Bigotry against Muslims helps terrorists and Muslim nations need to do much more to win the war — and it is a war — against terrorism. These two notions, that there is too much anti-Muslim bigotry in the West and that nations in the Arab League should take even stronger action against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), provide two sides of the coin that must be addressed to protect the world from terror.

During the recent terror attack in Paris, one Muslim saved the lives of many Parisians by helping them to hide from those who would kill them. During the Holocaust, the Iranian ambassador to Vichy France, who has been called the Iranian Schindler, helped countless Jews escape from the Nazis. These two Muslims are heroes to decent people everywhere. Most Muslims are good and decent people and most American Muslims are patriotic Americans.


When some on the far right attacked President Obama by suggesting he was Muslim, they were committing acts of bigotry that should have been denounced by every Republican as well as Democrat. Of course Obama is a Christian, but even if he were a Muslim, these kinds of attacks would have been scurrilous and bigoted.

In France today, there is far too much anti-Muslim bigotry, and it should be condemned — it hurts France and is exploited by terrorists. But in the same way that most French Muslims are good and decent people, most French men and women are not bigoted against Muslims.

At the same time, it is essential that the nations in the Arab League and throughout the Mideast support far more forceful efforts to defeat and destroy the mass murdering movement that calls itself ISIS. ISIS defames the true principles of Islam; ISIS poses a mortal danger to true Sunnis and Shiites as well as Christians, Jews and Kurds. The United States, Europe and the Arab League should be far more forceful in joint efforts to destroy ISIS. Even the United States and Iran, which disagree about many matters, agree about the urgent need to deal with ISIS once and for all.

It is widely believed — and it is factually wrong — that Muslims as a faith are more prone to violence than other faiths. Statistics prove this theory wrong generally. When I was at the London School of Economics, a bomb was detonated by some from my own faith, as Protestants and Catholics were fighting over Northern Ireland.

Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Shiites, Sunnis and good men and women of all faiths from all nations should join together to defeat and destroy the terrorists who are the enemy of us all, and denounce bigotry wherever we find it.

Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Rep. Bill Alexander (D-Ark.), who was then chief deputy majority whip of the House. He holds an LL.M. degree in international financial law from the London School of Economics. Contact him at