“Islam has an identity crisis that it must combat. A virulent strain that mixes testosterone and a nihilistic theology has afflicted a small minority of young Muslims.
“There will also be critics and cynics who are not Muslim, who would like to believe that if only foreign policy would change, the threat would immediately recede and the extremism evaporate. Those who would commit mass murder are not to be appeased by this or that policy fluctuation. Jihadists see Western society as innately evil, an existential threat to their puritanical, obscurantist version of Islam. They cannot come to terms with sexual equality, Western values, tolerance or democracy. To them, the Palestinian or Iraqi contexts are only settings for the introduction of an ideology that is utterly intolerant and regards moderate Muslims as apostates. If policy on either changed, they would look for other justifications for their fanaticism.”