To hear these "experts" pontificating about Islam or Arab culture is more than annoying. It's downright dangerous. Instead of elevating the discourse, they dumb it down. And instead of making us aware of the enormous complexities involved in these conflict zones, they reduce them to simple and easy clichés.
We have every reason to be concerned with the fate of the Christian communities of the Arab World. What is at stake is not just the survival of these important minorities; it is the future of the region, itself. Violent extremist groups like ISIS and their kin, pose an existential challenge not only to Christians, but to all Arabs and Muslims.
If the threat to Israel and Jordan is primarily security, to Saudi Arabia it is also ideological, with IS tracing its roots to the philosophy of the 18th-century warrior-jurist Mohammed Ibn Abdul Wahhab and other Islamic sources on which the kingdom was built, and constituting a reference point that Salafists cannot ignore.
Political differences need to be resolved through an inclusive process within Iraq with the active support of regional players. Neither the region nor the world can afford to underestimate how dangerous the present situation in Iraq has become, virtually overnight, and how vital it is to contain and reverse this threat.