Another 9/11 is coming soon; make no mistake about it. It might not be for another year. Or two years. Or three. But hunkering down, living in fear, and upending our freedom to travel and live normal lives will not prevent another massive terrorist attack; it will only forestall it until the terrorists discover our Achilles heel and reroute their approach accordingly. That day is coming; make no mistake about it.
Creating more commissions and congressional hearings will not accomplish anything without a serious effort to first understand the enemy and its motives. Lumping them together and calling them terrorists is a huge mistake. True, they are committing acts of terror, but for what reasons? Are these true Muslim jihadists bent on ridding the world of infidels? Are they Iraqi or Arab nationalists who believe sincerely that the best hope for their region is to expel the US and westernization? Or are they simply a loosely knit gang of young, mostly misguided male, hooligans with nothing better to do with their time than to blow up convenient targets and become martyrs? We need to know the answer in order to know how to combat them. And the way to do that is to go directly to the expertsthe international Muslim community.
No longer can the clerics around the world, in communities large and small, hide in the back rooms of their mosques and say nothing, for to say nothing is leave open the question as to which side they are on. Intolerably horrific acts of murder are being committed in the name of their religion, and it is their responsibility to take the lead in stopping it. Just as Christians of the Reformation once rose up against the injustices of the papacy, the time has come for mainstream Muslims to become proactive.
Those who are being targeted, particularly the Christians and Jews of the westernized nations, have a right to know what words are being preached in the mosques and what is being whispered by Muslims in private conversations, not just in the Middle East, but in towns and villages in the US, in Europe, in Indonesia and all around the world. Who amongst them is advocating putting a halt once and for all to the killing, and who is cheering it on? If I were to attend services at my local Muslim place of worship tomorrow, what would I hear? A call to condemn and punish those who are murdering innocent women and children in the name of Allah? Or praise and prayer for these brave young martyrs?
As extreme as it might sound, I would call upon someone to compile a comprehensive list of the world's Muslim clerics (by name and locale, and not just a handful but every one of them) and publish it for the whole world to see. And next to each name should be specific comments and quotes provided by his followers illustrating the spirit of the message he is conveying. If offering a monetary reward would encourage people to step forward anonymously with information, let's do it. Perhaps it could be funded by private companies or citizens who are willing to spend some money to make the world safer.
This is not a condemnation of those of you who are part of the mainstream Muslim community. You are being victimized by these zealots just as we are. But, by remaining silent, you are not helping the situation. What you are reading is an open forum. Have you considered sitting down and writing your own thoughts? It would helpful to hear a Muslim perspective on this issue. I suspect that, by declaring "war on terrorism", we are painting with much too broad a brushunless, of course, fighting the Jihad is what we really want to do.