Experiencing Islamic violence and hatred first hand changes you in a way that you cannot truly understand in the theoretical realm.
In the past year, I have dedicated hours upon hours to understanding Islam. Understanding the Quran. The Sunnah of Muhammad. The way Islamic governments have used Islam to enforce Sharia. The Arabic terms which speak so ill of me and us. The way Sharia is being imported to the West. The way my de-facto view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was entirely based on my ignorance of Islam.
Perhaps most astonishingly, I’ve watched Islam turn me from a lifelong anti-war, mostly-isolationist to… something else. I’m not sure what term I would use to describe my foreign policy views. It’s a work in progress. But whatever clarity of thought I reach on that topic in time, I am certain that this paradigm shift on war is not one my mind has come to lightly.