From the Belmont Club:
One of the persons following the Belmont Club discussion over whether it is necessary to confront political Islam as an anti-Western ideology is a Marine in Anbar province. His email to me has been reproduced in toto below. It is clear and eloquent. I am grateful for it, not in the least because it lends some substance to my hope that "because of the size of the stakes this whole question will be resolved, not by some politician but by the 'decision of crowds'." Here's his email in toto.
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My Comment: The Marine's letter from Anbar Province does give a positive outlook on the possibility that Islam can co-exist with other religions and political cultures. That its embrace of militant Islam and jihad by the average person in the Muslim world is just an aberration, and that it solely exists as a testament to the difficult times that people in the Middle East are going through.
Unfortunately, if history is any indication, there has always been majorities .... if not significant minorities ..... of muslims in the Middle East who have always had a very anti-Western and/or anti-Hindu and/or "just name that group" point of view that when they felt they were in a position of power was quickly manifested into war and bloodshed.
Religion has always been a predominant influence on many peoples, cultures, and civilizations through the ages. Europeans had to go through centuries of incredible bloodshed to get rid of this environment among its many different faiths .... unfortunately ..... many Muslims in the Middle East and elsewhere have not yet gone through their reformation.