The Silver Lining
From Brussels Journal, This is the concluding paragraph of Konraad Elst's review of the late Anwar Shaihks "Islam and Terrorism."
The one silver lining to the dark cloud of Islamic terrorism is that it alerts non-Muslim societies to the specificity of the problems which Islam poses. Westerners often feel guilty of xenophobia, "fear of what is strange or foreign", when they criticize Islam. But the problem of Islam is not one of strangeness or foreign origin, as will readily become clear when you compare it with Buddhism. In Western culture, Buddhism is even stranger than Islam, which shares certain common roots with Christianity, yet people find Tibetans in their native dress colourful rather than threatening. There are no Buddhist gangs attacking peaceful citizens, nor are there Buddhist associations making separatist political demands such as the right to observe a separate law system. Buddhism may be strange, but informed people will agree that it is an enrichment to our society. Islam is less strange, yet its enriching contributions are unclear while its nuisance value is all too palpable. The stark reality of Islamic terrorism blows away the fog of doubt and timidity hitherto surrounding the painful question of how to evaluate Islam.
For the last five years, we who oppose islamic terrorism have been trying to find the right words to separate the moderate muslims from the extremists: the jihadists from the pious practitioners of the Religion of Peace™. Attempts to do so have been declared by many muslims to be unnecessary, or an outright "attack on islam", and not just by the jihadists. Organizations such as CAIR have adopted the language and tactics of both the multi-culturalists, and Civil Rights groups to claim status as oppressed victims of discrimination. The advantage to them lies in the perception that anyone who questions their victimhood status may be attacked as racist, islamophobic, or insensitive.
"The stark reality of islamic terrorism blows away the fog of doubt and timidity hitherto surrounding the painful question of how to evaluate islam."
Indeed it does.