A lot of people draw a clear line between Islam and extremist Muslims. But some people don’t. Are we at war with Islam, or just extremists?
I’m not sure…this might be entirely semantic. If Islam always has the goal of becoming the law then yes, Islam will always be a frictional force when it comes into contact with societies that value intelligent dialogue. Christianity had the luxury of being dragged out of the dark ages over hundreds of years-creating many moderate forms of Christianity in the process. Islam, which is still in it’s “medieval” period is experiencing a very different type of Renaissance…one which does not offer moderate positions. It’s still too early to tell. The better question, in my opinion, is “What will Islam look like after everyone in the Arab world has Wikipedia in their pocket?”
With the exception of the war in Afghanistan and it’s effect on Pakistan, neither. If we were at war with extremists, the governments of Saudi Arabia and Yemen would be in much bigger trouble. Unfortunately, we’ve killed a lot of Muslims since 9/11 that many of them think we’re at war with the religion as a whole.
At war with Islam? No. The idea that we are is just dumb. I base my proposal on this:
Are these people at “war” with us?
This piece by Robert Wright (“The Clash of Civilizations That Isn’t“) makes a good point:
“The point of the [Roger Cohen] column was to dismiss as ’empty talk’ the claim that we’re not at war with Islam. Elaborating, Cohen wrote, ‘Across a wide swath of territory, in Iraq, in Syria, in Afghanistan, in Pakistan, in Yemen, the West has been or is at war, or near-war, with the Muslim world.’
“You might ask: How could it be a war against ‘the Muslim world’ if it’s confined to five countries that house only a minority of the world’s Muslims? Or: How could it be a war against ‘the Muslim world’ if most of the Muslims even in these five countries are not the enemy?”