The United States is altering its foreign policy, engaging with Islamic political parties that once were judged unfriendly to U.S. interests.
The fact that Islamic parties have won elections in Egypt and other countries has caused the United States to change its strategy.
Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood was elected president of Egypt last month. Tunisia is led by the Islamist party Ennahda, and Islamist groups hold much power in Libya as well.
While the George W. Bush administration viewed the Brotherhood as a hostile ideological force, notes James Phillips of the Heritage Foundation in USA Today, President Barack Obama believes he can work with the group politically.
Lets hope so. Shadi Hamid of the Brookings Doha Center in Qatar, said: From a U.S. perspective, we have no choice but to deal with the Muslim Brotherhood. I dont see what the alternative is.
The problem is that some Islamist groups oppose Western ideals of governance, seek to establish strict Islamic justice, are hostile to Israel and may seek conflict with the West.
On the other hand, they may act differently when in power.
The United States is banking on that possibility while remaining watchful on how these situations progress.
But the U.S. strategy is changing.