Qanta Ahmed in USA Today on why the influence of political, extremist Islam is the real threat in Gaza. Ahmed writes that Islam has been usurped by political Islam, which marginalizes mainstream Muslims. "These Islamists subscribe not to Islam but a totalitarian ideology disguised as religion. While Islamists may fervently believe they are Muslim subscribers to Islam, what they adopt is a totalitarian politicization of Islam." He ties the threat of political Islam not just to Israel but to moderate muslims as well, writing, "Heavy criticism has been leveled at Israel's emphatic assault on Gazans and the Gaza Strip because of the escalating casualties. Less well acknowledged is that Israel is combating not just an organization devoted to securing its territory in a conflict over land, but a totalitarian ideology that definitively leaves no room for either Israel, Israelis or moderate Muslims to exist."
Antonio Villaraigosa in The Wall Street Journal on why Democrats shouldn't block important changes to public schools. The former mayor of Los Angeles and lifelong Democrat argues for public school change and the benefits of Common Core testing standards. "At a time when only one in 10 low-income children is earning a four-year college degree and two out of three jobs of the future will require one, change is needed. At a time when more than half of young people attending community college need to retake high-school classes because the education they received was not rigorous enough, change is needed. At a time when American 15-year-olds trail their counterparts in 30 countries in math, 23 in science and 20 in reading, change is needed." Villaraigosa praises teachers but argues that some standardized testing helps parents know if their children are learning. "Parents will not tolerate resistance to common-sense changes that are necessary for preparing our children for the future. We can do the right thing for our children and for our teachers. We can hold ourselves accountable without demonizing one another and we can all be honest about our shortcomings. Let's cool the rhetoric, find common ground and get to work."