Media pundits, experts and politicians alike have routinely cited Jihad and Jihadists as the greatest threat to America's national security at home and abroad. But these words of caution have done more harm than good, not only because they misrepresent Islam but also because they squander what maybe a decent chance to defeat terrorism by waging a Jihad against extremists.
I am scared here at home. I have been on the receiving end of hateful glares, shoving on the sidewalks, and hateful phrases yelled at me. The fear I face here at home has made me decide not to ride the metro since the Paris attacks. I find myself using my hostile environment training for Baghdad and Benghazi here at home.
Qassem Soleimani, Iranian military leader, ideologue, and commander in chief of the Quds force- a branch of the Islamic Republic's Revolutionary Guard Corps that conducts extraterritorial military and clandestine operations- has been coming out of his shell and becoming more vocal in stating his opinions.
It's almost a year since a US-led coalition launched air strikes and increased support of Iraqi and Kurdish military forces in a bid to degrade and destroy the self-styled Islamic State; yet the jihadist group that has conquered a swath of Syria and Iraq has demonstrated resilience despite suffering significant losses.
The public discussion about the causes of violent extremism has focused mainly on the socioeconomic and political conditions that exist in Arab countries. But we must also carefully consider how the events in the wake of World Wars I and II have impacted the psychological disposition of the Arab population throughout the Middle East.