A good starting point would be for Americans to distinguish between tiny fringe cults and mainstream majorities, both in Arab societies and in America itself.Ok, let's use his examples, shall we? In Mr. Khouri's own words:
Osama bin Laden and colleagues reflect Islamic societies to the same degree that the cult of polygamous Christian nuts recently broken up in Texas represents American society. The Yearning for Zion Ranch of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a freak of American culture and society, not a symbol of it. Radical Muslims who wage war against the United States similarly represent a fringe of their societies, not its essence.1) For Americans, this before now unheard of group "Yearning for Zion Ranch of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" is a fringe group of a fringe group of a fringe group who, though like mainstream Muslims themselves allow polygamy, are a threat to practically no one. Bin Laden, on the other hand, represents quite a large following of a monolithic Sunni brand of Islam stretching across the globe, unknown thousands of followers who are funded by unknown millions of dollars, and responsible for unknown hundreds of thousands of deaths.
2) Who in America supports "The Yearning for Zion Ranch of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints"? Where are the rallies on their behalf, people speaking with solidarity for them, individuals rushing to join their ranks, or mobs wreaking havoc in the name of their cause? Why are most Americans glad that these not jobs are being dealt with? Followers of Bin Laden's form of violent jihad, on the other hand, are everywhere taking hostages, killing civilians with suicide murder, making their death videos that give credit to the Sheikh", civilians (or "the street") dancing and handing out sweets at the deaths of others, burning effigies and chanting death to the infidel of the moment, torching property and killing bystanders, and so on.
3) Rami selectively cites terror against America, while omitting Islamic terror against Europeans and Jews worldwide. Is that different? Should Americans nuance away the shredded bodies of Israeli women and children as understandable? If Islamic radicals have done these things to Israel, and then to America because of association, then there cannot be any distinction. Surely Rami can figure that one out.
4) While there is plenty of scoff about how America is handling the Mormon cult by Mr. Khouri, as well as his derision of how America handles the "fringe" elements of jihadi Islamists, there is no alternative word about what should be done. If the "nonviolent Arabs and Muslims who make up 99 percent of their societies" are completely impotent, unable, unwilling, and/or incompetent to deal with their own 1% jhadi problem, of what worth is there in listening to their criticism? One would argue that these "experts" actually contribute to the problem.
5) As many perversions that are proudly committed by Islamic radicals, where is the hate that burns in the breast of the American average Joe? How is the bitterness of disgust expressed by the citizenry of the Great Satan? How many moderate Muslims have been victims of the rage of the mindless western mobs? Compare that to the aforementioned Muslim "street", which frothily seethes worldwide on a daily basis. This can only make us wonder who is lecturing whom about what?
Rami intended to separate out the “fringe” from the “mainstream” in his argument, but he falls victim to his own criticisms of "over-simplifications", "pontifications", and "immaturity" that frustrate him about America so. Instead of adding clarity and sobriety to the debate, Mr. Khouri only succeeds in wallowing himself in the stagnant cesspool of that same ignorance.One final thought: What if Rami G. Khouri used his influence, position, and prestige to actually influence his own Middle Eastern readership in order to work to rid themselves of that “fringe” scourge that cripples every corner of the region and beyond, instead of courageously igniting the American/Israeli effigy on a regular basis? Methinks the answer to that lies somewhere out there in the “fringe”.