Islam and Democracy Conference
For two days, the seventh conference for Islamic and democratic studies was held in Washington D.C., it was attended by several American university professors and students of politics and human rights activists such as Sa`d Ad-din Al-Othmani Secretary of the Moroccan Party of Justice and Development, Prof. Abd Al-Aziz Shadina, Prof. in Virginia University and Prof. Asmaa Asfordin Professor of Notrdim University it also was supposed that Amr Hmazaway, the researcher in Carnegie institution would attend but he did not come for some reasons.
Speakers tackled several topics as the paper presented by Prof. Meriam Night titled “facing the real enemy, a new Islamic dissertation to fight corruption”. Mrs. Night is an American lady who lived for a while in Cairo and worked as a Professor in Cairo University before she came as a visiting professor in New York University. It seems that her stay in Egypt imparted upon her a marvelous sense of humor and courage to vocalize verses of the Arabic poem that the Arabic speakers themselves would find it hard to say.
Meriam concluded her paper saying that the level of corruption in the Egyptian community is very high and it is not only testified in the political area but the public are having their share from corruption as well. She gave an example when she was waiting for one of her friends at metro station for three hours then she decided to count the number of people who do not pay the tickets and she found that one person from five does not pay the ticket and this included all community layers, men women and young people. After she concluded her paper and answered the questions directed to her, I asked her to give us the paper to the web site “Masrion Bela hodud” and she agreed so I happily thanked her.
Wa`il Nawarah, Al-Ghad party, presented another paper in which he explained the reinterpretation of Islam as a mean to bridge between cultures. His engineering study was reflected upon his speech, he used so many figures that saved so much time. Luckily, because the organizers insisted to sticking to specified and given time to each speaker.
The thing that caught my attention is the experience he went through in Al-Ghad party specifically on the election campaigns and in their tours with people, they found that their election program is liberal while the public majority tend to have more Islamic inclinations so they modified the election program after few campaigns to add the Islamic features.
The most creative research that was presented in the conference was a paper from a twenty-two years old student from Davidson University in North Carolina State that impressed the attendance. This paper was titled Democratic Muslims, an evaluation for the democratic commitment of Muslim parties. The creativity in this research was in the standards he laid to confirm the commitment of the active Islamic movements and parties to democracy principles both on the long and near past. At the end of the conference, I congratulated him for his interesting paper and he promised me to send me the paper by e-mail to post it on the website.
The most controversial speeches and the merciless questions were for the American ministry of foreign affairs envoy who is in charge for north of Africa who spoke about the role of the American foreign affairs to push the wheel of democracy and incite the dictatorial systems in the world and give a bigger chance to opposition.
After the guest finished his speech one of the Egyptians asked him a question, he said how you claim of prevailing democracy and in the same time give more than two billions to Mubarak, the Egyptian dictator?
After the guest concluded his speech, I talked to him in the attendance of Prof. Al Masmudy, head of the institution of Islamic Democratic Studies, if the American foreign affairs agreed on the inheritance of presidency in Egypt. He replied saying that they assert that what is published about that issue is only propaganda they make, we also talked about the president’s son’s visits to the congress and many other things I can not discuss now for lack of time.
The conference ended which was an awesome chance to be acquainted with new concepts and views in addition to meeting new people Muslims and non-Muslims gathered by their love to all humanity.