Mass murder attacks lead to lack of respect for Islam

Daniel Pipes:
What will be the long-term impact of the Boston Marathon attack that left four dead and injured 260, followed by an action movie-style chase?

Let’s start with what its impact will not be. It will not bring American opinion together. If the “United We Stand” slogan lasted only months after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, consensus after Boston will be even more elusive. The violence will not lead to Israeli-like security measures in the United States. Nor will it lead to a greater preparedness to handle deadly sudden jihad syndrome violence. It will not end the dispute over the motives behind indiscriminate Muslim violence against non-Muslims. And it certainly will not help resolve current debates over immigration or guns.

What it will do is very important: It will prompt some Westerners to conclude that Islamism is a threat to their way of life. Indeed, every act of Muslim aggression against non-Muslims, be it violent or cultural, recruits more activists to the anti-jihad cause, more voters to insurgent parties, more demonstrators to anti-immigrant street efforts, and more donors to anti-Islamist causes.

Education by murder is the name I gave this process in 2002. We who live in democracies learn best about Islamism when blood flows in the streets. Muslims began with an enormous stock of good will because the Western DNA includes sympathy for foreigners, minorities, the poor and people of color. Islamists dissipate this good will by engaging in atrocities or displaying supremacist attitudes. High-profile terrorism in the West — September 11, Madrid, London and elsewhere — moves opinion more than anything else.

Attacks on non combatants has that effect.  It is different from drone attacks on enemy combatants or detaining them at Gitmo.  Attacks on non combatants are seen as war crimes while attacks on combatants are seen as being within the rules of war.  And, while some Muslims claim that these attacks create more enemies I disagree.   Any who claim they are now our enemy because we fight back are just not realistic.


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