CFR’s Ed Husain: It’s up to Western Muslims to defeat al-Qaeda

September 9, 2011

Writing at The Telegraph, Council on Foreign Relations senior fellow Ed Husain says that the millions of Muslims living in Europe and North America who have figured out how to reconcile Islam and modernity in their daily lives will render “al-Qaeda’s narrative...worthless.”

Husain writes:

The truth is that, when it comes to the threat of Islamist terrorism, we cannot kill our way out of danger. Instead, we urgently need to rebut the idea of a schism between Islam and the West. And our most potent weapon is the 30 million or so Muslims in the West. The identity crisis they face, and the conclusions they reach, will be the most powerful answer to al-Qaeda’s claim that the West and Islam are at eternal war.

The 9/11 attacks, and those on July 7, 2005, triggered a ferocious debate among Muslims in Europe and America about what it means to be a Westerner and a Muslim, and how these facets of our identity could be reconciled. For most, there is no contradiction--they prove that every day, comfortably living and working as both.

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