Tuesday, May 09, 2006

More, Please

Dr. Ahmed Abaddi is Morocco’s Director of Islamic Affairs and senior advisor to King Mohammed VI. Last week, he paid a visit to Washington.
Topping his agenda were under-the-radar peace talks with Israel, religious classes to teach Imams the history and virtues of the West, and dramatic new initiatives to build ties to Rabbis and evangelical Christians.
“We need our people to know the real West…to understand that the West ain’t no angel, but it ain’t no demon either,” Abaddi said, attempting a Western accent, at a private dinner in a Washington, D.C., suburb last week. “[This effort] is not a luxury. We are not being pressured to do it. We are trying to train responsible people to live in dangerous times.”

“Our world is threatening to destroy itself,” he noted, citing apocalyptic rhetoric coming out of Tehran, Iran’s nuclear program, radical Islamic terrorism, AIDS, and severe global poverty. “Morocco can help bring about peace. I think the Moroccan model is practical and helpful. It communicates an entirely different concept of Islam to the rest of the world….I personally can’t sit back and do nothing. After all, there is an Arab proverb that says, ‘Don’t be a mute Satan.’ I feel compelled to do everything I can to make a better world.”