From American Thinker:
I have made this point myself. Osama bin Laden is a "better" Muslim - if we define "better" as taking the Koran seriously, believing it literally and obeying the commands of the founding prophet - than any Muslim "moderate".
This is why genuine reform in Islam is going to be nearly impossible. When Martin Luther and the other Christian reformers confronted the Roman Catholic Chruch of their day they had the advantage of the fact that the Bible was on their side.
Luther, Calvin and the others were working to strip away centuries of human tradition that had become attached to the Church and was very often in contradiction to scripture. The Muslim reformer, on the other hand, must convince his fellow Muslims to adopt an interpretation of the Koran and other Islamic scripture which is flatly contradictory to its plain meaning and at serious odds to the example set by the "prophet" Mohammad.
Frankly speaking this is probably an impossible task. At least as things stand now.
Too many people in the West, conservatives included, believe that if we can just raise the Muslim standard of living they will forget about jihad. If we can just introduce them to iPods, flat screen TV's and premium movie channels that, along with a good secular education and a good paying job, will turn them into clones of modern Americans or Europeans.
Of course people who hold that opinion are at a loss to explain the Ft. Hood shooter who had an excellent American education and access to all the cultural blandishments America has to offer and still chose to murder as many fellow Americans as possible while shouting "god is great" in Arabic.
They also have trouble explaining how the 19 9/11 hijackers were able to live in the US for years and have plenty of money to throw around, and even spend the evening of 9/10 in a strip joint getting lap dances, and still go forth to fly planes into buildings.
How could spending years immersed in American society with all of our freedom and affluence, not to mention leggy blondes who put out at the drop of a hat - this was Florida after all - not have turned these men into supporters of American culture rather than blood enemies?
The fact is that there are many Muslims, some who live in poor Middle Eastern nations and have only the education they received in mosque, and some who live in the Middle East but who have traveled extensively in the West and have high quality Western educations and some who live lives of affluence in the West itself, who take their religion seriously enough to do what it commands.
And the command of the Islamic religion is to wage jihad against the infidel, killing those who will not convert.
That is how the prophet lived his life and that is how the Islamic caliphate became a great world empire in the years after Mohammad's death and it is that era which a great many Muslims look back upon as a golden age and wish to recreate.
Until the West comes to grips with the fact that it is Islam itself which is the enemy we will be fighting the current war blindfolded and with one hand tied behind our backs.