Facing the Challenge of Political Islam in Asia: Is Opposition or Engagement the Better Way Forward?
Featuring Sadanand Dhume, Bernard Schwartz Fellow, Asia Society Washington Center Journalist and Writer; Radwan A. Masmoudi, Founder and President, Center of the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID) and moderated by Pramit Pal Chaudhuri, Bernard Schwartz Fellow, Asia Society Global Headquarters, Foreign Editor, Hindustan Times
Dhume makes the case that in the long run U.S. interests lie in fostering secularism and enlightenment in Muslim Asia. He argues that Islamic societies must be held to the same standards of pluralism and human rights as the rest of the world, and that the ideology of Islamism is the biggest hurdle toward achieving this goal. For this reason, all Islamists - both those who use terrorism and those who renounce it - must be opposed. Masmoudi argues that non-violent Islamists - those who pursue a state and society based on Islamic sharia law - ought to be engaged by the U.S. government rather than opposed- Asia Society
Pramit Pal Chaudhuri
Pramit Pal Chaudhuri is the Foreign Editor of The Hindustan Times and a leading figure in Indian policymaking circles. He was previously an editorial writer for The Telegraph and The Statesman of Calcutta.
Pramit has a BA in history from Cornell University. More recently, he was a Hubert H. Humphrey Fellow at the University of Maryland - College Park; media fellow at the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy; South Asia fellow at the Henry Stimson Centre in Washington DC, and a Visiting Fellow at Cornell University's South Asia department. He is a member of the Mont Pelerin Society, the Liberty Institute of New Delhi and the Aspen Institute Italia.
Pramit has written widely on India's foreign and international economic policies. He is a regular talking head on Asian television and radio stations. This year he has spoken at the Aspen Institute World Economy Conference, the Centre of Independent Studies annual consilium in Australia and at Singapore's Institute for Southeast Asian Studies.
Vishakha N. Desai
Vishakha Desai is president and CEO of Asia Society, a leading global organization committed to strengthening partnerships among the people, leaders, and institutions of Asia and the US. Desai sets the direction for the society’s diverse sets of programs, ranging from major US–Asia policy initiatives and national educational partnerships for global learning to groundbreaking art exhibitions and innovative Asian American performances. She has an international reputation for introducing contemporary Asian art in the US through critically acclaimed exhibitions and scholarly catalogues. Under her leadership, Asia Society has expanded the scope and scale of its activities, including opening new offices in India and Korea, the inauguration of a new center on US-China relations, and the development of new initiatives focusing on the environment, on Asian women leaders, and on partnerships among the next generation of exceptional leaders in Asia and the US.
Sadanand Dhume is a journalist and writer with a long-standing interest in Asia. He has recently completed a book on the rise of radical Islam in Indonesia.
As a former Indonesia correspondent of the Far Eastern Economic Review and The Asian Wall Street Journal in Jakarta, Sadanand covered Indonesia's economic, political, security, and social scene. Before that, he was the New Delhi bureau chief of FEER.
Amb. Richard C. Holbrooke
Ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke was U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Canadian Affairs from 1994 through 1996, during which time he led the Bosnian peace talks, which resulted in the Dayton Peace Accords.
Prior to becoming Assistant Secretary of State, he was U.S. Ambassador to Germany. He is currently responsible for business development in Europe and the Far East for Credit Suisse First Boston. He also acts as President Clinton's special envoy to Cyprus, and consults with the White House on foreign policy issues.
Ambassador Holbrooke is a member of the International Institute of Strategic Studies, the Citizens Committee for New York City, and the Economic Club of New York. Prior to assuming his current post, he was a Director of the Council on Foreign Relations, the America-China Society, the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, and the International Rescue Committee. He is Chairman of the American Academy in Berlin.
He is co-author of Counsel to the President, the memoirs of Clark Clifford, as well as numerous articles and columns on foreign policy.
Radwan A. Masmoudi
Radwan A. Masmoudi is the Founder, member of the Board, and President of the Center of the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID), a Washington-based non-profit think tank. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the Center's quarterly publication, Muslim Democrat.
He has written and published several papers on the topics of democracy, diversity, human rights, and tolerance in Islam.
He is very active with local Muslim organizations, and was elected as Director of the Muslim Community Center, in Silver Spring, Maryland. Dr. Masmoudi was also a Founding Member and President of the Tunisian Scientific Society (TSS).