Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Reach Out to Muslim Moderates

by James Woolsey and Nina Shea from The Moscow Times

On the eve of his departure from office, Blair gave a television interview taking on those he once courted -- British Islamists who have been quick to level charges of Islamophobia: "The reason we are finding it hard to win this battle [against terror] is that we're not actually fighting it properly. We're not actually standing up to these people and saying, 'It's not just your methods that are wrong, your ideas are absurd. Nobody is oppressing you. Your sense of grievance isn't justified.' ... Some of what is written on this is loopy-loo in its extremism." Contrast this with the Bush administration's new approach. On June 27, Bush delivered his "Muslim Initiative" address at the Washington Islamic Center in tribute to the 50th anniversary of that organization's founding, by Saudi Arabia. Wahhabism is the state religion of Saudi Arabia, and its extremist ideology often flows with the kingdom's money. The Washington Islamic Center is not an exception.

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