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Peace Roadmap

Selling a Vision of Hope: A Refreshing Alternative to Armageddon

Look inside Nissim Dahan's book Selling a Vision of Hope with Google Books.

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How to Beat the Ideological Extremist at His Own Game E-mail
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Written by Nissim Dahan   
Table of Contents
How to Beat the Ideological Extremist at His Own Game
A Sensible Strategy for the U.S. and the Western World
Public Diplomacy
Conclusion

The United States, along with many other Western nations, find themselves embroiled in a seemingly intractable struggle against the forces of ideological extremism and terror. The enemy is not Islam. Much of Islam is compatible with Western values, and most Muslims subscribe to those values. All religions contain certain scriptural passages which are not palatable to the modern mind. Most of us, however, use our common sense to ignore such passages, even as we embrace our respective religions. The enemy is ideological extremism.

 

The extremists have been successful in attacking the West using the following combination of tactics and strategies:

  • Ideology: For political purposes, they create and promote an ideological framework for Jihad by manipulating and distorting Islamic principles to justify a fierce condemnation of the West.
  • Investment: They capture hearts and minds by investing funds to alleviate the suffering of the masses (i.e. health clinics, food distribution, educational services in madrasas, financial handouts for rebuilding, etc.).
  • Hope: They use an Ideology of Extremism along with Charitable Investments to nurture the Hope for Islamic Resurgence and ultimate triumph.
  • Terror Campaign: They sponsor and sustain an unrelenting campaign of terror designed to embolden the faithful, to intimidate the citizenry, and to undermine the West.

In the face of these threats, what can the West do to protect itself, and ultimately, to bridge the ideological divide for the sake of peace? What can we do to inspire our citizens here at home, as well as potential partners abroad, including moderate Muslims, to face the challenges that lie ahead with vigor, patience, and resolve? What can we do to save ourselves from our reluctance to meet the ideological extremist head on?

What is objectionable, what is dangerous about extremists is not that they are extreme, but that they are intolerant. The evil is not what they say about their cause, but what they say about their opponents.
Robert F. Kennedy