Islam has a long tradition of tolerating other religions, but only on the basis of the supremacy of Islam, not equality with Islam. Islam's self-identity is that it is the authentic and ideal expression of monotheism. Muslims are raised with the view that Islam is God 3.0, Christianity is God 2.0, Judaism is God 1.0, and Hinduism is God 0.0.It is already appearing to many outside that religion that it is a cult of death. Only the Muslims themselves can change that perception and talk is not going to get it done. Action is required. Expressing shock and dismay, issuing condemnations, expressing sympathy and solidarity and proclaiming Islam as "the religion of peace" will not stop these killers nor dispel the belief that Islam is the religion of death.
But when a British Muslim citizen, nurtured by that society, just indiscriminately blows up his neighbors and leaves behind a baby and pregnant wife, to me he has to be in the grip of a dangerous cult or preacher - dangerous to his faith community and to the world.
The people and ideas that brought about that sudden conversion of Hasib Hussain and his pals - if not stopped by other Muslims - will end up converting every Muslim into a suspect and one of the world's great religions into a cult of death.
Tags: Thomas Friedman Muslim Islam religion of death cult death terror terrorist Iraq GWoT war on terror Bush politics