Counter-Terrorism: September 2, 2005


A major project with Western counter-terrorism organizations is trying to "figure out" exactly what Islamic radicalism is. This is necessary in order to come up with effective ways to deal with it, and Islamic terrorism. The big problem is that the Islamic radicals don't even agree among themselves about what they are. We would like it if they did, but they don't care. Note that in most of the Islamic nations that produce terrorists, reality is considered a very flexible entity (unlike in the West, where we like to "get down to facts.") These guys have a serious reality deficit. The end result is that Islamic radicalism comes in many different forms, each emphasizing the differences in customs, and Islam, unique to each Moslem country. As with the Arabic language, just learning it is not useful. You have to know the different dialects, otherwise you might as well be speaking English. Islamic terrorism is a lot of unique local cultural and political problems, linked by the fact that all these nations are largely Islamic. While religion plays a major role, what really gets the radicalism going are unique political and cultural failures. Most involve a corruption and a lack of civil society. Solutions for each of these nations are different. One approach will not fit all.


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