The President of the Center for the Study of Islamic and Democracy (CSID) has written an editorial supporting developments in Tunisia and Egypt. According to the editorial written by Radawn Masmoudi,
It appears that opposition leaders have finally overcome their fears of the regime, and mistrust of each other, and are willing to work together for political and economic reforms. Tunisians, across the board, realize that prosperity for the majority of people, or economic development that benefits everyone, will not be possible without political reforms, a major clampdown on corruption, and a representative and accountable government that listens to the people, and protects their rights and interests. The rules of the game are changing. The interim government, or any future government, must pay close attention to public opinion and sentiments. The government has promised to legalize all political parties, and organize free and fair elections with international observers within six months. It has also promised to reform the political system to allow greater transparency and accountability. Government officials have been reminded that they are public servants. Let’s see if they can act the part. Having seen the success of people’s power in Tunisia, it is probable that other Arab populations will demand similar rights and reforms in the coming months and years. There were reports recently of self-immolation by people in Algeria, Egypt and Mauritania, hoping to be heard and to set their countries upon the same path as Tunisia. Arab leaders must reform or face their people. The genie of democratic change is out of the bottle.
CSID was founded in 1998 largely by the efforts of Georgetown University academic Dr. Esposito who during the 1990’s served in the State Department as a “foreign affairs analyst” and who has at least a dozen past or present affiliations with global Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas organizations. Many members of the early CSID board were associated with the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) the American Muslim Council, and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), all parts of the US Muslim Brotherhood. For example, past CSID board members included Jamal Barzinji and Taha Al-Alwani, both associated with IIIT and both important leaders in the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood who helped to establish many of the most important U.S. Brotherhood organizations. Antony Sullivan, the current CSID Vice-Chair, has many ties to U.S. Brotherhood groups including the Association of Muslim Social Scientists (AMSS), the United Association for Studies and Research (USAR), and the Circle of Tradition and Progress (COTP), a group whose other founding members included Youssef Qaradawi, the most important leader of the global Muslim Brotherhood. From its inception, CSID has argued that the U.S. government should support Islamist movements in foreign countries and has received financial support from the U.S. State Department, the National Endowment for Democracy and the United States Institute of Peace.