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The Impact of Western Strategy on Muslim South Asia

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03 December 2007, 9:00
Western conduct in the global war on terror is having an adverse affect on Muslim public opinion worldwide, in particular South Asian communities. This conference will explore the key linkages between current western strategy, Islamic extremism, and events at both home and abroad.

The strategy adopted by the United States and its Western allies to counter the global threat of Islamic terror has been dominated by the Global War on Terror (GWOT). Though the approach has engaged a number of different dimensions, military force has remained the core tool in this struggle. The results have been mixed with mounting criticism of the United States’ ability to curb extremism within the Muslim world. Nowhere is this more pronounced than in South Asia. While a focal point lingers on Pakistan, the Kashmir dispute remains unresolved; Bangladesh continues to be a blind-spot and there is mounting tension within the world’s third largest Islamic community of 138 million in India.

A dispassionate and impartial debate on the impact of Western strategy on the Muslim community in South Asia is especially urgent, with the nagging suspicion in the minds of many South Asian Muslims that the war on terror is a war against Islam. The results of this frustration have been plain to observe both at home and abroad, where young South Asian’s continue to be drawn towards radical jihad. This is undermining both the position of moderates within the community and government policies in countering the jihadist threat.

Core Themes:

  • Public opinion in Muslim South Asia; the struggle for hearts and minds
  • Afghanistan and ‘talebanisation’ within South Asia
  • Current government policy impact within the Muslim communitywestern strategy 3
  • Alternative approaches to the GWOT

Speakers include:

  • Lt. Gen. (Retd) Javed Ashraf Qazi, Senator and Special Envoy to the Government of Pakistan
  • Jonathan Paris, Adjunct Fellow, Hudson Institute
  • Sir Hilary Synnott KCMG, Former High Commissioner to Islamabad.
  • Iain Mathewson CMG, Adviser, Citigroup
  • Parmjit Dhanda MP, Parliamentary Undersecretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government

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