Civilization is a choice, a habit, a line in the . . . sand.
For modern, prosperous society to progress, to grow more healthy and wealthy and wise, most of us have to agree on a small set of principles. Mostly, we must agree not to rush to violence at the merest provocation.
There has to be a lot of negotiation to get anything done. At least, in a free and open civilized society.
Terrorism is the repudiation of this principle.
The main perpetrators of terrorism these days hail from Muslim peoples. But there are non-Muslim terrorists, too. Many of the “school shootings” and similar violent acts in America and even in Europe rarely get listed as terrorism, though they certainly look terroristic. And most don’t have anything to do with Islam.
Even when Muslims are the ones committing the terrorism, their victims are often also Muslim.
Some folks estimate that as many as 95 out of a hundred terrorist victims are Muslim. Why? Because so much of this violence goes on in countries like Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.
While this estimate is probably too high, the fact that Muslims themselves are the most common victims of Muslim violence suggests that the underlying problem is the lack of institutions in those lands that hold to the choice — the habit — of civilization.
So, yes: tyranny is at the root of the problem.
Americans, if we want fewer terrorists, might want to restrain our governments from propping up or closely allying ourselves to “Muslim” dictatorships, then.
This is something we can control.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.