There is a problem with the practicioners of the Islamic religion, that must be said from the start.
This problem isn’t that it’s a false religion or that its adherents are Satan worshippers or, worse yet, bad dressers – it’s that too many Muslims give both tacit and tangible approval to murderers.
This can be seen in many, many articles and essays over the past decade and throughout history. Most recently, Abu Bakar Ba’asyir, a convicted conspirator in a bombing that killed over 200 people in Bali, was released by the Muslim-run Indonesian government.
That’s reasonably equivalent to releasing Tim McVeigh out of whatever hole he’s been tossed into here in the USA, something that would be unthinkable in a society that, most of the time, is run based on logic and rule of law.
Not so in Islamic countries where it’s a badge of honor to kill people whose religious beliefs are different, who wear shorts to tennis practice, or who have a different use for their countries’ oil revenues than the clerics and mullahs.
It’s unfortuate that so many Muslims believe and act on these misguided principles. It would be nice if, in a moment of clarity, the hooded goons driving around Bagdhad chopping the heads off policemen considered whether their actions are reasonable – but I don’t see that happening. And I’m not sure I see that as the real problem.
The issue, it seems to me, is the silent and not-so-silent approval these brutes are given by the very people they are terrorizing. Only when the “overwhelming majority” of Muslims realize that their value system is, in part, invalid will this change.
The question for Bush and his ilk is, how to bring that realization about?
In theory, the answer is rather simple – education. It’s control over the minds of people that have put the mullahs and their terrorist offspring into positions of undeserved power. That same control can ultimately be dismantled by teaching young minds how to think for themselves. That, ultimately, is all Americans need to give the Iraqi people – an ability to examine facts and come to their own decisions, free from the taint of the mullahs’ stilted teachings.
Sadly, America is not necessarily the best country to demonstrate how an educational system should be run. One need only look at our childrens’ recent test scores relative to the rest of the world to see we’ve failed to keep up. But even our mediocre outcomes are far better than what Ba’asyir will be providing to his next batch of young killers when he resumes teaching as he intends to.
All of this is not lost on the murderers in Iraq – witness the beheadings of teachers in Iraqi classrooms earlier this year. The terrorists understand that their creed will not stand up to the scrutiny of logical, thoughtful people. They understand that fact quite clearly. I wonder if we understand it as well.