Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Voices from the Resistance

Nothing the pope has ever said comes even close to matching the vitriol, extremism and hatred that pour out of the mouths of radical imams and fanatical clerics every day, all across Europe and the Muslim world, almost none of which ever provokes any Western response at all. And maybe it's time that it should: When Saudi Arabia publishes textbooks commanding good Wahhabi Muslims to "hate" Christians, Jews and non-Wahhabi Muslims, for example, why shouldn't the Vatican, the Southern Baptists, Britain's chief rabbi and the Council on American-Islamic Relations all condemn them -- simultaneously?

Anne Applebaum

The ensuing controversy demonstrates the spread of what could be called "Clash of Civilizations" thinking that serves the interests of violent extremists, experts say, as it provides an opportunity to advocate for their worldview. Central to the thinking of Al Qaeda is their claim that jihad is a response to what they consider 1,000 years of Christian persecution that poses an existential threat to all Muslims.

With extremists successfully exploiting popular anger over comments like the pope's or at cartoons critical of Islam, this fringe view has moved closer to the center, often undermining more-moderate views, analysts say.

Dan Murphy

We are at war. Our soldiers are following the rules of war -- but their opposition is not.

CIA counterterrorism officers are buying private insurance to cover legal costs in case they are charged with a crime, as is being hinted at by some members of Congress who feel their interrogation techniques might be too "tough."

In Iraq, Americans have been kidnapped, tortured, beheaded, burned, hanged from bridges, dragged through streets. But the CIA's method of questioning a terrorist in a cold room while playing loud music is too "tough"?

We're fighting a war for civilization against an enemy bent on destroying it and creating an Islamic world based on a warped view of what true Islam is -- yet where are the voices of American Muslims condemning this enemy?

Something's wrong.

Mary Laney


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