MOSLEMS OF RUSSIA CRITICIZE U.S. ADMINISTRATION'S WIDER MIDDLE EAST DOCTRINE

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MOSCOW, June 22 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Moslem Spiritual Board has criticized the U.S. Administration's Wider Middle East doctrine as an attempt "to impose the American reading of democracy on the Islamic world."

In a statement issued Tuesday, Russia's Moslem Spiritual Board is expressing concern over the plans to impose the American interpretation of democracy on the Islamic world and over attempts to build a uni-polar world order, completely disregarding the opinion of the world community and the international law.

The past few decades have seen persistent attempts [on the part of the United States] to remake Oriental Moslem nations in line with its own vision for democracy and world order and its own reading of the Almighty's laws. The newly-developed Wider Middle East doctrine is fully consistent with this policy, the Moslem Spiritual Board notes in its statement.

Spiritual leaders of Russia's Moslem community remind to the West that Mideastern states are ruled by strong governments. They point out that "the region has its cultural peculiarities, its centuries-old history, and its deeply ingrained traditions of governance and public life, which are alien to the Western mentality. Democracy, too, is about the free will of peoples, isn't it?"

The political patterns imposed by the West won't be able to adequately fit in with the Middle East's Islamic society. They will only cause legitimate resentment and may stoke anti-Western and anti-American sentiment, Russia's Moslem Spiritual Board warns.

The Middle East does not want a Western-style democracy imposed from the outside. If they really seek to help, Western nations should act in accordance with the region's needs rather than their own interests, Russian Moslem leaders point out.

They warn that unilateral efforts to forcibly democratize the Mideast are fraught with new upheavals and with unpredictable escalation of tensions across the world.

The Russia's Moslem Spiritual Board condemns the mistreatment of prisoners by American officers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"Does the Moslem world really need a democracy in which the state, seeing itself as the stronghold of democracy, continuously infringes on human rights, national sovereignty, and tenets of Islam?"

As the Board points out in its statement, the Moslems account for nearly a quarter of the world's population, currently at 6 billion. It concludes by calling on the adherents of Islam to live in peace, to endure hardships with dignity, and to display perseverance.

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