islamic extremism is a problem: it’s time to be honest about it

I’m encouraged to see that the NYT Editorial Board named the problem:

“””On the most immediate level, security operations in Belgium must be raised to a far higher standard. Brussels is best known as the de facto capital of Europe, but it is also fast becoming the capital of Islamic radicalism in Europe.

The reason I’m happy to see this is because it is difficult to find solutions when our leaders refuse to be honest about the causes to some of the challenges that face us, choosing rather to continuously beat around the bush with vague statements and focused concern on how people react to the problem rather than the actual problem itself (in this case, Islamic radicalism).

Some folks say that “American adventurism” in the Middle East is the primary cause of terror, and it certainly is the case that American foreign policy blunders do not exist in a vacuum from other events within the Middle East, and therefore we share some, though not all, of the blame, and some, though not all, of the responsibility for the terror and the violence.

But it it would be foolish to not acknowledge the extremist ideologies that also fuel the violence, and to brush them off as “un-Islamic” when, in reality, they are simply following a literalist interpretation of the Koran. Is a literalist interpretation the only way to read the Koran? Many reformers will say no, and they are actively pushing various other ways of looking at how to read the Koran that are far more compatible with modern life. Let’s hope they are successful. Let’s hope our leaders stop pandering to the religious right of Islam.