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Reviving moderate religious ties seen as key to tackling Asia's terrorists

Reviving violence-weakened bonds between moderate clerics and followers of different faiths holds the key to crushing Asia’s formidable network of extremist militants, regional leaders said Monday. The urgent need for better cross-denominational relations in countries troubled by sectarian tension was highlighted as Asian religious leaders met in Indonesia for a conference aimed at fostering moderation and curbing extremism. Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who opened the two-day International Dialogue on Interfaith Cooperation on Monday, warned militant violence was threatening to undermine longstanding spiritual beliefs. “Terrorism must be regarded as an enemy of all religions. Terrorists are well-organised, well-funded and highly skilled in spreading mayhem and fear through the slaughter of the innocent.”People of faith like you are committed to bringing enlightenment and… human values like tolerance and compassion.” In recent years Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim-populated nation, has been hit by a series of bloody clashes between Christians and Muslims as well as deadly attacks blamed by officials on the Jemaah Islamiyah regional extremist group, linked by authorities to Al-Qaeda. Full Story

OODA Analyst

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