The Muslim problem

Here’s the elephant in the world that we too often don’t dare address in our PC era:

Are Muslim terrorists a Muslim problem? And should the Muslim world — its religous and political leaders and its citizens — be fixing this problem by condemning and hunting down and jailing and stopping those who murder innocents in their name?

When we ask that, we meet responses like the ones in the comments directly below. Some of the folks there have no problem condemning the war in Iraq and George Bush and America with it. What’s wrong with looking for condemnation from the Muslim world? What’s wrong with looking to see demonstrations against Muslim terrorism by the vast majority of Muslims in the Muslim world just like the demonstrations against an American war held by Americans in America?

Last night on the BBC, I heard a leading London Muslim cleric respond to the bombings by complaining that the likely perpetrators are called Muslim terrorists.

We’re dancing around PC wording when we should be directly dealing with the problem here.

But today, Tom Friedman dances closer to the flames. He says that, indeed, this is a Muslim problem… because, if the Muslim world does not deal with it, the actions of the worst among them will affect them all (my emphasis):

Because there is no obvious target to retaliate against, and because there are not enough police to police every opening in an open society, either the Muslim world begins to really restrain, inhibit and denounce its own extremists – if it turns out that they are behind the London bombings – or the West is going to do it for them. And the West will do it in a rough, crude way – by simply shutting them out, denying them visas and making every Muslim in its midst guilty until proven innocent.

And because I think that would be a disaster, it is essential that the Muslim world wake up to the fact that it has a jihadist death cult in its midst. If it does not fight that death cult, that cancer, within its own body politic, it is going to infect Muslim-Western relations everywhere. Only the Muslim world can root out that death cult. It takes a village.

What do I mean? I mean that the greatest restraint on human behavior is never a policeman or a border guard. The greatest restraint on human behavior is what a culture and a religion deem shameful. It is what the village and its religious and political elders say is wrong or not allowed. Many people said Palestinian suicide bombing was the spontaneous reaction of frustrated Palestinian youth. But when Palestinians decided that it was in their interest to have a cease-fire with Israel, those bombings stopped cold. The village said enough was enough.

The Muslim village has been derelict in condemning the madness of jihadist attacks….