From Terrorism to Tolerance

(Washington Post)Jim Hoagland- The struggle that most Americans call the war on terrorism will be won by Muslims and lost by Muslims at its now-distant end. The next administration will need to pursue a revised strategy that puts Muslim governments and institutions on the front line of a civil war within Islam that the U.S. was drawn into on Sept. 11, 2001. The mobilizing utility of the "war on terrorism" label has run its course. To continue to use it for rhetorical or organizational purposes would obscure the moral, political, and social responsibilities that Muslim societies must now assume to cleanse themselves of fanatical fringe groups and ideologies. The military campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq - the operational definition of the "war on terrorism" - have had this clarifying effect: Muslim governments that for more than a quarter-century ignored or sought to profit from the spread of intolerance toward non-Muslims can no longer pursue those options with impunity. The intolerance they countenanced or actively encouraged has metastasized into an all-consuming ideology of religious hatred that now threatens them as well.

2004-10-06 00:00:00

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