Reflections- Souheila Al-Jadda: Policy Removed From Politics

President Obama has won a second term and people may have felt that he had not achieved enough during his first term.  It is important to remember that President Obama had his hands tied in his first term because of the Republican majority in the House refused to cooperate with him. Even in that environment he delivered on health care reform, a major political coup and one that benefits all Americans.

Americans should expect that President Obama’s second term will be much different than his first term given the political bi-partisanship in Congress and the Republican majority in the House.

Given that environment, President Obama will likely be more active on foreign policy issues, especially with regards to Syria and the Middle East without engaging us in any other military entanglements.

Thus far, the US has been pretty hands off with the move toward democracy in the Middle East.  Which may be a good because the people of the region need to determine their own destiny.  Where the American Muslim community can play an active role is to make sure that American foreign polity is geared toward providing assistance in building their democracy.

Given that the process of change is not over, as witnessed by developments in Jordan, our policy stance will have an impact on how the rest of the people in the Middle East will perceive the US stance if they choose to make demands for certain rights and freedoms, particularly people in Saudi Arabia.

Read other perspectives here.

Souheila Al-Jadda is a senior editor at The Islamic Monthly and a member of USA TODAY’s Board of Contributors.

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