I'm back! Though I don't have much time to write, these days, I'll try to throw a few interesting tidbits out. This one from the Post, via Buckley, is the most succint recital of the last few years as I have seen. Having read Bernard Lewis' book on the history of Islam, seen his prediction of an Islamic Europe within a few generations, I am convinced of the need for broad historical and geographic perspective. Benjamin and Simon's book "the Age of Sacred Terror" ties in this large picture with a more concentrated look at the roots of al Qaida going back to the Muslim Brotherhood...not as an organization, but as an evolving and cohesive worldview.
Islam is at a crossroads, much as Christianity was after the Crusades and in through the reformation. Which path will predominate, violence and statism vs relationships and personalism, remains to be seen. For now, the most vocal and attractive side of Islam is the one that gives followers a reason to live, and a reason to die.