With my travels through Europe and much of the UK, I have been thinking a lot about what I hear on the street. I have been surprised by how many Taxi drivers want to engage in conversation about the US government and try to convince me that 9/11 was not a terrorist attack but a planned excuse by our government. I have even heard educated folks even suggest such theories. For the last few years, I have thought that this is the minority. From looking at the news and just listening to people on the trains, I think there are a lot of folks who just want to keep their eyes closed and just ignore these kind of comments. In my opinion, such an approach is helping to foster Islamic extremism’s growth and also grow acceptance to such ludicrous conspiracy theories.
After reading Melanie Phillips’ Thursday blog entry (It’s the thirties all over again), I think she’s hit the nail on the head. Unfortunately, I don’t think killing Osama Bin Laden or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will have the same effect as if Hitler was killed prior to World War II. I do think the world would be a better place without them (and a few others), but I’m quite baffled as to whether there is such a thing as a simple solution for reducing/ stopping Islamic extremism. I expect it is unlikely there is a simple solution, otherwise the intelligence community and most governments would have implemented the solution.
In the meantime, I hope the people of Iran that are trying to stand up and have their political views heard are the wind that a reformation hurricane is coming. If they are successful, maybe such a philosophy can take hold in Pakistan/ Afghanistan and the Arabian peninsula. I certainly don’t see such direction coming from Muslims within western countries.