"You cannot simply dismiss peoples identity. You need to simply respect it, and move on," said the senior Army official. "We are not doing that in Iraq."
Am I supposed to respect the fact that the Islamic community as a whole, has a poor record of women's rights, can't democratically elect a government at gunpoint, allows it's supposed brothers to wither and die under authoritative regimes because they don't want to get involved, lets the most extremist groups be their figureheads, supports the eradication of entire groups of people (Jews, Kurds, and anyone not Arabic), does not have a backbone to stand up to the self serving section of it's population, and will actually listen to the fanatics if they cloak themselves in religion.
If your cultural is what is holding you back, you need to lose the bad parts in the sands of time and take the good parts with you. A big part of my identity is based around my family, and the region where I group up (the south). I try my best to bring out the good parts of my identity and remove the bad.
We all know the south has a poisoned vein of hate that stems from the very heart of it. Am I supposed to dismiss the racial hatred of certain people in south (white and black), and just "move on". No. I am supposed to point it out, and work to change it (which in most cases that means cutting the cancer out).
The Islamic world could be shifting to hide behind its ethnicity instead of its religion. Which is fine with me, because people will sell out their identity much easier, if it means a better world for their kids, than they will sell out their religion.