Everything I need to know about …

Yes, I was – was – one of those that formed the opinion that everything I needed to know about Islam, I learned on “9/11”. But, I was not able to reconcile wholesale condemnation of an entire group based on the actions of a few. Especially a religious group. Over the next few years, I softened that opinion, concluding I just didn’t know enough to be so resolute.

The silence of moderate Muslims didn’t help educate me.

And, over the next few years, Muslim extremists continued their acts of terrorism, but not only against the US. I was willing to accept the hatred of the US – after all, we’ve earned it; but to terrorize other cities, countries, peoples for what? THAT just didn’t make any sense at all.

Still, moderate Muslims kept quiet.

Then the protracted war led by the US in Iraq and Afghanistan (if undeclared; or re-gifted as “Operation This,” and “Operation That”); I fully expected another “9/11”. I’m still surprised we haven’t had an encore.

Now – now – with ISIS, it is Muslims against Muslims. Pure and simple. No foreign government colonization or imperialism to fight against. Sure, if you’re not Muslim, and you are in the wrong place at the wrong time (anywhere in Iraq or Syria), you’re pretty much toast anyway; but, you’re not the target. You’re “just” collateral damage.

And, moderate Muslims remain quiet.

Most recently, the murder of James Foley is just so counter-productive. It’s as though the message is “We will kill you for not doing what we want, but we aren’t going to tell you what we want.” And the massacre of at least 73 people at the mosque in Bani Wais – what is the message there?

And Muslims that might be able to explain to infidels like me are saying what? Nothing.

Here we are, nearly 13 years since Islamic (debatable no longer) terrorism (by any definition) was launched onto the front pages of the world’s newspapers. 13 years of a daily diet of world-wide terror – not even the war in Vietnam lasted that long (at least as far as the evening news in the US was concerned).

At present, ISIS is running amok among its own people; one could say within its own borders. If it were a sovereign state (legitimate or otherwise), there would be an argument against foreign intervention. And, because it is largely (exclusively?) Muslims killing Muslims and some others, there are those that say it has no true association with Islam (the present incumbents of the White House and 10 Downing Streets among them). Cries of “let them do their own thing” at the very least, and “contain the threat” at the other end can be heard. Waiting until there is an attack on the US homeland is a poor strategy.

As to whether or not ISIS is “energizing the global jihadist movement,” one need look no further than the estimates of how many citizens of other countries have traveled to Syria and joined ISIS.

Consider, if you will, that they are murdering (obvious from the executions of James Foley and Steven Sotloff), and no doubt abusing and torturing their own and those unfortunate enough to be within their grasp. So, what would make anyone think they will confine themselves to just Iraq and Syria? Put another way, when they’ve run out of targets close to home, they will surely attempt to continue their sad parade further afield. Hitler did not stop at the Sudentenland. And this week, ISIS seems to have Egypt in its crosshairs.

Sadly, all I can conclude is:

Everything I need to know about Islam I learned on 9/11.

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