Cambodia is a rare bright spot in the fight against Islamic radicalism. Thank an unusual combination of a local imam and US soft power. Luke Hunt writes for The Diplomat.
Haji Yusof bin Idris lives opposite the riverfront in Phnom Penh, on the peninsula that divides the Mekong River from the Tonle Sap. He’s the unassuming imam of the modest Alazhar Mosque, which boasts about 2,600 followers. He’s also a pivotal player in the West’s counter-terrorism effort in Southeast Asia.
Real victories have often been elusive in the so-called War on Terror since it was launched in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks.From the Taliban battlefields of Afghanistan to al-Qaeda in Iraq toJemaah Islamiyah (JI) in the Southern Philippines and Indonesia, the results have been mixed at best.