Friday, July 08, 2005

Help Wanted

While I agree overall with Tom Friedman's belief that the Muslim world must help us to defeat the extremists in their midst for their own sake, I would like to interject:
Because there is no obvious target to retaliate against, and because there are not enough police to police every opening in an open society, either the Muslim world begins to really restrain, inhibit and denounce its own extremists - if it turns out that they are behind the London bombings - or the West is going to do it for them. And the West will do it in a rough, crude way - by simply shutting them out, denying them visas and making every Muslim in its midst guilty until proven innocent.
I don't see this as rough or crude, when we are talking about our survival. These actions, along with killing terrorists, are what we have to do. I am not talking about discriminating against all Muslims, but we must do what is necessary to ensure our security. If moderate Muslims speak out, they make our job easier, and allow us to use less extreme methods.
And because I think that would be a disaster, it is essential that the Muslim world wake up to the fact that it has a jihadist death cult in its midst. If it does not fight that death cult, that cancer, within its own body politic, it is going to infect Muslim-Western relations everywhere. Only the Muslim world can root out that death cult. It takes a village.
It could be a disaster if we did any less. Yes, we need the help of the Muslim world, but the ball is in their court; they need to step up to the plate. (Insert your own sports analogy here).
What do I mean? I mean that the greatest restraint on human behavior is never a policeman or a border guard. The greatest restraint on human behavior is what a culture and a religion deem shameful. It is what the village and its religious and political elders say is wrong or not allowed. Many people said Palestinian suicide bombing was the spontaneous reaction of frustrated Palestinian youth. But when Palestinians decided that it was in their interest to have a cease-fire with Israel, those bombings stopped cold. The village said enough was enough.
The bombings stopped cold? While there has been a decrease in terrorism in Israel, there are terrorist acts still occurring, and the IDF has foiled the plans of would-be suicide bombers.