By George Weigel (Senior Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center)
In this Foreign Policy Research Institute "BookTalk," George Weigel, the author of Faith, Reason, and the War Against Jihadism, describes the 9/11 attacks as evidence that: "War had been declared upon us by an enemy whose motivations were utterly alien to the 21st century sensibility of the West." Any failure to grasp the implications of that war and its "multiple, interconnected fronts," he writes, will undermine Western civilization's chances of prevailing against those willing, even eager, to die for their very different notion of the world's future.
Offering 15 lessons designed to strengthen the West for the struggle ahead, Weigel began by warning that Westerners must take theology seriously-both theirs and their enemy's. He rejects claims of an easy affinity between the Judeo-Christian faiths and Islam, which, until changed, may be incapable of providing a religious basis for a just, pluralistic society. More dangerous yet, the jihadist element within Islam feels driven to compel the world's submission to its beliefs, a drive facilitated by the lack of faith in many parts of the West.