As you know all too well, nearly every corner of the Muslim world is in crisis – plagued by violence, corruption, poverty, and injustice. Extremists on both sides of the political spectrum tell us Islam and Muslims are incompatible with peace, justice, and democratic ideals.
It is not enough that we decry these lies about our faith, nor contribute to crisis relief efforts to aid our suffering brothers and sisters; we must also work together with a strategic vision to promote stability and just governance in the Muslim world. Wherever we turn throughout the Muslim world, corrupt rulers and oppressive regimes are the root causes of the challenges we face, from poverty and income inequality to poor education, inadequate health care systems, and radicalism.
The Center for the Study of Islam & Democracy (CSID) has developed a proven, three-part framework towards solving this endemic problem, backed by research and years of on-the-ground work promoting good governance in the Muslim world:
First, we develop and implement research, training materials, and citizenship workshops on consultation, justice, and good governance in Islam across over 20 Muslim countries from Malaysia to Nigeria to Morocco. We use these materials to run political organizing trainings all over the Muslim world. Using our one-of-a-kind training manual called “Islam and Democracy – Towards an Effective Citizenship,” we have trained over 20,000 political, civil society, and religious leaders, young and old, in workshops focused on the compatibility of Islam and democracy, human rights, citizenship, and peaceful resolution of conflicts.
Second, we bring together stakeholders in Muslim countries to mediate conflicts and build consensus-based solutions for their communities. In 2006, we brought together Saudi religious scholars from across the kingdom in a conference on ‘Islam and Democracy’ – the first of its kind in Saudi history. In 2012-2013, during the Tunisian constitution drafting process, CSID brought together political and civil society representatives to discuss the most contentious sections – sometimes even a single word – of successive drafts and developed recommendations for consensus-driven solutions, leading to the first popularly-adopted Arab constitution.
Third, we urge Western governments to withdraw their support for oppressive rulers and to instead support grassroots movements for change, equality, and social justice, a prerequisite for stability and development in Muslim countries. Alongside friends and allies, we urged Congress and policymakers to open inquiries into aid given to the Egyptian government annually and significantly lower the annual military aid to Egypt as a direct consequence of the 2013 military coup d’etat that overthrew the democratically-elected government.
CSID is not a lobbying firm. Lobbying can achieve some quick wins, but in the long run, it does not work as the opponents of democracy can always outspend us. Instead, we are an educational 501-c-3 non-profit organization (tax-deductible), and we focus on the more important and strategic work of educating Americans policymakers on the dangers of supporting oppressive regimes in the Middle East, and on the absolute compatibility between Islamic values and democratic principles.
For the past 23 years, the Center for the Study of Islam & Democracy (CSID) has been working tirelessly in the United States and around the world to replace corruption with transparency, injustice with accountability, and dictatorship with democracy. We are one of the few Muslim organizations that has been working directly and strategically with government officials and policy-makers for decades to promote just governance in the Muslim world and help shape American foreign policy accordingly. Among our many accomplishments, we have:
- Organized 100’s of consensus-building conferences to build bridges between rival political parties across 20 Muslim countries and 4 continents, including successful sessions that led directly to the adoption of Tunisia’s first democratic constitution.
- Trained tens of thousands of citizens and religious leaders on good governance in Islam using our award-winning manual “Islam and Democracy – Towards an Effective Citizenship.”
- Lobbied and advised governments and civil society organizations in the United States and Europe to end political and financial assistance to dictators and support the democratic aspirations of the Arab and Muslim worlds.
- Hosted 20 Annual Conferences in Washington, DC, attended by politicians, policy-makers, and academics from around the world and including Keynote addresses by Senator Chris Murphy, Congressman Keith Ellison, Ambassador William Taylor, Carl Gershman, John Esposito, William Burns, Rached Ghannouchi, Saadeddine Ibrahim, Jamal Khashoggi, Ambassador Rashad Hussain, Reza Aslan, Paula J. Dobriansky, Shirin Ebadi, Anwar Ibrahim, Lorne Craner, and many more.
The Biden Administration has promised to make supporting democracy all over the world a priority. Unfortunately, it has continued to support tyrannical regimes in the Muslim World. This campaign will go directly towards empowering and strengthening our DC team with the core mission of holding the Biden Administration to its promise. If the rising dictatorship, populism, and islamophobia are normalized, beyond the damage already done by the previous administration, hope will then truly be extinguished. Our faith commands that we stand against that.
To continue CSID’s important mission, we need YOUR help! CSID is a 501-c-3 non-profit organization, and we rely heavily on the kind support of community members like you to function both in the U.S. and around the world. All of your donations are 100% tax deductible, and any amount is greatly appreciated.
Thank you for taking the time to read this message, and may we all see better days soon.