“Political Islam is not a threat. The threat is if the people become disenchanted with the political process and democracy, and opt for violence.”
Not the words of a Islamist politician, or even a committed left-wing anti-war activist. Those are the views of a former CIA boss, who also advocates talking to Hamas and Hezbollah, both banned by the American government as terrorist organisations. He is our guest on today’s show.
Emile Nakhleh worked with the CIA for 15 years, briefing top members of the Bush administration as head of its Political Islam Strategic Analysis Programme before retiring in 2006.
His views have ruffled a number of conservative bloggers. Should the US administration be speaking to it’s enemies? Or is it imperative that groups and countries considered to be a threat be frozen out until they change their behaviour?
Some of you argue that it’s all very well having this open approach now, but isn’t the damage already done in the Muslim world? Can trust ever be won back? And why wasn’t this policy pursued when Emile Nakhleh held his position in the CIA?
You can leave your questions and comments for him below and we’ll do our best to put them to him