IIThe Conquest ofMuslim Hearts and Minds?
Stephen Philip Cohen
Project Co Convenor
Project Co-Convenor The Brookings Project on U.S.Policy Towards the Islamic World
is designed to respond to some ofthe most difficultchallenges that the United States will face in the coming years,most particularly how to prosecute the continuingwar on global terrorism and radicalism while still promoting positive relations with Muslim states and com-munities.A key part ofthe Project is the production ofWorking Papers written by outside scholars and visitorsthat discuss significant issues that affect American policy towards the Islamic world.In the last two years,the level ofattention paid to such challenges as supporting reform and improving U.S.publicdiplomacy has skyrocketed and a wave ofnew policy initiatives have been launched.However,while revived U.S.interestin engaging with the Muslim world is a welcome development,the efforts have met with much criticism on the receivingend ofthe dialogue,in areas ranging from attacks on their style and direction to their substance and strategy.In seeking to understand this disconnect,it is useful to examine the issue from various perspectives,most particu-larly looking at the issue from outside the Washington vantage point.As such,we are pleased to present
TheConquest ofMuslim Hearts and Minds? Perspectives on U.S.Reform and Public Diplomacy Strategies
by AbdelwahabEl-Affendi.A noted thinker and commentator,originally from Sudan,Dr.El-Affendi is co-ordinator oftheDemocracy and Islam Programme at the University ofWestminster in London.In exploring how to win Muslimhearts and minds at a critical time in history,he deftly examines the connection between an earnest and sinceredemocratic reform strategy and a successful public diplomacy campaign.In turn,he raises the deeper complica-tions that underlie both strategies and affect U.S.credibility in particularly the Middle East,and the broaderMuslim world.We appreciate his contribution to the Project’s work and certainly are proud to share his views onthis important issue with the wider public.We are also grateful for the generosity and cooperation ofthe Carnegie Corporation,the Education forEmployment Foundation,the Ford Foundation,Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories,the MacArthurFoundation,the Government ofQatar,the United States Institute ofPeace,Haim Saban,and the BrookingsInstitution for their backing ofvarious Project’s activities.We would also like to acknowledge the hard work of Rabab Fayad,Elina Noor,and ArifRafiq for their support ofthe Project’s publications.