A new age of barbarism is upon us. On the third anniversary of September 11, we witness innocent kids being murdered in a school in Russia. Women and children are being blown to pieces on buses in Israel. American, Turkish, and Nepalese workers are being beheaded in Iraq. Hundreds of Spanish commuters have been killed and hundreds more tourists murdered in Bali. While the Presidential campaigns swirl hotly around who is the toughest leader in the fight against terrorism and what mistakes may or may not have been made in Iraq, a much larger issue remains. America, Europe, Israel, Egypt, Pakistan, and governments everywhere are under attack by Islamic extremists. These terrorists have but one demand -- the destruction of modern secular society. They have but one goal -- uniting Muslims under a religious caliphate that assumes control over Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, and others around the globe.
The goal of this enemy is so unbelievable, the tactics so horrible, that many hide in denial. France thought it was safe behind its anti-American foreign policy, only to have people kidnapped in Iraq in retaliation for its policy of having Muslim girls remove religious headscarves in school. It is French secular culture that Islamic fundamentalists hate.
On this anniversary of September 11, the world's leaders need to recognize that one nation alone cannot deal with the menace of radical Islam. They need to forge alliances and upgrade multilateral institutions to confront the danger ahead.