Militant Islam Is Moving Ahead As Expected The war in Iraq is now over a year old.* Contrary to many media pundits, I believe the war is going as expected, even with the recent increase in fighting at Fallujah and Najaf.* Over a year ago, I was among those who wrote that this war is not simply a war against terrorism, but is in fact a war against militant Islam.* It looks like what we wrote then is coming to fruition today.* Events both in Europe and Iraq seem to confirm our expectations. The war on terror has now turned into a religious war in Iraq.* Today, both militant Sunnis and militant Shiites confront U.S. troops there.* Although many of those involved in the ''uprising'' against our forces of occupation are from outside Iraq--most notably Syria and Iran--all of the fighters are followers of fundamentalist imans and are motivated by religious zeal.* The so-called uprising has become a jihad. Some media commentators are surprised that the U.S. is now in a position in Iraq where radical Islamist from both the Sunni and Shiite branches of Islam have combined to fight American and British forces of occupation.* Anyone familiar with Islam knew this was going to happen.* Even though there has been an attempt by outside forces in Iraq to stir up trouble between both Shiite and Sunnis, extremists from these two camps now have more in common than they a did over a year ago before the Western occupation. We can expect more of the same, now.* Fortunately, many are beginning to see just how much of a misnomer the war on terror is.* Muslims know the war on terror is more of a political fiction than a reality, and as time passes politicians in the West will have to make the same realization.* Thumbing through dictionaries, some are even looking up the old word ''crusade.'' U.S. policy will also have to adapt by giving a new name to this widening war.* With this new name must also come a new plan for victory.* If this does not happen, then our necessary victory in this struggle may not happen either.* Writing in the National Review over a year ago, John O'Sullivan makes a similar point.* He says, ''What ordinary Americans rightly oppose is a war conducted without any clear aim or prospect of victory.''* (September 29, 2003). Many in the West fail to realize that elements of Islam have been at war with Europe for over 1,000 years.* Calling this present-day conflict a war on terror does nothing to change the fundamental antagonism that exists between the Muslim world and the West, especially as the West is symbolized by the U.S.* As time goes by, more and more Muslims will define the U.S. and Europe as ''the enemies of God,'' and become militant.* With high birth rates, low employment, and little prospect for the future, many Muslim young men are prepared to be soldiers in a jihad against these enemies of God. Writing in the Atlantic Monthly almost 15 years ago, Bernard Lewis made a point that is timely even today.* In his article ''The Roots of Muslim Rage,'' (September, 1990) Lewis wrote, ''It should be clear by now that we are facing a mood and a movement far transcending the level of issues and policies and the governments that pursue them. This is no less than a clash of civilizations.''* Since Lewis wrote these words, this clash of civilizations has become more rather than less evident. As the war in Iraq shifts from being a war on terror to being a war on militant Islam, we can expect a hardening of lines between Islamic civilization and Western civilization.* This is already evident in some Muslim communities in Western Europe and to a degree in the U.S. Eventually, the clash between Western and Islamic values will test the limits of liberalism to contain them.* The U.S., and especially Europe, may be forced to repeat the events of 1492, when Granada, the last Moorish city in Spain was captured by the military forces of Ferdinand and Isabella.* After that, the Moors were driven from Spain, concluding a ''reconquista'' that began centuries earlier by the Spanish hero, El Cid.* It may be necessary in the not too distant future to remove again all Muslims from Western societies, and build a fence around Islam.* This may happen when the conflict in Iraq widens, which no doubt it will. Already radical Muslims living in Europe are calling for jihad and the overthrow of Western governments.* Reporting in the New York Times (4/26/04) P. E. Tyler, and D. Van Natta, Jr., write that in Luton, England, a former industrial town north of London, ''a small group of young Britons whose parents emigrated from Pakistan after World War II have turned against their families' new home.* They say they would like to see Prime Minister Tony Blair dead or deposed and an Islamic flag hanging outside No. 10 Downing Street.'' Similar events are occurring on the continent.* At a mosque in Geneva, an iman recently exhorted his followers to ''impose the will of Islam on the godless society of the West.''* In France today, about one in ten persons is a Muslim.* In Germany, Muslim fundamentalism is also a growing phenomenon.* While in the U. S., with most of the mosques funded by Saudi Arabia, hardly any Muslim clerics denounce the events of 9/11 nor do they come out in support of the war against terror, let alone the removal of Sadam Hussein in Iraq. It is not unusual for Muslims living in the West to agree with Sheik Omar. Speaking to his followers just outside London, the sheik spends time telling his young followers about the erotic delights of paradise.* He warns Western leaders, ''You may kill bin Laden, but the phenomenon, you cannot kill ityou cannot destroy it.* Our Muslim brothers from abroad will come one day and conquer here and then we will live under Islam in dignity,'' (NYT, P. E. Tyler, and D. Van Natta, Jr.)*** We should remember well these words and not be surprised when a new ''El Cid'' arises in Europe. Robert Klein Engler lives in Chicago and is an adjunct professor at Roosevelt University. His books are available from amazon.com. ===== I knew it, I knew it. The sooner we can turn Iraqis (and Muslims) into new homeowners, with a two car garage and a 30 year mortgage, the better. Maybe they can have a SUV and a hybrid both. One for the weekends, one for the weekdays.