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Monday, July 11, 2005

TCS: Tech Central Station - Terrorism Lessons From 1870

Arnold Kling expands upon Lee Harris's concept of terrorism as a blood feud. TCS - Terrorism Lessons From 1870, the entire analogy he presents between American Indians and modern Muslim society is interesting. He conclusion is especially thought provoking though.:

Perhaps Muslim society cannot address radical terrorism with its existing institutional base. If so, then it will take time for new organizations to emerge within the Muslim world that are capable of effectively promulgating and enforcing prohibitions against terrorism. I am not trying to absolve moderate Muslims, and moderate Muslim leaders, of responsibility for helping to end the barbaric gestures of terrorism. I agree with Friedman that in the end the only humane way to end the war between the West and radical Islam is for moderate Muslims to exercise better leadership. However, the approach that I would favor with moderate Muslims is high expectations rather than ultimatums. We should not be tolerant or passive in response to terrorism. We should continue to pursue, incarcerate, and kill terrorists -- without apologies or mindless insinuations. As to the Muslims who are not active terrorists, we should be particularly hard on those who voice moderation in Western-style press conferences but who preach hatred when they think that no one from the West is watching. However, we should not rush to declare that the moderates' cause is hopeless. Their task may be more difficult than we can appreciate. If we are to avoid turning our clash with radical Muslims into a re-run of 1870, we will need patience.
That has been a difficult question the entire time. How much can, and should, we demand of moderate Muslims. We do not wish to let them off easy, or undermine them by lowering our expectations too much, yet we also must acknowledge that being a moderate Muslim, forging a new identity for an entire people out of a tribal society that is capable of interacting with the modern world, is a very, very difficult task. It will take time. And time is not something we have a huge luxery of. I believe that eventually terrorists will succeed and aquiring and using weapons of mass destruction unless the source of terrorism is destroyed first. When that happens, it seems unlikely to me that the civilized world will be willing to be patient any longer and wait for moderating influences to reform the Arab world from within.


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