Why They Fight and What Democracy Demands

“In his 6,000-word speech at the National Defense University last week, President Obama devoted only one paragraph to the ideology of those who proclaim themselves America’s enemies. But those 101 words are worth a closer look.

“Most, though not all, of the terrorism we face is fueled by a common ideology,” the president began. Quite right: Al-Qaeda, the Taliban, Iran’s rulers, Hezbollah, Hamas, and many others who utilize terrorism do indeed see the world through similar lenses. The president did not name their ideology, but most of us have come to employ such terms as “jihadism,” “Islamism,” “political Islam,” and “radical Islam.”

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