April 29, 2003

WHO IS Noah Feldman, and

WHO IS Noah Feldman, and why should you care? The BBC explains:

Noah Feldman, a law professor from New York University, will be advising the future Iraqi interim authority on how to design a new constitution.

He will be working for retired US general Jay Garner - Iraq's interim leader - in the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance.

He told BBC News Online that in his view the US should support democracy in Iraq even if it was a not a secular democracy.

Judging by some of Colin Powell's recent remarks on "democratic Islam", Feldman may have some influence among the influential. Which is a concern, as retired blogger Diana Moon points out via e-mail, because Feldman is ... well, let's allow his opinions to speak for themselves:

Feldman laughs at the cliché that Islamists are medievalists. On the contrary, he argues, Islamic parties stress clean government, social welfare and economic equality.

And from his book, After Jihad:

In nearly every Muslim country, however, there are voices today calling for greater democracy. Remarkably, the loudest voices are often those of Islamists, activists who believe that "Islam is the solution" to all problems in politics and private life alike. The Islamists' call for democratic change in the Muslim world marks a fundamental shift in their strategy.

This guy merits close observation.

Posted by Tim Blair at April 29, 2003 03:05 AM