I wonder why American President Barack Obama is lecturing India these days to defend and foster its age-old pluralistic, syncretistic values and traditions. In his address to the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington on Thursday, February 5, Obama described India as “an incredible, beautiful, country, full of magnificent diversity,” which has become “a place where in past years, religious faiths of all types have, on occasion, been targeted by other peoples of faith, simply due to their heritage and their beliefs.”He lamented such “acts of intolerance [which] would have shocked Gandhiji, the person who helped liberate that nation.” During his New Delhi visit last month, Obama said “India will succeed so long as it is not splintered on the lines of religious faith. Nowhere is it more important to uphold religious freedom than in India.”Even without an American president saying such words of wisdom, it must very much be in the inbuilt process of the Indian political system to set right whatever aberrations have of late taken place in the country. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Home Minister Rajnath Singh have done well to assert that India is a multi-religious and multicultural country where communities including Muslim, Jewish, Parsis and Christians are present. "That any society must be a tolerant society is a fact that each of us has to accept," Jaitley has been quoted as saying. "India has a huge cultural history of tolerance. Any aberration doesn't alter the history."On his part, Minister Singh has said that "as far as religious tolerance is concerned, it is embedded in our Indian tradition. India is the only country in the world where all the communities including various divisions of Muslims and all sects of Christians are present...In India, Parsis and Jewish are also there…The biggest specialty of the Indian culture has been that there has never been discrimination on the basis of caste, community, religion or sect." I would suggest President Obama could better lay focus on the regions that are the centers of religious tolerance today. He has rightly said in his address to the National Prayer Breakfast, “No God condones terror…No grievance justifies the taking of innocent lives or the oppression of those who are weaker or fewer in number...From a school in Pakistan to the streets of Paris, we have seen violence and terror perpetrated by those who profess to stand up for faith, their faith, professed to stand up for Islam, but, in fact, are betraying it...We see ISIL (ISIS), a brutal, vicious death cult that, in the name of religion, carries out unspeakable acts of barbarism – terrorizing religious minorities like the Yezidis, subjecting women to rape as a weapon of war and claiming the mantle of religious authority for such actions.”President Obama has rightly identified that today sectarian war in Syria, the murder of Muslims and Christians in Nigeria, religious war in the Central African Republic, a rising tide of anti-Semitism and hate crimes in Europe are being “perpetrated in the name of religion.” As the leader of the democratic world, President Obama must do everything in his capacity to urgently combat this version of terror across the world. It is well established that service to humanity has been at the center of all religions – orthodox or heterodox. But a handful of political crooks and their intellectual and theological accomplices have been spreading this kind of terror to serve their own interests.The American president must act against obscurantist religious elements wherever they may be. History bears out that successive dispensations in Washington have cared little for the right to freedom of religion abroad. They have supported, directly or indirectly, such groups and regimes in the Middle East as have suppressed other faiths and practiced hatred and violence against women, minorities, gays, lesbians and conscientious individuals . Unfortunately, today President Obama seems to be appeasing radical Islamist Tehran, one of the chief villains of peace in the Middle East. The agenda of the Islamist Khomeini regime is above board: the destruction of Israel – the only democracy in the region – and the spread of its highly distorted version of the otherwise moderate Shiite Islam. Its influence in the region is growing; it has virtually taken over Yemen and absorbed Iraq’s army. Yet, during the ongoing P5+1 nuclear talks, the American administration is said to be conceding some of the highly irrational demands of the Khomeinist regime. Washington does not seem to care that the deal will leave Tehran with thousands of centrifuges and its Arak heavy-water reactor in place to advance the latter’s imperialist agenda in the region.In line with the approach of the preceding dispensations, the Obama administration has also continued to back the radical Wahhabi regimes in the Middle East. Did not President Obama himself recently rush to Riyadh to pay respects to a departed authoritarian Wahhabi King whose regime has been notorious for distorting the originally humanity-focused Islam and constitutionally treating the country’s women as far inferior to men? And has not Obama recently proposed over $1 billion worth of civil and military aid to Islamabad which still remains friendly to certain Islamist groups that are ideologically as fanatical as their barbaric counterparts in the Middle East? Be serious against terror, dear President! The author is a senior journalist based in New Delhi.