[I]f Islamic-inspired violence abroad does not directly and negatively affect the Middle East, or if it creates a sense of fear of radical Islam among Westerners that does not translate into hardship for the Muslim world — or that perhaps even succeeds in winning a sort of warped prestige — then there is no reason to expect the Islamic community will take the necessary measures to curb it.
The sense of perceived persecution in the Middle East is real — analogous to Germany’s lamentations after the Versailles Treaty. The retreat into Islamic-inspired terror reflects a larger, complex stew of anger at the reach of Western globalization into traditional and conservative Islamic societies and of envy of the wealth and influence of the Western world, combined with an inability to offer self-critical analyses about the role of tribalism, statism, gender apartheid, religious fundamentalism, intolerance, autocracy, and anti-Semitism in institutionalizing poverty and instability.
For a sizable minority of Muslim immigrants to the West, a sense of inferiority is sometimes enhanced rather than diminished by contact with Western liberal society. The longer and further immigrants are away from the mess of the Middle East that caused them to flee or at least stay away, the more they are able under the aegis of Western freedom, prosperity, and security to romanticize what provides them with the sense of self that they have not earned in their adopted countries.
In the Middle East, when modern societies reach such a point, they prefer to blame “Jews” or “the decadent West” rather than their own pathologies for a perceived descent from the glories of a past — and religiously pure — age. . . .
When the nihilism of radical Islam manifests itself not just in the bombings in Paris or Boston, but right at home with the rise of the murderous Islamic State, or when the Arab Spring is hijacked by Islamists who typically leave Somalias in their wake, or when Middle Eastern Muslims find it hard to emigrate to and reside in Western countries or to freely import Western goods, or when the leaders of Middle Eastern appeasing states are ostracized from international gatherings, or when states that behead and stone are shunned by the West, then support for the terrorists and what produced them will begin slowly to fade.