Radical Islamist ideology, as American Islamic Forum for Democracy founder Zuhdi Jasser often says, can be defeated only Muslims fighting a "war of ideas" among themselves. A new generation of voices, from reformists to a former radical challenging conventional wisdom, is pushing this fight.
Canadian Awad Loubani is the latest to join the fray. Loubani, chairperson of Ottawa's Equity and Diversity Advisory Committee wrote a column in the Ottawa Citizen "How Muslim can help defeat terrorism," that describes the dominance Islamist voices hold over Muslim communities. Loubani encourages law enforcement officials to counter that monopoly by reaching beyond mosque leadership and self-anointed advocacy groups:
"Just like Christian and Jewish faithful, the Muslims too want to hear messages of faith, love, morality, hope, charity, happiness and salvation. But instead, the mosques are hijacked by these ideologues and their entities that use the sacred space for social and political engineering to manipulate vulnerable Muslims to preach their divisive ideology and polarize them into 'them and us.'"