Commentary | September 20, 2010

In the U.S., Rise of the Enemy Within

In his recent commentary, Sidhu addresses what he perceives as a growing trend of religious extremism in America. Pointing to preacher Terry Jones’s threat to burn the Koran and the recent controversy over the proposed mosque near Ground Zero, Sidhu writes that religious tolerance in the United States has become “fragile” – a fragility that, he implies, has led to increasing feelings of insecurity among American Muslims.

“Even as the alienation grows, the efforts of the current administration to bridge the gap between Muslims… and other faiths is found to be wanting” Sidhu writes, highlighting an article by a recently-naturalized Iranian writer in The New York Times entitled “Was the Bush era better for U.S. Muslims?”

What the Obama administration can do to counter domestic extremism is not immediately clear, but the stakes are high. As Sidhu writes, “If the US is to succeed in tackling global terrorism, let alone play a leadership role, it will have to reinforce its secular credentials and address the causes and consequences of the enemy within.”

Click here to read Sidhu's piece on livemint.com.