At a Pentagon meeting in 2002, a Muslim official from an Asian country observed that there were nearly as many Muslim citizens of India as of Pakistan, yet it was virtually unheard of that an Indian Muslim would join al Qaeda, while many Pakistanis had done so. Why? Because India is free and democratic, he asserted.
His point was not that democracy is a cure-all, but that the problem of terrorism cannot be solved by military or law-enforcement means alone. In other words, it is also crucial to confront the challenge at the level of ideas: to counter extremist teachings, and to promote democratic reforms with the aim of undermining the appeal of extremist Islamism.
Sunday, December 07, 2008
India Is a Key Ally in the War on Terror