Archive for the ‘Indonesia’ Category

The New US Approach to Intra-Islamic Struggles

October 29, 2009

In a recent blog, Marc Lynch (aka Abu Aardvark) discusses the new US approach to intra-Islamic struggles, citing the case of Indonesia as an example(http://lynch.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2009/10/25/the_indirect_approach_in_indonesia). He compares the new hands-off policy towards religious arguments between Muslims to that of the Bush administration, which aggressively attempted to promote moderate versions of Islam, and argues that the Obama way is more effective.

The US has little ability to directly boost the position of moderates within the Islamic world. The most efficacious way to combat extremism is to pursue policies that benefit Muslims around the world rather than alienate them, such as promoting the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and avoiding being perceived as occupiers in Muslim countries.

The actions of extremists will also influence the debate. Suicide bombings by Al Qaeda and its affiliates which kill innocent men, women and children will likely reduce the level of support for violent jihadists, which the public backlash against the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Pakistan following recent attacks demonstrates.

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