Islam Needs a Civil War Muslim majority must triumph on the ground and in 'Virtual Afghanistan' By John Johnson, Newser Staff Posted Dec 16, 2009 1:14 PM CST 17 comments Comments This is an undated file photo of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, in Afghanistan. (AP Photo) (Newser) – Islam has become corrupted by the ideology of a "violent minority," and it's long past time that the majority of Muslims take back their religion, writes Thomas Friedman. How? It needs a "civil war," just as America needed one to overcome the ideology of slavery. "We defeated those ideas and the individuals, leaders and institutions that propagated them, and we did it with such ferocity that five generations later some of their offspring still have not forgiven the North," he writes in the New York Times. Islam must do the same. And to win this war, it must devote resources not only to the fight on the ground but the fight in "Virtual Afghanistan"—that "network of hundreds of jihadist websites that inspire, train, educate, and recruit young Muslims to engage in jihad." No military surge will succeed unless "there is a parallel surge—by Arab and Muslim political and religious leaders—against those who promote violent jihadism on the ground in Muslim lands and online in the Virtual Afghanistan."