29 January 2015
A CALL for the West to form an alliance with Muslim states to fight radicalism and terrorism is strategically sound and timely, amid the high-profile carnage of Islamic extremists from Europe to Africa to Asia over the past two months. European Union foreign affairs minister Federica Mogherini noted that “terrorism and terrorist attacks are targeting most of all Muslims in the world”. References to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, Boko Haram in Nigeria and the Taleban in Pakistan, however, provide just one dimension of the harm being wreaked on Muslim societies elsewhere too.
That also comes in the form of the rising influence of Salafi doctrines, partly due to the Middle East-trained ulamas in a position to shape religious affairs policy in government agencies. Nanyang Technological University Professor Barry Desker believes this lies at the root of the “Allah” usage controversy in Malaysia and the blocking of permits for new churches and temples in certain areas in Indonesia. “The greater risk is that governments in these Muslim-majority states may attempt to outflank Islamist opposition by adopting their programmes, undermining the region’s reputation for religious moderation,” he rightly noted.
RSIS / Online / Print
Last updated on 29/01/2015