In a March 15th article titled “a ‘Moderate’ path is just another road to disaster,” Youssef M. Ibrahim writes:

…one reads with amazement a passionate essay describing the “Moderate Muslim Brotherhood” in the March/April issue of Foreign Affairs, flagship of the influential Council on Foreign Relations. Its authors argue that America should talk with the leaders of this vast pan-Arab organization, whom they conclude believe in some form of democracy.

This is a recurrent theme in forays by well-intentioned scholars and journalists anxious to find an alternative to a clash of civilization between the West and Islam. In the past few years, these Lawrence of Arabia explorers have attempted to show hair-splitting differences between bloody-minded jihadists such as Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahri — a former top leader of the Brotherhood — and more docile Brotherhood types, who speak English, wear suits, and inhabit apartments, not caves. These moderates, the article states, include some who are “Shakespeare admirers.”

Shakespeare? Suits? It’s truly stunning that people are still talking like this. One of the most oft-repeated cliches about the Holocaust is: “Imagine — all that butchery and barbarism were set to the backdrop of classical music and fine art.” This common musing refers to the fact that the world couldn’t see the Germans as savages — after all, they listened to Mozart.

It’s a good thing that Angelina Jolie will be joining the Council on Foreign Relations. Perhaps she can set them on a more intelligent course.