Making Enemies, Part II
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To continue this investigation into the nature of our enemy in the War on Terror, my premise, again, is this: Westernization is an endemic threat to any group wishing to retain its non-Western and often pre-modern corporate identity. This threat produces reactions shaped by demography (un- or underemployed adolescent males), by factionalism, by political circumstances and by the cultural predicates of religious belief. These demographic, social, political and cultural factors are often varyingly mistaken as causes of Islamist violence when, more properly, they should be called enablers. What has caused our Islamist enemies to be what they are erupts from factional divides we exacerbate when we push individual rights and freedoms, live as though we privilege the material over the spiritual, and universalize our notions of equality.
The American Interest, September/October 2006.