Friday, December 16, 2005


... and what are the take-away lessons?

The Islamic culture of alienation, marginalization, and jihad appears to be blossoming in Britain and France (and, of course it is in full bloom on the West Bank.) Yet, it hasn't taken root in the United States. Why not?

Possible reasons:

1 - American Arabs are better off economically then their European (and Palestinians) counterparts.

2 - American Arabs are better integrated into American society.

3 - There is a great deal of internal diversity within Muslim communities in the US. This allows American Arabs to avoid the theological and ethnic rigidity (ie: The attitude of "Do this and believe this, or you're an apostate") that characterizes Islam elsewhere and often leads to extremist behavior.

4 - American liberalism creates space for religion, in a way Europe does not.

My own hunch? The answer is all four: It is America's blend of liberalism, religiosity and economic opportunity that has kept the jihad culture from appearing here. And I would be willing to bet that the same recipe of tolerance and opportunity would disarm it elsewhere....