· The current phenomenon of Jihadism is a modern and wholly new idea in the Muslim world
· The current era is best understood as a parallel to the Protestant Reformation - the era of the islamic reformation
· The conflict is not primarily a result of a clash between cultures of east And west, but a battle within the Islamic world
· The Christian Reformation was a violent and bloody argument that spanned all of Europe for nearly a century - and was primarily about who had the power of decision; where was the locus of power - the church or the individual
· The islamic parallel is further complicated by the fact that neither side of the argument has a central authority but instead there are thousands of self-appointed leaders and clerics
· With the wide availability of the Koran in various languages and the use of the Internet (the Islamic Reformation's parallel to the printing press of the Christian Reformation), even the mosque has lost its unifying power
· Think of Bin Ladin in light of Luther's pro-war stance in the German peasant war of 1525
· Jihadism portays the West and Israel as "the far enemy" while those within Islarn who refuse the radical puritanism within Islam are referred to as "the near enemy"
· Bin ladin has essentially said that individual Muslims can trump all recognized clerics and scholars within Islam if "the truth is on their side" - saying that he or any other Muslim can declare fatwas or jihad - a capability previously reserved only for recognized leaders within Islam
· Regarding democritization within the Middle East, we must tread lightely. Look at the IRA- this is an example of disarming a terrorist organization by political empowerment. We must bear this lesson in mind to avoid a serious mistake with Hamas
· he Israel issue has become really the only thread running through much of the arab world - they have little else in common - it's used as a tool by dictators to draw attention and criticism away from themselves
· The victory of Hamas was a victory not about religion or hatred Of Israel but about who built the hospitals and cleaned the streets
· The primary messages were that the conflict raging within Islam now is first and foremost an internal conflict - not first and foremost a "clash of cultures - East and West" (though there is certainly a place for this - primarily in response to Colonialism and as a tool used by despots and dictators within Middle East governments to direct criticism away from themselves). And that this "Reformation" within Islam will have to be resolved within Islam.