Last week, I highlighted a piece decrying Islam’s ignorant defenders, those who gloss over the difficult realities in the Islamic world, preferring to cry “bigot” and storm off TV sets than answer how only a “few extremists” can generate thousands of suicide bombers, hundreds of thousands of jihadists, and millions of supporters and adherents.
This week, I try to answer the logical follow-up question: “If you’re right about Islam, what do we do?” My answer is (perhaps) disappointingly unoriginal: Stay the course. Radical Islam cannot be appeased, it thrives on victory, and it withers in the face of defeat. Is it a coincidence that Osama bin Laden’s popularity was at its apex after 9/11 and its nadir after al-Qaeda’s lost its grip in Iraq?
But staying the course utterly depends on convincing enough young people that our enemy is real and that thousands upon thousands of their peers have to join the fight, a fight that may rage — with varying degrees of intensity — for decades.