Opinion: Blackfeet Native American History May Offer Lessons for Moderate Muslims

July 16, 2005

Source: The Dallas Morning News


On July 16, 2005 The Dallas Morning News ran an opinion piece by staff writer, Arnold Kling, who sees parallels between the situation now facing moderate Muslims and that of the Blackfleet Indian tribe of Montana in the 1870s. "Following the London subway bombings, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman... called on moderate Muslims, for the sake of self-preservation, to do something to stop the barbaric theatrical actions of the terrorists. Up to this point, however, moderate Muslims have seemed paralyzed in the face of terrorism committed in the name of their religion... A lack of social capital, or what James Bennett calls 'civil society,' means that the Muslim community's circuits are overloaded. Like the Native Americans living in Montana in 1870, Muslims are confronted with too much change happening too quickly... However, we should not rush to declare that the moderates' cause is hopeless. Their task may be more difficult than we can appreciate. If we are to avoid turning our clash with radical Muslims into a rerun of 1870, we will need patience."