The cloud has also spread to Northern Mali where Islamic extremists have banned music in a land where it has long been part of their culture. The Washington Post reports that Northern Mali is "one of the richest reservoirs of music on the (African) continent, (but) is now an artistic wasteland. Hundreds of musicians have fled south to Bamako, the capital, and to other towns and neighboring countries, driven out by hardliners who have decreed any form of music -- save for the tunes set to Koranic verses -- as being against their religion."
It is fine to say Islamists don't represent "mainstream Islam," whatever that is. But if moderate Islam exists, it is having great difficulty asserting itself in the face of extremists who have the guns, the knives and the will to impose their creed on others, killing or imprisoning anyone who resists.
This is the future and it has policy implications for the United States and every other country that is free and tolerant of all beliefs and wishes to remain so.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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