Friday, May 25, 2007

Exclusive: The Ideological Challenge of the 21st Century

From James J.F. Forest, Ph.D. at The Family Security Foundation

Our challenge is thus to communicate and demonstrate a commitment to providing justice and human security to all mankind. An abstract “democratic freedom” – which we push for in some countries (like Russia and China) and not others (like Egypt or Saudi Arabia) – does not always mobilize people in the way that we may think it should ... Democratization should surely remain a pillar of our foreign policy, but we must also place greater emphasis on issues of responsible local governance and security, as well as common principles of justice – regardless of whether the providers of these are democratic or not. Overall, reducing the appeal and legitimacy of the Salafi-Jihad ideology of al Qaida requires a concerted effort beyond the military realm. We must shape the global environment in a manner that will constrain the resonance of al Qaida’s ideology.

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