With Thanks to Saudi Arabia

By Jeffrey Goldberg

A Goldblog reader writes:

How many times a week do Islamic terrorists have to try to kill Americans and Jews before you admit that Islam is a threat to our Western way of life and to our physical safety? You have to be very willful about your ignorance to make believe that what is happening isn't happening. Are you very afraid of being found to be politically incorrect?

Islam? Islam is not the problem. In fact, it's the solution to the actual problem, the problem of political Islamism, a radical and often-violent minority movement within the body of Islam. But Islam itself? Islam contains multitudes, to borrow a phrase. In reference to the latest case -- the mail bombs out of Yemen -- well, this is a particularly bad case to hold up as proof of Islam's hostility to the West, because it was the Saudi government -- the custodian of the Two Mosques, the government that rules Islam's holy land -- that provided the West with the intelligence it needed to track down these bombs before they killed anyone. The West cannot defeat political Islamism. Only Islam can. And Saudi Arabia proved in this recent case that it is trying.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2010/11/with-thanks-to-saudi-arabia/66009/