FMC Blog: Free Speech Zone


By Kamal Nawash

These are new and exciting times in the Middle East and North Africa. The world has witnessed two nonviolent revolutions in Tunis and Egypt that brought down two powerful leaders in a matter of days. Other countries are experiencing similar calls for change and in the case of Libya, the call for change has turned deadly.

As was the case during the uprising in Egypt, many Americans requested the U.S. government to actively side with the demonstrators or those who want change. This is a MISTAKE. The U.S. should NOT attempt to influence the outcome in the changes taking place in the various Arab Countries.

To the extent that change occurs in Arab governments, it should be organic without any interference from outside powers. The United States is not popular in any Arab country. This is due to decades of American involvement in the Arab world that includes the Iraq war, Arab/Israeli conflict and numerous other strategic decisions taken by the United States since WWII. Consequently, any liberation or freedom movement that receives overt help from the United States will be delegitimized in the eyes of the people they are trying to liberate. This is why the Libyan rebels, who are desperate for help, specifically said they don't want American military involvement on the ground. The rebels know that if the U.S. joins the battle on their side, the rebels will lose most of their support from the Libyan people.

For the most part, the U.S. should be on the sidelines in the call for change in the Middle East. The U.S. can play an indirect role, however. One of the reasons that People like Qadaffi refuse to step down from power is because doing so could mean suicide. Qadaffi has nowhere to go and if he stays in Libya after stepping down, he will be killed, jailed or humiliated. The U.S. should sincerely suggest a way out for Qaddafi and other leaders who find themselves in the same predicament. It is not enough for a U.S. president to tell Qaddafi to leave Libya as Obama has done. The U.S. should try to convince rebels in Libya and the global community in general to guaranty Qaddafi's safety and provide him with immunity from future prosecution from any country. If such an offer was on the table then leaders such as Qaddafi of Libya and President Saleh of Yemen may seriously consider stepping down from power.

Any leader who faces danger to his life and his family's life is likely to fight to the end. The world would be better off by offering leaders like Qaddafi a safe and comfortable retirement.

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For More information contact Kamal Nawash at the Free Muslims Coalition:;; 202-776-7190

Posted March 15, 2011 by Kamal Nawash


I agree 100%. Well stated Kamal.

Send a copy to Mr.O'reilly and Anderson Cooper.

Posted March 17, 2011 by Amistretta

Mr. Nawash's column is ridiculous: That's just too bad he and most of the rest of the Arab world resent Israel and resent the U.S. relationship with Israel. Arab countries should be half as educated, free, democratic and advanced as Israel. There isn't an Arab country worth living in unless you are the ruling class -- and you won't be knifed or blown up and you're not a female or gay. Don't give us the "Israel" lie. Get over it and get civilized yourselves -- for a change.
As for Libya, we shouldn't get involved because there is no evidence that the "rebels" are any more civilized than Ghaddafi. In fact, they may be worse. There is no evidence the religious fanatics won't take over.
Mr. Nawash's column is intellectual jihad and I'm no fooled.

Posted March 18, 2011 by Jarrow

What we, the US, do or do not do should never be based on some Liberal statement about the state of public opinion in a foriegn country, or even world opinion. It should ALWAYS be based (just as are own individual actions) on what is RIGHT and soundly moral.

As is so typical of Liberals, you do not consider the right/wrong of course of action, but rather just state time worn Liberal crap about the evils of US foreign policy without supporting your biased claims.

Having lived and visited in many Arab countries I know your statements to be false. Having worked in the US intelligence community I also know history and the lies that people like you try to perpetuate which do not stand in the light of facts.

Sadly, the time has pasted that we may have been the most help, even though ultimately the Libyian people must pay the price of freedom themselves if they wish to keep it.

Better take some history lessons!

Posted March 18, 2011 by Patrick Waugh

Leadership problems are also a key part of the problem in the region.

You piece was a shocking display of reality disconnection which makes the situation even more depressing,
like of choice between which verison of incompetent leadership would you like to have. "You are free to choose'.

With the kind of thinking in your op ed free Muslims are under a double threat, as we are with poor leadership here in the States.

