I read a good article on www.Haaretz.com the site for the Ha'aretz Daily Newspaper Ltd
I'd like to share it. (These are not my words.)
It is written by Bradley Burston called
A Special Place in Hell
Why the jihad is doomed
Even before the American Century drew to a formal close six years ago, the Age of Jihad had already taken its place.
The extraordinary triumph of radical Islam achieved its greatest victories without firing a single shot, hijacking a single jetliner, closing a single belt detonator.
Armed at first only with words, the world holy war conquered the imagination and loyalty of disciples from Tehran and Tampa, from Jabalya and Germany, by taking aim at the ultimate soft target - the West.
The message of a fiery pure Islam - noble in purpose, uncorrupted in practice, egalitarian in its praise for the devout, its splendorous offer of an afterlife available regardless of color, class, or immigration status - galvanized Muslims for whom fate had seemed to hold out only the promise of fresh forms of injustice, deeper humiliation, a more ashen sense of alienation.
For generations following World War II, millions of Muslims, some refugees, some self-displaced persons, sought a better life in distant Western lands. But the rapid changes, loudly trumpeted advancements, and just-beyond-reach prosperity of adopted countries - where foreigners were invited to work hard and do everything to fit in, only to be shunned - served to set the immigrant generation and its children further adrift.
In "guest worker" neighborhoods across Western Europe, in immigrant neighborhoods across North America, in college towns throughout the West where bright, hopeful, ultimately dismayed students from the Muslim world came to study, the anchor and the buoy of a timeless, vigorous, welcoming, sheltering, socially-conscious, supportive Islam came as succor to the downhearted.
For some of the young, well-versed - as are all children of immigrants and brain-drain wannabees - in the moral deficiencies of the host country as well as the way-uncool cultural baggage of their parents, the anti-Western message of the New Jihad gave names, context, and validation to their nagging sense of the stranger in an all-too-familiar strange land.
A few made the leap. They took training in Afghanistan. They took up arms. They set up charitable organizations which funneled donations both to the Muslim needy and the Muslim armed.
Through it all, they studied the glaring vulnerabilities of the societies of America, Europe, and Israel. The conclusion was clear. In the cyclical worldview of Islamic history, the historic victories of the past were about to be echoed with stunning, irresistible force. The West would be baited to destroy itself.
And so it is today, the prophecies of the likes of Bin Laden and the Iranian ayatollahs, much as they may revile each other, seeming to come true in the U.S.-British nightmare in Iraq, and in the Israeli nightmare in Lebanon, the Galilee, and on the Gaza border.
How could it be otherwise? The Koran is behind them. Mohammed's history and prophecy is behind them. Martyrdom is a sacrament, and the portal to paradise. Even death is victory. Death is behind them as well. The Trade Center, the Cole, Bali, Madrid, Faluja, all is victory.
They can't lose, they reason, these young people. These soldiers of Allah. There is nothing to stop them.
Nothing, that is, except time.
There is a reason that the jihadist movement in Iran and elsewhere is in such a hurry. It's time is about to run out.
The New Jihad, for all of its sense of The Future Belongs to Me, is subject to the same general principles that have governed all great revolutions in modern times. It is the biological clock that may be called the Generations of Abraham Effect.
The model, of course, derives from Genesis and from our common ancestor, the prototype of the contemporary revolutionary, the shatterer of idols.
The Bolshevik revolution, the Zionist revolution, no less than the Puritan revolution of the 17th Century and the settler revolution of our own day, flowered, conquered, and withered according to the same dramatic, ultimately tragic road HEWN by Abraham, his dutiful, duped, over-burdened and self-sacrificing son Isaac, and Isaac's neurotic, holier-than-thou mama's-boy of a son, Jacob.
These, then are the generations of Abraham, the family bell-curve of the rise and ruin of revolutions:
The movement is founded by Abraham-like prophets who were raised within the traditions of a decaying regime. Their children, the generation of Isaac, are born under the sign of sacrifice, giving their lives, often literally, for the sake of their parents' cause.
The third generation, the quirky, feisty, dualistic generation of Jacob, often determines whether a revolution will turn into a lasting institution, as in the case of the United States and France, or end its reign in the dustbin of history, as in the Soviet example.
In the last years of the 20th century, the Abrahams of the New Jihad, men like the Ayatollah Khomeni, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, and the prodigy patriarch Osama Bin Laden, ordered their Isaacs into the field. The generation of Abraham/Ibrahim extolled suicide bombings as the weapon of choice against a vastly better-armed West.
What is beginning to trouble the New Jihad now, however, is the rise of the generation of Jacob, a personality split between the personas of the wily, selfish, faith-conflicted youth who wrestles with the burdens of revolution, and the CEO who takes a revolution and begins its transition to a stable institution, a nation willing to co-exist in prosperity and stability with others, rather than a force to impose and spread revolutionary doctrine.
Look closely at Iran, Hamas-ruled Gaza, and Hezbollah-ruled Shi'ite southern Lebanon. Listen to the voices of discord. increasingly, voices in Iran call for reform, for a change of course which favors domestic social and economic well-being over exports of the raw materials of revolution.
For the first time, residents of Gaza are beginning to openly say that much of the current economic disaster in the Strip is the result not solely of the Israeli occupation, but also of Palestinian mismanagement and partisan cronyism.
Listen, also, to the criticism leveled by rival jihadists at one another. This week, former Iranian president Mohammed Khatami condemned "the barbarous acts" of September 11, as well as Bin Laden, "First, because of the crimes he conducts - and second because he conducts them in the name of Islam, the religion which is a harbinger of peace and justice."
Revolution is a dream which shatters in the course of coming true. Islam is timeless, but the unbridled terrorist groups who operate in its name, are not.
In the end, moderate Muslims will prevail over the jihadists, who have sullied their name, the name of Islam, and, indeed, even the word jihad.
In the end, moderate Muslims will gain the upper hand over hothead spokesmen in the West, if only to save Islam, and its good name, from Islamists.