In the intervening years before the Bush administration committed political and national capital in promoting Democracy in Iraq through invasion, President Bush spent many personal hours with two distinct men, discussing Islam, Medieval Islam and the intrinsic cultural receptivity Islam has toward Democracy. Those two men were Dr. Fouad Ajami from the Johns Hopkins University in Washington D.C., and Dr. Bernard Lewis Professor Emeritus at Princeton. Both men ardently argued that Islam can indeed assimilate modernity.
Both intellectuals knew a deadly truth about the status of their own disciplines: they were defunct! The Middle Eastern Studies of America had been hijacked and purged by disciples of Edward Said from Columbia University. Both Dr. Ajami and Lewis fervently believed that if American Presidents were going to succeeded in their endeavor to have Islam engage modernity, then America must have worthy Islamic experts. The discipline itself was run by passionate ideologues committed to explicating and defending Third World biases by defending the radical racial, cultural apologists of ideologues from the region. This dominated the decline of a once formidable discipline. This is recounted by Dr. Martin Kramer in his ‘Ivory Towers On Sand: The Failure Of Middle Eastern Studies In America’.
This ideological transformation had huge geopolitical and cultural consequence, it was the stimulant that gave both Ajami and Lewis the impetus to create a rival national and international association, one that would quickly eclipse (MESA: Middle Eastern Studies Association.)
For Dr. Ajami and Lewis, any member who sought publication and status within the emerging new association must reveal his/her political and ideological commitments prior to publication. Dr. Lewis and Ajami were aware of the three false ideals that dominated the left in departments of political science, sociology and international relations, the very ideals that destroyed MESA: the false belief in Western racism, American Imperialism and Israeli Zionism.
The new organization was named ‘The Association for the Study of Middle East and Africa’ (ASMEA). The inaugural conference was held in Washington D.C. in 2008.
ASMEAscholars.org is the webpage to source both the inaugural articles and affiliate scholars worthy of study.
It is men like Dr. Fouad Ajami and Bernard Lewis that have saved this great Republic in committing themselves to the ideals of a humanism which views liberty as a gift from God. A gift that must be strengthened through rigorous study, prayer and the recognition that conscience alone is the sanctuary where man discerns the movement of GOD!