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If I read one more article or hear one more speech by a Western politician telling us that we are experiencing a war within Islam between radicals and moderates, or a battle for the future and soul of Islam, I will seek medical options for a long hibernation.It is much easier to declare a war within Islam than to do the hard work – and admit the hard truths of shared culpability – to understand accurately the several simultaneous, frightening phenomena we see all around us.Those who recklessly analyze the condition of Islam itself should instead do the harder work of understanding the realities of a handful of killers, or a group of misfits, or a gang of criminals, or pockets of dislocated outcasts, or some desperate youth on the verge of certain death by lifelong marginalization and hopelessness.Instead, they affirm pompously the contested condition of Islam, of all 1.4 billion Muslims living in hundreds of very different societies, practicing very different social and political values. Islam is what it has always been, a religion with complexities and with varieties of adherents.
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