Leaders involved in the destruction of their people's families should expect appropriate punishment. And those guilty of crimes against their people should reap what they are due,
including so called US allies. There is no deterence in effect at the top. Some it needed.

What were you suggesting here, that the UN crimes investigations just be ignored or revoked?? Why not have a Nuremberg type level of prosecutions in Libya?

Posted March 18, 2011 by Jim Dean

You mean that people like Qaddafi should get away with the uncontrollable killing of his people? His sons too? What type of message does this give other warlords?

Posted March 18, 2011 by Sonbolo

I agree Kamal. We haven't the right, nor are we welcomed to get involved. It is admirable that non violent change has occurred in two countries, but I believe that our Ugly American image can only worsen if we send in the airforce

Posted March 18, 2011 by Karen

Qadaffi doesn't deserve "a way out." He deserves the fate of Saddam.

Posted March 18, 2011 by Espmore


That's a great suggestion, I've written similar to it

Posted March 18, 2011 by Mike Ghouse

The US should refrain from military involvement in Libya because we have done more then our share and its time for some of the other "Western" nations to step up to the plate.
That said, as far as I am concerned, the "Arab world" can continue disliking us all they please. We do not exist for their indulgence. M.E. Arab people are (mainly) like most other people. However, their tradition of centralized and absolute political and religious power has de-evolutionized this culture to the brink of complete disfunctionality. The only thing they manage to do totally right is pump oil. Sadly, this singular attribute is strategically momentous enough to have created a "movie star" atmosphere and advanced their perceived value to the point where the world (wrongly) thinks that everyone else is victimizing them. There is a reason why many of the news programs have actively compared Mumar Quaddafi with Charley Sheen. If not for the oil, most of the world would not care one molecule about them and their self-inflicted wounds.

Posted March 18, 2011 by Trollstein


I completely agree with your piece here.

One question (not from idle debate, but with sincere dialogue to see you have pondered this). I will commit to this advocacy. This is why I need the rest of your thoughts.)

1. Does there need to be a time frame, or else this "safe passage" "expires?"
2. What is the plan if/when a Qadaffi "fails to meet the conditions of the "protection-guaranty," and perhaps steps up massacres and brutality?

Thanks very much

Posted March 18, 2011 by Frank

PS> Quadaffi needs a "safe passage" to a firing-squad. (He and Saddam can then sit around in hell throwing shoes at each other.)

Posted March 18, 2011 by Trollstein

Dear Kamal
Yes, it's all reasonable realpolitik, but the no fly zone (including, in a liberal interpretation of the UNSC Resolution, all aerial travelling means, as UAV's, helicopters, planes, missiles, rockets and even howitzer grenades) is a step in another direction: impeaching tyrants to kill their people in peace, and without world watch or attention.
I am not saying the NFZ is good or bad. It just is. And it will create new facts on the ground.
On a final note: let's also not forget the difference between the Egyptian amry, that didn't react in anger (to discuss why takes us to another fields), and the Libyan Gaddafi units, that made a street demonstration turn into an armed self defense mechanism, and after into an armed civilian essay at revolt (revolution is another thing, but revolts can turn into revolutions), with the bizarre -for some- and exhilarating -for others- view of limousines, jeeps, scooters, trucks and other civilian vehicle columns, armed and ready to topple the symbols of power.

Regards (I am leaving for a lenghty tour of the whole region, so let's see)

Posted March 18, 2011 by Nuno

I understand most of you can't read but if you could it would be clear The USA is not in this alone. Real Americans don't want one drop of American blood spilled in Libya. Let them fight it out on their own. Who cares? We have lost too many young men in Iraq and Afghanistan for a bunch of barbarians. Let them blow themselves up and so much for the loss. Who cares? He is just another Sodamn Hussein and deserves the same fate if his people convict him. Remember 911!!!!! We do.

Posted March 18, 2011 by Tom

For the majority of Namal Kawash's post they are well thought out, and even though I come from a different ideology, and do not agree at the core of his writings, this post is by far his worst thought out. A killer like Gadahfi does not deserve anything but a hurried end to his and his families lives. You live by the sword of killing your own than you also must die by the same. One thing Mr. Kawash is correct on and that is any Western involvement. The Arab league has confirmed the need for a 'No fly zone", then let them take the risks and costs of implementing it. Enough blame is given to the west for nothing more than beleiving one ideology over antoher, the difference being; one is forced by its followers and one is either excepted of denied. Until 'muslims' world wide are able to disagree and question their rather unbelievable and unproven script they and the rest of the world will remain in peril and all for an obvious fabrication.

