One of the problems we (the West and the USA in particular) have had in fighting the Caliphascists is the restraints of multi-culturalism and it’s code of enforcement, political correctness. Our opponents see these restraints as weakness and happily exploit them. Their failing in this regard is to consider this a permanent situation. One thing that American culture is, generally far more than other cultures, is dynamic. If you’re living in and advocating a society that hasn’t really changed in over a thousand years, it’s probably hard to grasp how much a society such as ours can change in as little as a decade.
In addition my sense is that the Ummah is believing too much of its own press, that it is in fact a persecuted community and one that is “owed” by its host culture. The basic concept of dhimmitude is probably a factor as well. This sets up the expectation that the rules are different for Muslims. The pattern of a community that simultaneously believes that it is a persecuted / agrieved and deserving of privilege has been seen before and it generally doesn’t end well for that community.
Already we are seeing signs that the constraints of sensitivity to other cultures is wearing thin with regard to Islam. The blogosphere has been noting this issue since early on in this war. With no real voices of moderation, I have no doubt that the “American Street” will gradually change its view to one far more hostile to Islam.The problem for the Islamic community is that the longer things go on drifting, the more costly the remediation is going to be. At some tipping point, remediation will start to look cynical. What will the Ummah do then?
UPDATE: There are a few in the Ummah who see the problem, such as Razi Azmi in Pakistan who points out that it’s not helpful for Islam to simply blame Western media Islam’s image problem when Al Qaeda is putting out videotapes of hostages being killed. [via Dhimmi Watch via Little Green Footballs]
On the other hand, we have delegations from Muslim countries protesting the leak of a report on Sudan which reflects badly on the Islamic government there. This is a classic example of my main point, which is leaders of the Ummah not viewing the commission of atrocities as the problem, but instead knowledge of or complaints about them as the issue. [via Dhimmi Watch].