We're all very aware that a sizable portion of the Muslim world does not like the West and what it stands for. Even so, the vast majority of the Muslim world is moderate and sensible. They reject the extremism of the terrorists who act out in barbaric ways that subvert the values of an entire culture. Unfortunately, terrorists continue to believe they have the moral authority to act on behalf of their people. This is because, for the most part, their people are not being emphatic enough in their rejection of terrorism.
The sight of an angry mob in a Middle East country burning an American flag is commonplace. Compare that to the number of times you see a mass demonstration of people in a Muslim county voicing their disapproval of al-Qaeda in such stringent terms--never! This unwillingness on the part of the Muslim world to "police their own" has been disastrous. Writing in Friday's New York Times on the day after the London bombings, Thomas Friedman says that this has got to change. "If it's a Muslim problem, it needs a Muslim solution", he warns, or else the alternative is an irreversible schism between the Western and Muslim worlds.
It doesn't have to be this way. But it will certainly continue to be this way unless the mainstream Muslim world becomes more vocal in its denunciation of those who would hijack Islam. The twisted ideology that fuels terrorism cannot survive once the environment it breeds in turns inhospitable. It is only then can our current "war on terrorism" truly be won.