In spite of all the resources devoted to fighting Somalia-based Al Shabaab in recent years, the group has grown stronger, and continues to cross the region's borders with impunity. The same is true with Boko Haram in Nigeria and Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.
Since the dawn of time, the world has witnessed conflict, and since the onset of organized religion, it has played host to sectarian violence. But why is Islamism currently growing so fast, and so widely? The reasons are political and economic.
One of the consistent messages of the holy Quran is: "The good deed and the evil deed are not alike. Repel the evil deed with one, which is better." In last few weeks, we witnessed too many Muslims fail miserably to uphold these central ideals.
The debate over who actually represents God's will is one that the both Bush and Obama have studiously sought to avoid. The U.S. is not at war with Islam per se, U.S. officials insist. Still, among Muslims abroad, suspicion persists and not without reason.
The alliance of the educated Pakistani women against religious extremism is an extraordinary and heartening development in a country where women face stringent restrictions and enjoy minimal freedom of choice.
With the growing difficulty to prevent radicalization and rehabilitate militants, there is a lot more that needs to be done by parents, imams, scholars, teachers and the entire society to promote the message of mercy and compassion.
The truth is that intelligence experts with far more integrity than Gingrich or others who have specialized in demonizing Muslims agree that homegrown jihadists now pose more of a direct threat to America than al Qaeda.
Has anyone ever said to a Muslim, "Welcome to America ?" Try replacing fear with friendship. Ask questions and show true respect. Then you can explain American values, how we got them, and why we want to keep America free.