Continued from page 1

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somali-born former Muslim who has publicly denounced Islam as a dangerous ideology, stated a similar message in her book “Nomad: From Islam to America: A Personal Journey Through the Clash of Civilizations.” In it, she writes about her experience with Islam and why she thinks it is a dangerous system that must be fought with strong competing ideas.

“The mainstream Americans, especially on the liberal side of things, seemed to think [jihad] is a problem Europeans have, this is not a problem that we [Americans] have,” Ms. Hirsi Ali said in a June 2 speech at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. “I noticed a naivete that I had seen in Europe years ago in America about the presence of radical Islam.”

The West is reluctant to embrace anything that might make it appear to reject Islam, Mr. McCarthy said. He said the uneasy desire not to offend Muslims is a clear symptom of the problem.

Mr. McCarthy said he sees moderate Islam as another possible contending force, put forth by those who claim Islam is a peaceful religion and that the violence comes from radical Islamist factions. He said he hopes the moderates can contend with their radical counterparts, but that Islamists have made a case rooted in the Koran for their position.

“The moderates are not going to win until they can come up with a cogent, compelling, rooted-in-the-scriptures moderate Islam,” Mr. McCarthy said.