Posted March 18, 2011 by McGee

One thing does cause me concern.

If the US offered a way out for Qadaffi. What is to prevent Islamic revolutionaries from taking hostages or other drastic actions as in the case of Iran in 1979?

Posted March 18, 2011 by Walijan Abdul-Khaliq

Posted March 18, 2011 by Sal

Ish Alsheik Missed the point all together. If Saddam had a way out he may not have fought to the end Iraq could have been saved from the devastation and the killing of hundreds of thousands. I think Kamal Nawash hit the nail on the head. He has vision and so should you.

Posted March 18, 2011 by Omaish

There is no such thing as a free Muslim. Any human that is required to bow down to a higher power then themselves certainly is not free.

Muslims don't consider women as equals, though in truth women are closer to nature then men and men are required to learn from women and not deny them equality.

Posted March 18, 2011 by Hugh Krichmar

yes, its the dawning of another scenarior of political and diplomatic manouevres. is the fate of Sadam Hussein what awaits Gadafi? once again, the weaker states of the world have got a lesson to learn;those who dont learn from the experience of others, learn obligatorilly on their own experience. yes, the people of Lybia have got a voice, but what of those seen jubilating and asking for the continuation of Gadafi? dont they deserve the right to be heard also? Faisal Gadafi made an interesting revelation lat three days; that Sarkozy must reinburse Lybian money taken for his campaign. are there no experts to annalyse this and similar issues over the world leading media houses; France24, BBC, CNN and others as they have always done minute by minute on other issues like Japan nuclear crisis, Israeli family killing, insurgents' attack on Lybia, Bahrain and others? please, its time the world learn to understand how the media is a tool for dangerous meme and propaganda.Sarkozy, David Cameron and Hillary clinton have joint the Bush, Blair and Rumsfeild to make the world a dangerous place. i only pity Obama who can only sit and watch things happen without any power of action. i know he is already having sleepless nights on this issue and who knows......

Posted March 18, 2011 by buba dicko


You get this dead wrong, I am Libyans and born in Libya and I can tell you that majority of Libyans don't agree with you.

I don't think you have full information or knowledge of Libya nor Libyan life.


Posted March 19, 2011 by Hatem

Interesting viewpoint.

One think I've been wondering about is why we don't question who will replace Qadaffi. For all of his crimes in life, for the past decade he has been behaving himself. He volunteered his nuclear weapons program and exposed A Q Khan. So the question is, why does America want him out at this point? Will he be replaced by someone worse?

Posted March 19, 2011 by Co pilot

I think Kamal's intent with this article is pretty obvious. Offering Qadaffi a way out in a manner that guarantees his safety (pride, etc.) will ultimately save lives. The resentment towards him is understandable, but is gaining revenge against one man worth the ultimate sacrifice of so many others?

And it's about time to let France step-up to the plate.

Posted March 19, 2011 by Jamola

I Think Mr.Nawash's Artical is right on.America needs to stay out of this one and let someone eles deal with it.There are alot of IDOTS and uninformed people making comments so please stop! I am an Irish American that believes Israel is the blame for everything. I am one out of millions of Americans that stand against Israel and is for equality and peace. I have a few female arab friends and believe me they run and control their homes and husbands!!(Very Spoiled) For the fool that says arab woman are suppressed you must not have any arab friends or your a jew!! Peace and love forever :)

Posted March 19, 2011 by Amy

oops.....I meant article........this damn booze!

Posted March 19, 2011 by Anonymous

I have to disagree with you 100% on this one. The US and UN are only trying to help these people. Unlike Egypts' protests these in Libya are becoming man slaughter. Qadaffi is murdering his own people, which is totally unacceptable. He must be stopped.

Posted March 24, 2011 by Cayman

In the both country are Islamic country.Muslims don't consider women as equals, though in truth women are closer to nature then men and men are required to learn from women and not deny them equality.

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