It's too bad for all the peace loving Muslims that the term "Islamic terrorists" has become distinct as a sub-category within terrorists. Unfortunately, most of the terror going on in the news today is Islamic terrorism, and I understand and sympathize with the ordinary Muslim who wishes not to be associated with these monstrous acts that are now happening with excruciating regularity.
It's easy to blame it on poverty, disaffection, neglect, as the cause of Islamic terrorism, and yet suicide bombings, truck bombings, 9/11 and so forth are so far not being carried out by poor, disaffected, or neglected Hindus, Christians, Buddhists, Zoroastrians, Scientologists, or Wiccans.
So, what is the real cause of Islamic terrorism, then. Can we blame it on the US role in the founding of Israel and consistently backing them even when they have acted unjustly. Can we blame it on our role in waiting until it was too late to intervene in Chechnia, where Christians were well on their way to wiping out every living Muslim male. Was it due to the war in Iraq to remove Saddam Hussein?
And yet, similar indignities and offenses (or perceived offenses) have been committed against other ethnic and religious groups without generating suicide and truck bombings, and without anything like 9/11.
What is the difference? The difference goes back to why "Islamic terrorist" has become a unitary express. It has something to do with Islam. Now, I'm not being a bigot here and implying that Islam is bad.
What I maintain is that there is a civil war going on in Islam between the mainstream, which is modernizing and liberalizing, and a fundamentalist faction which wants Islam to remain in the Dark Ages even before the period when Islam was the receptacle for most of the learning in the world and when the Christian Crusaders were in fact the real barbarian hordes.
Israel, Chechnia, Iraq have become tools used by one faction of Islam against the other faction of Islam, and as such, we are not the root cause of the terrorism, but rather the means on faction uses against the other.
As such, it is sadly up to the Muslims themselves to weed out potential terrorists and, as we say here in the States, "narc" or "drop a dime" on Muslims who give off even the slightest hints of being sympathetic to terrorism.
I said this last week in a discussion forum and was pretty much accused of racism, but just yesterday, a British Parliament member, and Muslim, said pretty much the same thing: terror must be fought from within.
This is welcome, since fighting terror from outside the Muslim communities in the UK and here in the US, will just exacerbate the perception, held by almost any minority anywhere, of being oppressed outsiders.
It is the "I am a victim" attitude that holds back many minorities, who sit around waiting for the majority to fix things for them. This is a major difference between successful minorities here in the US, such as the Jews, and less successful ones, such as blacks. The Jews have accepted that there will always be anti-Semitism and have gotten on with their lives, large segments of the black community seem to be waiting to be rescued.
One can't help but notice, though, those blacks who are most successful are clearly the ones who are not basking in victimhood, but have decided to do something about their lot on their own, by themselves. Succeeding on one's own is much better for one's self-esteem than succeeding due to a helping hand.
This is the lesson Muslims living outside their core geography have to learn: acceptance and regard can't be demanded, it must be earned. And this can take time. Certainly Jews are much more widely accepted today than they were at the time of World War II. There was a time when Catholics were outsiders.
So, this war in Islam is also fed by the fundamentalist faction feeding Muslim youth the idea that they are victims, whereas they are simply going through the same process any minority goes through to gain acceptance. Of course, they want Islam to flunk the test and not gain acceptance. That would be a defeat, and so they fan the flames of victimhood and hatred.
Back to the Islamic communities themselves. This terrorism is impeding this process of acceptance, and dealing with terrorists from the top down, when the government represents a Christian majority, will only make things worse.
It's now up to the Muslims to clean house, and it looks like the cleaning has started.