Cultural Revolutions

The Opening Blow

Terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C., have focused the attention of many on the dangers of militant Islam. But as usual, our vacuous talking heads and elites are overlooking the two most important aspects of the attack: the revival of the centuries-old violent conflict between Islam and Christianity, and the growing capacity and sophistication of non-state organizations to challenge the nation-state.

Historian John Keegan tells us that "Islam has bloody borders." We must look with a jaundiced eye on those who claim these terrorist acts represent only a tiny splinter group of crazed fanatics—the implication being that all other Muslims are peaceful liberal democrats just like us. Granted, these acts of violence are being conducted by a fanatical minority, but the TV scenes of mobs cheering in places like Islamabad and Gaza demonstrate that there is growing support for jihad upon the Christian West, particularly the United States. Our retaliatory acts will only foster more support for terrorists in Islamic countries.

Future historians may well view September 11, 2001, as the opening blow of the latest round in the clash between Islam and Christendom. Israeli historian Martin van Creveld reminds us: "If the growing militancy of one religion continues, it almost will compel others to follow suit. People will be driven to defend their ideals and way of life . . . Thus Muhammad's recent...

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