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Pipes and Ibrahim: Is Moderate Islam Possible: Response

Reader comment on item: The Middle East Forum Debates Moderate Islam
in response to reader comment: arab orthodoxy vs south-asian moderate

Submitted by Richard Benkin (United States), Apr 4, 2014 at 00:05

"myth's" comments provide an interesting perspective to which I will have to give some thought: does the conflict within Islam represent an attempt by Middle Eastern Islam to re-gain supremacy among the more numerous South Asian Muslims? My first reaction finds it too well thought-out to be the case; however, it raises some interesting observations. Bengali demographer Bimal Pramanik, who has tracked the infiltration of jihadis and others into India, talks about how they are oriented toward the Middle East and not their South Asian roots. We even had an extended discussion about it in Kolkata. So, it could very well reflect a "clash of civilizations," if you will. Moreover, the engines driving radical Islam in Bangladesh began with organizations funded through Saudi and Kuwaiti "charities."

Pakistan, however, represents something quite different from Bangladeshi or Indian Islam, especially among the dominant Pashtuns and other related tribes, who tend to swell the ranks of the most violent Islamists.

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