Terror oder Reform im Nahen und Mittleren Osten

Der brutale Bombenangriff in Madrid in der letzten Woche ist Teil einer Welle des Terrors, zu deren Opfern Christen wie Moslems zählen. Überall konzentriert sich derzeit die Debatte auf die beste Art und Weise, diese Form des Terrorismus zu bekämpfen, sowie auf die Bedeutung, die die so genannte „Greater Middle East Initiative", die nach dem Willen der Vereinigten Staaten im Juni von den G8 und der NATO gebilligt werden soll, in diesem Zusammenhang hat.

Ob die Initiative Zustimmung findet, ist unklar. Anders als führende europäische Politiker wie etwa der deutsche Außenminister Joschka Fischer klammern die USA in ihrer Initiative den israelisch-arabischen Konflikt aus; sie wollen sich einzig auf die sozialen und wirtschaftlichen Probleme konzentrieren, die in der islamischen Welt Extremismus und Terrorismus fördern.

Besorgnis über die Region besteht nicht erst seit den Angriffen in den USA im September 2001 oder den Bombenanschlägen von Madrid. Schon in den 1980er und 1990er Jahren leitete Europa den „Prozess von Barcelona" ein, um die Demokratie, Sicherheit und Entwicklung in der Region zu fördern. Damals wie heute gab es weit verbreitete Befürchtungen über die regionale Instabilität, wirtschaftliche Stagnation und soziale Rückständigkeit. Außerdem herrschte Sorge darüber, dass radikale Islamisten von dem zunehmenden Legitimitätsverlust der nationalistischen arabischen Regime profitieren würden - Befürchtungen, die durch den blutigen Bürgerkrieg in Algerien in den 1990er Jahren bestätigt wurden.

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