One of the claims of leftist critics of the war and occupation in Iraq is that we have supposedly alienated Iraqis and now Al Qaeda has a strong presence there. The latter claim is at odds with the reality that AQ is on the run and has turned to places like Somalia and Pakistan's frontier as havens.
Now comes news from, of all places, Sabrina Tavernese writing in the New York Times, that while radical Islam is finding young adherents elsewhere in the Muslim world,
After almost five years of war, many young Iraqis, exhausted by constant firsthand exposure to the violence of religious extremism, say they have grown disillusioned with religious leaders and skeptical of the faith that they preach.
In two months of interviews with 40 young people in five Iraqi cities, a pattern of disenchantment emerged, in which young Iraqis, both poor and middle class, blamed clerics for the violence and the restrictions that have narrowed their lives.
"I hate Islam and all the clerics because they limit our freedom every day and their instruction became heavy over us," said Sara Sami, a high school student in Basra. "Most of the girls in my high school hate that Islamic people control the authority because they don't deserve to be rulers."
Hat tip: Brigitte