Exporting Islam

My friend Nitin Pai of The Acorn has an op-ed in the Mint, “Why India must export its Islam.” He writes:

In a secular state such as India, there is little role for the state in matters of faith and religion. But the rise of a radical, intolerant version of Islam around the world is also not in its interests. Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Iran have no self-imposed restrictions on promoting their own Islamic values. It is unlikely that India can counter these exertions of soft power by promoting the virtues of secularism to the Islamic world. But it could promote its own syncretic Islamic tradition to offer an alternative narrative to the world’s Muslims.

Nitin is an astute observer and I have the utmost respect for his incisive commentary and analysis of matters of importance. Try as I might, however, I cannot see what he means in that op-ed.
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When Smart People Have Stupid Ideas

The co-author of Freakonomics, the celebrated economist Steve Levitt, who recently moved his blog to NY Times asks in his Aug 8th post “If You Were a Terrorist, How Would You Attack?” He states that his general view of the world is that simpler is better (and I agree with him on that) and goes on to wonder about simpler, more efficient ways of creating terror. He asks his readers to think creatively about how they would go about the business of terrorism.

I would love to hear them. Consider that posting them could be a form of public service: I presume that a lot more folks who oppose and fight terror read this blog than actual terrorists. So by getting these ideas out in the open, it gives terror fighters a chance to consider and plan for these scenarios before they occur.

As can be expected given the lethal combination of a widely-read newspaper of record, a highly visible best-selling author, an extremely important topic, and a very controversial stance, nearly 600 comments poured in (further comments are disallowed now.)
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