The writer of the article, “A battle for the soul of Islam” (Jan. 8), deserves to be complimented for adopting a realistic stance vis-à-vis political Islam in the contemporary situation. It is a matter of interesting debate as to whether the “Great Satan” (the West) is playing “keep out” tactics or wreaking damage internally by manipulating sectarian violence in the Arab region.

Abid Baba,

New Delhi

“Moderate Islam”, which could have been rejuvenated after Osama bin Laden’s death, is again losing ground to the practice of “extreme Islam” by fundamentalists. All over the world, acts of terrorism are being perpetrated in the name of Islam, especially in countries such as Syria, Iraq, Egypt and Lebanon. National progress — economic and cultural — will be seriously impeded even as foreigners who contribute to the national incomes of these countries are forced to leave the region for no fault of their own.

R. Shemeela,

Thrissur

The writer is well-versed in the subject. It is truly time for a political renaissance in the Middle East. Having left Iraq at a tricky point, intervening in Syria on “humanitarian grounds” and under the guise of “democracy”, the U.S. and — more broadly — the West is revealing its true nature. These powers want to keep the region fragile to benefit their personal interests and postpone the renaissance in the Arab world for as long as possible.

Ajay Shankar Tripathi

New Delhi

The article makes the right point but it doesn’t seem likely that the Muslims of the world will be in any mood to listen. The Shia-Sunni divide is threatening the very soul of Islam. Saudi Arabia’s “flexing of muscles” and public liaison with Israel now poses a threat to world peace. India, perhaps, is the only country in the world where Muslims practise true democracy.

M. Riaz Hasan,

Hyderabad

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