The rise of violent extremism is only at the early stages, and if the West wants to stem the flow of volunteers to these ruthless groups, Western countries should make a concerted effort to engage and understand the nuances of their Muslim communities, especially the families from which these volunteers are coming.
There is no Hizmet Movement plan to take over Ankara, no desire to rule the religious roost. In fact, in my meeting with Islamic scholar and preacher Fethullah Gulen, America was lauded for its religious freedoms. That was the model offered up. Not a Muslim state but a state where all religions are supported in their practice. Turkish President Erdogan should take note.
While the threat of ISIL is real, Muslims in America should not collectively pay the price every time an individual or group engages in political violence in the name of Islam. Overtly targeting Muslims only corroborates what many Americans have suspected for decades -- systemic bias against minorities infects law enforcement.
Another uncertainty that might get clearer when Tsarnaev is tried, is whether he rightly belongs in what Obama proclaimed to be a new category of terrorist, saying to White House reporters, "One of the dangers that we now face are self-radicalized individuals who are already here in the United States."