â€˜West using radical Islam card' This has been highlighted in a recent publication, â€˜Radical Islam', the result of a collaborative venture by Indian and Russian scholars. The West is using radical Islam as a tool in geopolitical games for dominance, Indian and Russian scholars have said in a unique collaborative project presented in Moscow this week. The project, â€œRadical Islamâ€, a 480-page collection of papers prepared by the Observer Research Foundation (ORF), New Delhi, and the Experimental Creative Centre (ECC), Moscow, was unveiled at a press conference in Moscow. Edited by Sergei Kurginyan, ECC president, and Vikram Sood, vice-president, ORF, Centre for International Studies, it offers a fresh perspective on radicalisation of Islam, placing it in a wider geopolitical and philosophical framework. It examines the roots, the contexts and manifestations of radicalism in Islam, as well as activities of Islamists in South Asia, Central Asia, Iran, the Middle East, Europe and the former Soviet Union. Presenting their joint study, Indian and Russian scholars noted the West's role in playing the card of radical Islam. â€˜A factor since Partition' â€œThe West has been using religion and religious violence to promote separatism since the partition of India,â€ said Ambassador M. Rasgotra, President, ORF, Centre for International Relations. â€œThe British were the first to do it in India, then the Americans learnt the trick. They incited jihad in Afghanistan, stirred separatism to break-up the Soviet Union and tried to tear Chechnya from post-Soviet Russia.â€ Dr. Kurginyan said that Russia still faced the danger of the West trying to re-enact the â€œAfghan scenario,â€ when radical Islam was used to provoke instability. He recalled that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had cultivated and financed Islamic radicals in Afghanistan to drag the Soviet Union militarily into civil strife in that country in 1979. One of the Russian contributions in the book analyses the U.S.' â€œdeepening alliance with Islamismâ€ along the vast southern â€œarc of instabilityâ€ stretching from Northern Africa to the Chinese border. This strategy included the overthrow of the Shah of Iran, the arming of the Afghan Mujahideen, the support of Muslim radicals in former Yugoslavia, cultivation of â€œmoderateâ€ Islamists in the Middle East, and finally, â€œthe new alliance with Pakistanâ€ to reintegrate the Taliban into the political mainstream in Afghanistan. The scholars noted the special importance of the Indian and Russian perspectives on Islam as it differed greatly from the Western perspective. â€œThe West tends to look at Islam in black-and-white, while Indian and Russian researchers look at it in [a] multiplicity of identities, discourses and ideas,â€ Mr. Sanjoy Joshi, ORF said. â€œIslam has been [a] part of life both in India and Russia for centuries, whereas the West in those same centuries was the oppressor of Islam,â€ Mr. Rasgotra said, adding that India and Russia had much to gain from sharing their experiences in handling the problem of radical Islam. â€œThe nature of the problem is the same, even as its manifestations may be different. Your experience is relevant to us and our experience is relevant to you,â€ he stressed. Dr. Kurginyan hailed the project on as a â€œrevival of scholarly cooperationâ€ between the two countries. â€œI've never seen such a meeting of minds between researchers from different countries as in this Indo-Russian project.â€ â€œRadical Islamâ€ has been brought out in Russian and its English edition is to be published in India. The editors said the ORF and ECC, planned to undertake further studies of Islam and other issues of mutual interest.