“Across Europe and the Middle East,” says the New York Times, “young militant Muslim men are answering a call issued by Osama bin Laden and other extremists, and leaving home to join the fight against the American-led occupation in Iraq, according to senior counterterrorism officials based in six countries.”
Wait a minute. Don’t these “young militant Muslim men” realize that jihad is a spiritual struggle to bring their souls into conformity with Allah’s will? Why do they listen to Osama and other extremists? Why don’t they tell those extremist preachers and recruiters, “Hey, man, get out of here. Islam is a religion of peace”? Why is Iraq only one focus of jihad activity in the world today, with other battlegrounds stretching from Nigeria to Indonesia?
Could it be that violent jihad is not as marginal and discredited an idea within the Muslim world as most commentators would have us believe?