This is why the United States and the West also cannot ignore the broader demographic trends in the Islamic world, and no state outside the Islamic world can ignore its impact on global economic interdependence. Extremism is scarcely the only force at work. Population growth is pushing Muslims into Europe and new areas. An aging Europe needs such immigrants. Conflict is creating a massive Muslim refugee problem now centered in Syria but spreading into Iraq, Afghanistan, and Southeast Asia.
What the United States and other states can do is help Muslim governments learn how to counter the new forms messaging used by groups like ISIS, support the reforms necessary to bring stability, provide aid when it can be a catalyst that will help states help themselves, support the fight against extremism, cooperate in counterterrorism, seek to end the conflicts in the region, and provide humanitarian aid. These are actions that the United States and most of its allies are already taking. They cannot transform every Islamic state into the West or into adopting Western secular values, however, any more than they can transform any state from the outside – or that is not willing to reform itself.
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