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Monday, February 06, 2006

OK, Mr. Hewitt

Hugh Hewitt asks bloggers who are discussing the cartoon controversy to answer the questions: "Are we at war with Islam? Do you want a war with Islam?" He goes on, "My answers and the answers of any sensible person ought to be 'no,' and 'no.' "

It may be almost that simple, but not quite. We are not at war with Islam in general in anything like the sense that we are at war with radical Islamic jihadism. But if Islam, in some monolithic general way, requires an end to any political commentary that could offend religious sensibilities, then it seems we are or should be at war with that demand. Using the term "at war" in this context is unnecessarily inflammatory -- unless it turns out that the Islamic world as a whole takes this demand seriously enough to condone and organize violence in support of it. I hope and so far believe that this is not the case. But let us stay tuned.

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