The challenges faced by our nations oblige the intellectuals of all professions to adopt reasonable positions with regard to a number of urgent matters. We, liberal Arabs, issued an urgent appeal against the fanatical simplification of the matters pertaining to the region. We want to bring to an end the major appeals of great words such as “democracy” or “resistance” that so far have led to fragmentation and perpetuation of the defeat.
The liberalism that we adopted expresses our loyalty to the modern and visionary values and should not be seen as an expression of loyalty to the United States. It is true that we are inspired by the West. However, we do not forget the work of the sheikh Mohammed Abdu and his disciples. Neither have we forgotten that there have been governments from the West that have turned their backs on those values in the name of material benefits. A distinction between the ideas and their origin has to be made. Contrary to neoconservatives, we think that democracy is the completion of a project and not a starting point. We welcome the fall of dictators but foreign intervention is not the most appropriate way to achieve that.
Regardless of what might be considered about the Syrian regime, we cannot wish Damascus to experience what Baghdad did. We feel that the West should also recover its values, respect the law and turn its back on fundamentalism.
We condemn the statements supporting the martyrs as we condemn the violations of the rights of the Palestinians by Israel. We denounce the condemns against globalization when our region needs investments, but we also condemn the silence that surrounds the fate of the poorest. The Arabic countries should get interested in new ideas.

Al-Ahram (Egypt)

The liberalism we espouse”, by a group of Arabian intellectuals, Al Ahram, June 9, 2005.