From Ayaan Hirsi Ali writing at the Washington Post:
The ferment we see in the Muslim world today is not solely due to despotic political systems, and it is not solely due to failing economies and the poverty they breed. Rather, it is also due largely to Islam itself and the incompatibility of certain of that faith’s key tenets with modernity. That is why the most important conflict in the world today is between those who are hell-bent on preserving, and even increasing, these incompatibilities, and those who are bravely prepared to challenge them — not to overthrow Islam but to reform it.
Forget the crude distinction between “extreme” and “moderate” Muslims. Rather, we should distinguish among three groups of Muslims.
The first group is the most problematic. Those in this category envision a regime based on sharia, or Islamic religious law. They aim not just to obey the prophet Muhammad’s teaching but also to emulate his warlike conduct after his move to Medina. Even if they do not themselves engage in violence, the people in this group do not hesitate to condone it.
The second group — which composes the clear majority throughout the Muslim world — is loyal to the core creed of Islam and worship devoutly but is not inclined to practice or preach violence. Like devout Christians or Jews who attend religious services every week and abide by religious rules in what they eat and wear, these “Mecca Muslims” focus on religious observance. Sometimes some members of this group are mistakenly termed “moderate.”
Read the rest of the story at the Washington Post.