An Open Letter to President Barack Obama



[To sign; for recent news releases on Egypt from the Institute for Public Accuracy]

Dear President Obama:

As political scientists, historians, and researchers in related fields who have studied the Middle East and U.S. foreign policy, we the undersigned believe you have a chance to move beyond rhetoric to support the democratic movement sweeping over Egypt. As citizens, we expect our president to uphold those values.

For thirty years, our government has spent billions of dollars to help build and sustain the system the Egyptian people are now trying to dismantle. Tens if not hundreds of thousands of demonstrators in Egypt and around the world have spoken. We believe their message is bold and clear: Mubarak should resign from office and allow Egyptians to establish a new government free of his and his family’s influence. It is also clear to us that if you seek, as you said Friday “political, social, and economic reforms that meet the aspirations of the Egyptian people,” your administration should publicly acknowledge those reforms will not be advanced by Mubarak or any of his adjutants.

There is another lesson from this crisis, a lesson not for the Egyptian government but for our own. In order for the United States to stand with the Egyptian people it must approach Egypt through a framework of shared values and hopes, not the prism of geostrategy. On Friday you rightly said that “suppressing ideas never succeeds in making them go away.” For that reason we urge your administration to seize this chance, turn away from the policies that brought us here, and embark on a new course toward peace, democracy and prosperity for the people of the Middle East. And we call on you to undertake a comprehensive review of US foreign policy on the major grievances voiced by the democratic opposition in Egypt and all other societies of the region.

