The age of terror, it seems, has sprouted an era of dialogue. A host of conferences designed to bring together East and West are cropping up everywhere.
Never before, perhaps, have so many talked so optimistically about so serious a problem. But behind all the words is one unspoken disagreement that may imperil any chance for progress.
My direct encounter with this optimism took place at a high-profile get-together, the U.S.-Islamic World Forum in Doha, Qatar, in mid-April. Organized by the Qatar government and the Brookings Institution, the conference was packed with more than 150 scholars and leaders from all sides who diligently discussed both the needs and the means for achieving democracy, reforms and renaissance in the Muslim world. Strikingly, there was hardly a Muslim speaker who did not tie the implementation of such reforms to progress toward settling the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.