This article states it precisely. There is a lot of discussion, most of it heated, about how terrible it is that many countries have villainized Muslim males in the wake of 9/11. Mr. Friedman makes the excellent point that if the Muslim world does not regulate and police itself and if that failure then results in death and destruction of those outside the Muslim world, the world at large will move to regulate the Muslim world. In fact that is exactly what we have seen happening. And in my opinion (not all that humble) the US government and its population have been very restrained in its reaction to the Muslim world in light of the terrorism spewing forth from it.
Do not jump to conclusions. I do not think that all Muslims should be punished, controlled, regulated or contained because of the actions of its extremist element. I do not subscribe to slippery slope that it is only a matter of time before all Muslims are extremists. The extremist element within the Muslim world is a small minority as it is with all groups. I do not seek to remove Islam from anywhere. I fully support and endorse freedom of religion and worship. No one should be persecuted for their beliefs. However, everyone should be held responsible for their actions.
The Muslim world as a whole needs to condemn Osama Bin Laden and his organization. The Muslim world needs to shun those who are members of or associate with al Qaeda. The Muslim world needs to speak out, clearly and loudly, against the actions that are taken in its name. To a certain extent this is happening at a grassroots level. After the 9/11 attacks the Muslim organization at Apple organized a series of meetings in which they explained their views on what happened. They explained their position on the meaning of Jihad. They explained their view that extremist organizations were using different interpretations (they called them misinterpretations) of Muslim teachings. However, denunciation of al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, those who support either of them and those who employ the same or similar tactics needs to be universal within the Muslim community. It needs to come not only from the local followers of Islam but from the leaders of the world of Islam.
Failure within the Islamic world to delineate mainstream Islam from extremist Islam will relegate this task to the world at large. It is likely that the world at large will handle this chore clumsily at best. It will be difficult for outsiders to determine a way to accurately separate the sheep from the wolves in sheeps clothing. Given the high stakes, it is likely that much of the world will stop trying to differentiate and exclude the whole lot. When it is not possible to determine the extremists from the mainstream societies will hold the entire world of Islam suspect.
It is already a fairly commonly held belief that the Koran preaches violence, death and destruction to those not Muslim. I do not profess to know whether this is true or not. I have never read the Koran nor studied its teachings. Without a loud voice from within the world of Islam condemning the violence and its perpetrators, it is easy to believe that the world of Islam is a world of violence.