On November 29th, a very unusual conference took place at New Delhi’s Islamic Centre. It was hosted by none other than the National Security Advisor, Ajit Doval. NSA Doval’s counterpart from Indonesia, Mohammed Mehfud was the guest of honour. But Mr. Mehfud did not come alone—he led a delegation of Ulemas, who for nearly two days conferred with their Indian counterparts to build a narrative of moderate Islam.
But the purpose of the out-of-the box conference was neither theological nor overtly political. Instead, it was to find a syncretic ideological counterweight to distorted extremist thought that bred and justified international terrorism. In our 5th episode of #undertheradar , host Atul Aneja analyses the critical role that India and Indonesia can play in shifting the balance of influence in favour of moderation and inclusivity that would overwhelm the appeal of Jihadism. The two Asian heavyweights can also play a key role in building a peaceful and prosperous Indo-Pacific region.