman and CEO, Avenir Group

 

Jonathan R. Cohen

Professor of Philosophy, University of Maine Farmington

 

David E. Zweifel

U.S. Ambassador (Retired)

 

Merve Kavakci

George Washington University

 

Yusuf Z. Kavakci

Founder, Quranic Academy & Founding Dean, Suffa Islamic Seminary, IANT, Dallas, Texas

 

David Hungerford

Founder, Common Path Alliance

 

Peter K Bechtold

Adjunct Scholar Middle East Institute

 

Samer Shehata

Georgetown University

 

Omar M. Kader

Chair of the Board, Middle East Policy Council

 

 

International Leaders & Scholars:

Francois Burgat

Professor of Political Science, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)

 

Professor Stephen Chan OBE

School of Oriental and African Studies, London

 

Roberta Bonazzi

European Foundation for Democracy

 

Janet McElligott

Co-Chairman of The Royal Foundation to Rebuild Africa

 

Farhad Khosrokhavar

Professor at Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris

 

Mohammad Siddik

Chairman, Board of Trustees of the Univ. Azhar Indonesia, Jakarta

 

Sameer Jarrah

Network of Democrats in the Arab World

 

Fakhry Abu Shakra

Arab Center for Democracy and Peace Studies

 

Najah Kadhim

Executive Director-International Forum for Islamic Dialogue

 

Boudjema Ghechir

Algerian League for Human Rights

 

Sayyed Nadeem Kazmi

The Britslam Partnership

 

Abdelkader Amara

Justice and Development Party

 

Hikmat Bushnaq-Josting

Ibn Rushd Fund

 

Professor Paul D Janz

Head of Department, Theology and Religious Studies, King's College, University of London

 

Professor Graham Ward

Professor of Contextual Theology and Ethics, University of Manchester

 

John Milbank

Professor of Religion, Politics and Ethics at the University of Nottingham

 

Khalid Ikramullah Khan

Associate Secretary General, Religions for Peace/Asia


Bertrand Hirsch

Professeur des Universités, Université Paris I Panthéon – Sorbonne

 

Thomas Cromwell

President, East West Communications

 

Michael Norton Schmidt OBE FRSL

Professor of Poetry, University of Glasgow

 

David F. Ford

Regius Professor of Divinity, University of Cambridge, Director, Cambridge Inter-Faith Programme, University of Cambridge

 

Samir Khalil Samir

Pontifical Oriental Institute, Vatican

 

Antonio Betancourt

Secretary General, Summit Council for World Peace

 

Anwar Majed Eshki

President of Middle East Center for Strategic and Legal Studies, Saudi Arabia

 

Antonio L Betancourt

Secretary General The Summit Council for World Peace

 

Mustafa Abushagur

President, Rochester Institute of Technology, Dubai

**********************************

Humanitarian Crisis in Libya -
An Open Letter to President Obama.

 

  

MEDIA ADVISORY -  (Washington D.C. 3/17/2011) -- On Friday, March 18, The Libyan Ambassador to the United States H.E. Ali Sulaiman Aujali along with the Deputy Libyan ambassador to the U.N. H.E. Ibrahim Al Dabbashi , Dr. Radwan Masmoudi, President of the Center of Islam and Democracy and Aly R. Abuzaakouk, Director of Libya Human and Political Development Forum will be holding a press conference at the Murrow Room, at The National Press Club in Washington, D.C. to Call on President Obama to support the pro-Democracy and Anti-Gaddafi forces, which is represented by the National Transitional Council in Libya.

WHAT: Call to Support the Libyan People in their struggle for freedom, human rights, and democracy. 


WHO: Libya's Ambassador to the United States H.E. Ali Sulaiman Aujali, The Deputy Libyan ambassador to the U.N. H.E. Ibrahim Al Dabbashi, Dr. Radwan Masmoudi, President of the Center of Islam and Democracy (CSID), and Aly R. Abuzaakouk, Director of the Libya Human and Political Development Forum


WHEN: Friday, March 18, 2011 from 10:00 to 11:00 AM


WHERE: The National Press Club, the National Press Building N.W., The Murrow Room, Washington, D.C.


CONTACT: Aly R. Abuzaakouk, 301-528-9816, E-Mail: alyabuzakuk@gmail.com, Dr. Radwan Masmoudi at 202-251-2026, Email: masmoudi@islam-democracy.org

The Open Letter to President Obama has been signed by more than 1,500 scholars and pro-democracy activists.

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