Sunday, December 05, 2004

Islam is not the Enemy

Courtesy of Arthur Chrenkoff, comes an interesting news item from the Detroit Free Press: An Albanian immigrant who died while serving with the Marines in Fallujah has been declared a "national martyr" by the Albanian government.

Albania is a Muslim country, but it practices a mild, tolerant form of Islam (link also via Chrenkoff). In particular, the Albanians are deeply grateful to America for intervening on behalf of their brethren in Kosovo. Albania has been a true friend to the USA in the War on Terror, sending contingents to both Afghanistan and Iraq, and it is not alone. Tens of thousands of Muslims have fought on our side in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

It is easy to hear the religious rhetoric of our jihadist enemies, the deranged hate-filled sermons emanating from many mosques, and believe that we are at war with Islam as a whole. As the example of Albania shows, this is not the case. We are at war with Wahhabi Islamism, the Saudi-inspired reinterpretation of Islam as a totalitarian political ideology. This movement is, of course, inspired by more extreme interpretations of Islam that date back centuries, and it has arisen as a reaction to the crisis that the Islamic world has fallen into. It is not, however, synonymous with Islam, despite the Islamists's claims to the contrary. Our goal in fighting the Islamists is twofold: one, the military defeat of the jihadist terror movement and destruction of its ability to threaten America; two, to create the conditions in the Islamic world for forward-looking moderate Muslims to emerge. As the Albanians, Iraqi Kurds, Afghans, and others show, such Muslims do exist.


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