Tolerance Terrifies Terrorists. It should.
Tolerance is what made the West strong. It started with religious tolerance after a couple of exhausting centuries of bloody sectarian warfare between Catholics and Protestants. Powerful ideas are like viruses. They spread.
Tolerance for different religions spread to tolerance for different ideas. In time that would spread to tolerance for different races, cultures, genders and sexual preferences. Painfully imperfect, to be sure, but greater in scope and breadth than any society so far.
We can promote tolerance for Muslims in general while calling out Wahhabism in particular. There's no contradiction here. Wahhabism is a virulent strain of Sunni Islam that is using vast reserves of oil money to hijack a once more tolerant religion. Kind of like what the Koch brothers did with the Republican Party, but on a global scale, in turbans.
Backed by their Saudi financiers, Wahhabi clerics have funded a vast network of mosques, madrassas and social services throughout the Ummah, especially since 1979 when the Shiite revolution began in Iran. Wahhabi sexual repression, misogyny and homophobia (and the pervasive pederasty festering behind that puritanical facade) is the witch's brew that nurtures young terrorists.
Perhaps colonial humiliation is a factor. But Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America and much of Asia (including tolerantly Islamic Indonesia) have experienced that too. Throw in sexual repression. That's when shame and humiliation gets expressed in public explosions of sadomasochistic mayhem.
Wahhabi inspired terrorism will be a problem for the Left if we refuse to address it. Or it could be an opportunity to validate both our values and our policy prescriptions. The sooner we eliminate the hydrocarbon economy, the sooner the more tolerant and peaceful strains of the Muslim moderate majority can fully reassert themselves.
Those who see terrorism as our greatest threat could and should be making common cause with those most concerned about CO2 emissions. The Iranians, Saudis and Russians would all prefer that we be distracted from climate change, for obvious reasons. Instead, terrorism gives the elimination of the hydrocarbon economy an extra urgency.
There is a problem with Islam. That problem is oil financed Wahhabi intolerance. The Left has the only long-term solution--follow the money and cut it off at the well. Now is the time to make this distinction and define our position.
There will be more attacks as ISIS seeks to achieve its stated strategic objective-- to destroy the "grey zone" of cooperation between Muslims and "non-believers" in the West. Our tolerance is their target. With a little savvy, we can defend it.