Two articles this weekend make the same point: It is essential that we understand Muslims and the Islam that is the driving force behind their actions. With a western mindset and political correctness we constantly delude ourselves and fail to recognize the real challenge of Islam and how huge a problem it is.
A new book "Son of Hamas" is by the son of a founder of Hamas who defected and now lives in the United States. He strikes to the heart of the matter in this interview posted by the Wall Streeet Journal:
As the son of a Muslim cleric, he says he had reached the conclusion that terrorism can't be defeated without a new understanding of Islam. Here he echoes other defectors from Islam such as the former Dutch parliamentarian and writer Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
Do you consider your father a fanatic? "He's not a fanatic," says Mr. Yousef. "He's a very moderate, logical person. What matters is not whether my father is a fanatic or not, he's doing the will of a fanatic God. It doesn't matter if he's a terrorist or a traditional Muslim. At the end of the day a traditional Muslim is doing the will of a fanatic, fundamentalist, terrorist God. I know this is harsh to say. Most governments avoid this subject. They don't want to admit this is an ideological war.
"The problem is not in Muslims," he continues. "The problem is with their God. They need to be liberated from their God. He is their biggest enemy. It has been 1,400 years they have been lied to."
Former Army intelligence officer Ralph Peters writing in the New York Post makes somewhat the same point less dramatically:
Our reluctance to understand the Taliban on its own terms is strikingly evident in our insistence that Islam isn't a factor. A confederation of franchises, the Taliban has multiple interests, from a regional power-struggle to local issues that vary between valleys. But the common identity of Taliban fighters is that they're 100% Muslim and overwhelmingly Pashtun, members of a stateless ethnic group of 40 million straddling the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan.