News Flash: Jihadists Hate Us

It took a while, but the NYTimes finally got it: Militants in Europe Openly Call for Jihad and the Rule of Islam. Put on the front page, the story seems to be more of breaking news than a sudden realization, but one way or another it is an important development.
Are people going to blame this on Bush? Iraq may serve as a tool for recruitment, but it is not the sole cause. These Islamists did not appear out of thin air a year ago, and were not convinced overnight by Bush as to the West’s evil. This has been a long time coming, even before the coining of Westoxification by the Iranian revolution.
As David Brooks wrote on Saturday–in what was probably the best articles of the year–it is very tempting to think of these perpetrators as victims. And yet, as Brooks point out, these Islamists aren’t doing it because they feel victimized, but because they feel superior.
We should not reply in kind. We are not superior. We are just human, as they are, and all we ask for is the freedom to live our lives as we wish. But if Islamists would like to force their religion upon us through violence, if they truly aim to “impose the will of Islam on the godless society of the West,” as a Genevan Imam says, then we should defend ourselves appropriately. And I hope that those moderate Muslims, not swayed by radicalism, join us openly so as to neutralize the claims that this is a war against Islam. It is not. It is a war against tyranny.

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