One reason we'll never understand the Arab world, and never have, is the insistence of the majority of Arabs on combining religious dogma and State. Even in the beginning of America when many Americans thought our country was the New Jerusalem and that Americans were replacing Jews as the Chosen People, we still insisted on religious freedom and had no intentions of establishing a Theocracy. During the Barbary Wars and since we've been befuddled by the Islamists focus on theocratic principles.
Our history of involvement in the Middle East makes it clear that we would do much better adopting a live and let live doctrine which bans our government from ever importing our ideas into that region. If private individuals want go as missionaries, they are free to follow the many other delusional soul-savers who never understood that the Arabs don't want what we're selling and are just fine with their souls as they are.
But, one thing we can do is make clear why we reject all forms of Theocracy, and we can stand for reason and against irrational claims that God is cool with abusing women and gays. Moderate Islamists haven't done near enough to separate themselves from the radical irrationality of fundamental Islam. But how can they without changing the dogma of the religion? Christians, for the most part, have made this transition from fundamental dogma to a universalist spirituality-type religion that has Jesus as a vague representative of certain humanistic principles, but Islam runs much deeper in the Middle East, and modern times has no equal in any other religion regarding fundamental acceptance of dogma. Even many of the moderate Islamists dress in the garb and perform rituals which appear strange and obsessive to those outside their religion.
Modern liberal acceptance of diversity fails to honestly evaluate Islam objectively. In America, any one who adheres to the religion of Islam is free to do so, but when public gatherings produce speakers who call for Shariah law in America, perhaps some of us who defend principles diametrically opposed to much of Shariah law should make some judgements about such foolishness. Yes, Islamists have a right to promote Shariah law, but we also have a right to say it's foolish, and that we will hardly be neutral, passive and open-minded to such ideas.
I'm all for allowing people to believe what they they believe, but when they begin calling for coercive measures to enforce those beliefs on others, on me, then I have every right to call it what it is -- irrational babble. The Left ignores the radical voices of Islam as if they don't exist, yet they rail against all ideas on the Right, even the ones calling for more freedom. The Left needs to ask the people of Europe how it works out when you fail to defend your principles while bending over backwards to appear understanding of principles you would abhor if forced to adhere to -- or perhaps the Left shares radical Islamist principles, but surely this can't be true.