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A Word of Caution

Reader comment on item: Bush Declares War on Radical Islam

Submitted by Aidan Maconachy (Canada), Oct 12, 2005 at 21:09

I agree that it is important for the West to target radical Islamists as a primary source of terror.

However, I also think it is crucially important to draw distinctions between Islamist extremists and mainstream Muslims, some of whom serve in the United States military. The great danger with targeting this dysfunctional sect within Islam is that the religion as a whole becomes stigmatized. This is not helpful at all since there are many democratic reform movements in Muslim countries that are struggling against a legacy of dictatorship and theocracy. Many of these groups are potentially powerful allies, and care should be taken to build their confidence in the West rather than alienate them. It's a fine line but a crucially important one.
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