Hopefully, history will reveal that the latest tactic by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), burning Jordanian fighter pilot-turned-hostage Moath al-Kasasbeh, was the tipping point in the Muslim world that united all decent people against the most dangerous threat to the world in the 21st century.

It's about time that a Muslim monarch boarded a fighter jet to assist in the bombing of ISIS targets in northern Syria. Thank you, King Abdullah of Jordan, for your bravery and resolve.

It's about time that religious clerics, Middle East leaders — Arab and Persian, Sunni and Shiite, kings and royals — condemn radical Islamists and take action to curtail the spread of terrorism, beheadings, torture and kidnapping across the region before it's too late.


It's about time the leaders of the free world call the radicalization in the Islamic world what it is, without reservation or hesitation. We have seen al Qaeda, the Taliban, the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and Hezbollah germinate into ISIS and Boko Haram. The insanity has now reached epic proportions in the Middle East and northern Africa. Thankfully, the collection of Islamic extremist organizations is not yet a functional coalition, but time is now of the essence. We must all be diligent in pursuing solutions before these fires of destruction grow together and spread across the globe.

It's about time the president of the United States quits avoiding this threat and drawing moral equivalencies to Christianity 1,000 years ago. The reality today requires his sober assessment and focused attention. It's time for our president to expend all relational equity possible to convene the world leaders around solutions to this problem.

It's also about time our congressional leaders — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) — take decisive action by establishing permanent select committees in the House and Senate to address radical Islamism and the global threat of terrorism in this new age of asymmetrical warfare and instant communication. Surely, there are still a few nonpolitically motivated patriots in Congress capable of meeting together to formulate recommendations that might include diplomacy with nontraditional allies; global cooperation in funding and arming moderate opposition forces in the region; or economic sanctions/restrictions to freeze the ability of these groups to transfer money, sell oil or obtain equipment. For more than a decade, our nation's response to these threats has been projected through the "red and blue" political prism of American politics. From one perspective, this is all President George W. Bush's fault for overreaching and warmongering. From the other, President Obama has not done enough or has been too sympathetic to the Muslim world. It's about time we quit pointing fingers and blaming each other, roll up our sleeves and work together on solutions.

It's about time for the so-called Big Four to begin weekly meetings together to assist these proposed select committees with developing strategies to help the executive branch and the free world leadership address this problem in a comprehensive way. If they need to reduce the number of Congressional Gold Medal ceremonies in the rotunda or increase the number of days they meet in Washington to make time for this priority, then so be it. This clear and imminent danger is growing and is now the most critical challenge of our generation.

A few years ago, I asked my friend, Kevin Rudd, then prime minister of Australia, what his assessment was of the United States at this time of uncertainty and instability in the world. His answer amazed me. He said — and I paraphrase — that "We are optimistic about America's leadership because we have read your history. We know of the Civil War, the Great Depression, the World Wars and the civil rights movement. We have seen your resilience time and time again. We have great faith that you will rise to meet any challenge that you face."

Well, it's about time that we rise to the occasion once again and meet this challenge together.

Wamp was a member of Congress from 1995 to 2011 and is president of Zach Wamp Consulting.