Jason Brownlee, University of Texas at Austin [To sign] Joshua Stacher, Kent State University
Tamir Moustafa, Simon Fraser University
Arang Keshavarzian, New York University
Clement Henry, University of Texas at Austin
Robert Springborg, Naval Postgraduate School
Jillian Schwedler, University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Noam Chomsky, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Chris Toensing, Middle East Research and Information Project
Joel Beinin, Stanford University
Ellen Lust, Yale University
Tarek Massoud, Harvard University
Amaney Jamal, Princeton University
Helga Tawil-Souri, New York University
Anne Mariel Peters, Wesleyan College
Gregory White, Smith College
Asef Bayat, University of Illinois
Diane Singerman, American University
Cathy Lisa Schneider, American University
Robert Vitalis, University of Pennsylvania
Ahmet T. Kuru San Diego State University
Toby Jones, Rutgers University
Lara Deeb, Scripps College
Michaelle Browers, Wake Forest University
Mark Gasiorowski, Louisiana State University
Samer Shehata, Georgetown University
Farideh Farhi, University of Hawai’i at Mānoa
Emad Shahin, University of Notre Dame
John P. Entelis, Fordham University
Tamara Sonn, College of William & Mary
Ali Mirsepassi, New York University
Kumru Toktamis, Pratt Institute
Rebecca C. Johnson, Northwestern University
Nader Hashemi, University of Denver
Carlene J. Edie, University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Laryssa Chomiak, University of Maryland
Mohamed Nimer, American University
Steven Heydemann, Georgetown University
Miriam Lowi, The College of New Jersey
Wendy Pearlman, Northwestern University
Hesham Sallam, Georgetown University
Melani Cammett, Brown University
Michael Robbins, University of Michigan
Katherine E. Hoffman, Northwestern University
Asli Bali, UCLA School of Law
Hamid Dabashi, Columbia University
Guilain Denoeux, Colby College
Tom Farer, University of Denver
Norma Claire Moruzzi, University of Illinois at Chicago
Saad Eddin Ibrahim, American University of Cairo & Drew University
Asma Barlas, Ithaca College
Ethel Brooks, Rutgers University
Maren Milligan, Oberlin College
Alan Gilbert, Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver
Glenn Robinson, Naval Postgraduate School
Ahmed Ragab, Harvard University
Kenneth M. Cuno, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Agnieszka Paczynska, George Mason University
Zillah Eisenstein, Ithaca College
Quinn Mecham, Middlebury College
Riahi Hamida, Faculty of Arts and Human Sciences Sousse Tunisia
Jeannie Sowers, University of New Hampshire
Hussein Banai, Brown University
Joel Gordon, University of Arkansas-Fayetteville
Ed Webb, Dickinson College
David Siddhartha Patel, Cornell University
Thomas Pierret, Princeton University
Nadine Naber, University of Michigan
As`ad AbuKhalil, California State University at Stanislaus
Dina Al-Kassim, University of California at Irvine
Ziad Fahmy, Cornell University
William B. Quandt, University of Virginia
Lori A. Allen, University of Cambridge
Eugene Sensenig-Dabbous, Notre Dame University Lebanon
Alfred G. Gerteiny, University of Connecticut (ret.)
Lucia Volk, San Francisco State University
Anne Marie Baylouny, Naval Postgraduate School
Ulrika Mårtensson, The Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Emma Deputy, University of Texas at Austin
Sherry Lowrance, University of Georgia
Kaveh Ehsani, DePaul University
Ebrahim Moosa, Duke University
Benjamin N. Schiff, Oberlin College
Jeff Goodwin, New York University
Margaret Scott, New York University (adjunct)
Mehrzad Boroujerdi, Syracuse University
Kevin M. DeJesus, York University, Toronto
Courtney C. Radsch, American University
Gamze Cavdar, Colorado State University
John F. Robertson, Central Michigan University
Amir Niknejad, College of Mount Saint Vincent
Mehdi Noorbaksh, Harrisburg University of Science and Technology
Anthony Tirado Chase, Occidental College
Russell E. Lucas, Florida International University
Ariel Saizmann, Queen’s University
Patrick Kane, Clatsop Community College
Behrooz Moazami, Loyola University New Orleans
Anthony Shenoda, Scripps College
Mark Allen Peterson, Miami University
Amel Ahmed, University of Massachusetts-Amherst
Ilana Feldman, George Washington University
Marwan M. Kraidy, University of Pennsylvania
Mohamad Daadaoui, Oklahoma City University
Sidney Tarrow, Cornell University
Nathalie Peutz, New York University Abu Dhabi
Kamran Rastegar, Tufts University
Najib Ghadbian, University of Arkansas
Mojtaba Mahdavi, University of Alberta, Canada
Stefanie Nanes, Hofstra University
Rochelle Davis, Georgetown University
Zeinab Abul-Magd, Oberlin College
Stephen Zunes, University of San Francisco
Andrea Teti, University of Aberdeen
Denise M. Walsh, University of Virginia
Frances S. Hasso, Duke University
Waad El Hadidy, New York University
Elliot Colla, Georgetown University
Monika Halkort, Queen’s University
Sonia Alvarez, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Christa Salamandra, City University of New York
Shirin Saeidi, Cambridge University
Shiera Malik, DePaul University
Steve Tamari, Southern Illinois University
Sean Yom, Temple University
Ali Banuazizi, Boston College
Sinan Antoon, New York University
Moustafa Bayoumi, City University of New York
Jennifer Derr, Bard College
Mirjam Künkler, Princeton University Wilson
Jacob, Concordia University, Montreal
Alan Mikhail, Yale University
Narges Erami, Yale University
Gwenn Okruhlik, Trinity University
Pete Moore, Case Western Reserve University
Max Weiss, Princeton University
Margaret Susan Thompson, Syracuse University
Sarah Shields, University of North Carolina
Sonia Alcarez, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Roberto Alejandro, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Manal Jamal, James Madison University
Jason Stearns, New York University
Nicholas Xenos, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Rebecca Hopkins, University of Texas Austin
John Calvert, Creighton University
Nir Rosen, New York University
Ian Lustik, University of Pennsylvania
Steve Niva, The Evergreen State University
Michael C. Hudson, Georgetown University and National University of Singapore
Shane Minkin, Swarthmore College
Feisal Mohamed, University of Illinois
Ahmed Kamel Khattab, Free University Berlin
Benjamin Simuin, University of Utah
Stephen Engelmann, University of Illinois at Chicago
Stacy Fahrenthold, Northeastern University
Sondra Hale, UCLA
Nicole Watts, San Francisco State University
Stacey Philbrick Yadav, Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Alan Fisher, Michigan State University
Laurie King-Irani, Georgetown University
Gary Fields, UC San Diego

Institutional affiliations are listed for identification purposes only. Views reflected in this letter are those of the individual signatories.