Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Police Action vs. Military Action

There is a good editorial in the Financial Times today. It is behind the subscription wall, so I'll paste the best parts. If you want the entire text I'm sure it is in the Van Room.

Judging from official rhetoric, not just in France but elsewhere in Europe and America, many political leaders believe the solution for dealing with Muslim disaffection and Islamic extremism is to encourage moderate, liberal forms of Islam. But failure is inherent in this approach.


However noble in conception, Islamic liberalism is today at its lowest ebb since the 19th century. This is not because Muslims generally are more militant than before, but because the moderation hawked to anxious governments by Muslim notables is itself redundant. For one thing, their analyses of Islam’s problems are way out of date, concentrating on reinterpreting the Koran and reforming Sharia law to liberalise Islam in a systematic and collective way. The Koran, for example, had been read by traditional specialists in an indirect and unsystematic way.


Like other global movements, al-Qaeda possesses a moral autonomy beyond its political or economic causes. Its minions have already been exposed to liberal Islam and rejected it for something far more modern...This is why the “war on terror” should be conducted as a police operation rather than an ideological or even military struggle, as its enemy is not some external power but exists inside liberal as well as illiberal societies.

!!!This Week's installment of The Miseducation of Xerxes!!!

Mr. Burns: "Smithers, land the plane."
Smithers: "But Mr. Burns, you're the one flying."
Mr. Burns: "Excellent."

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