Only Arabs and Muslims can fight the war of ideas within Islam. We had a civil war in America in the mid-19th century because we had a lot of people who believed bad things — namely that you could enslave people because of the color of their skin. We defeated those ideas and the individuals, leaders and institutions that propagated them, and we did it with such ferocity that five generations later some of their offspring still have not forgiven the North.
Islam needs the same civil war.
Yes, what problem can’t be solved by the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people worldwide, egged on from the sidelines by a newspaper columnist? I love how later in the column Friedman can’t understand why there was “no meaningful condemnation emerging from the Muslim world” about select atrocities committed by Muslims. Well, maybe when the most important foreign affairs columnist for the world’s most important newspaper gets a boner from the prospect of mass Muslim deaths, maybe those leaders are going to worry about playing into his hands.
I’m not defending that practice. It’s always better to address an issue at its root, rather than get caught up in second- or third-order concerns. But we Jews have a Yiddishism, shanda ver der goyim, which at its heart is the very human impulse to say, “Stop airing our dirty laundry in public for the outsiders to see and use against us.” Maybe Friedman ought to think on this for awhile. You know, strategically. Like he gets paid oodles of cash to do.
Finally, he ought to think harder about just the online takfirism problem that occasioned this blithe call for bloodshed, since online extremism is something that plays into the hands of U.S. intelligence and law enforcement capabilities. If that’s the way al-Qaed-ism is moving, maybe that’s not such a terrible thing from our perspective. Let’s neither diminish nor overstate threats.