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Thursday, July 14, 2005

Some Democrats get it

Ed Koch:

The various terrorist organizations are overwhelmingly Muslim. I believe they are supported by millions of Muslims around the world who are bent on destroying both Western civilization and those Muslims, Christians and Jews who believe in the Western values of democracy and tolerance. Of course, not every Muslim is a fanatic or terrorist, as pointed out by Abdel Rahman al-Rashed, the general manager of the Al Arabiya television station, who said, “It is a certain fact that not all Muslims are terrorists, but it is equally certain, and exceptionally painful, that almost all terrorists are Muslims.” They are responsible for near daily suicide bombings in Iraq that have deliberately murdered Iraqi police, military personnel and thousands of innocent civilians -- men, women and children. We are truly in a war of civilizations. While the Muslim fanatics do not have us on the run, they have won some major victories. I count among those victories the submission of France and Germany to the demands of Islamic fanatics, and their refusal to stand with us in Iraq, despite the fact that we are now there pursuant to a U.N. Security Council resolution and at the request of the recently-elected Iraqi government. Italy, which originally stood with us, has announced it will leave Iraq by the end of the year. Prime Minister Berlusconi is running for reelection and is worried that the Italian electorate will throw him out of office as did Spanish voters to their pro-Iraq war prime minister and his governing party after the Madrid railroad bombings. The newly-elected Socialist government in Spain withdrew its troops. Poland has already withdrawn its troops.
I wish I knew a sure fire silver bullet that would end Islamism. My bet is that the answer is accountable, democratic governments in the Middle East, but that is admittedly just a guess at this point. Others have called on Muslim clerics to police their own religion and remove the filth that is corrupting it. While this path might well work, it seems that for the most part the clerics either cannot, or will not take this step. Most of the victim of Islamist terror are muslims, this is a war within the Islamic world even more than it is a war waged by the Islamic world against the West. Perhaps the greatest tradgedy so far is that their is not leader within the entire Islamic world that is championing the cause of life and freedom. I believe that these various factors are connected. A Democratic middle east will free the clerics to oppose terror and revitalize their religion. A Democratic middle east will produce leaders, not just rulers in the Arab world.


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