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Saturday, November 21, 2015
Sick Overreactions to Islamic Terrorism
Sick overreactions to Islamic terrorism are becoming archetypical. The first overreaction advocates pitiless counterism (a term designed to be broader than counter-terrorism). The second overreaction is the looming mistreatment of Muslim diaspora. The third overreaction maligns the faith of Islam. I will argue below that these overreactions foster lawlessness, fail to prevent terrorism, and inject poison into relations with the Muslim world.
Let me clarify Islamic terrorism, a tag whose appropriateness, for good reasons, has been questioned in academic literature. I use Islamic terrorism to mean acts of violence perpetrated by Muslims. For example, the recent Paris attacks (11/13/15) constitute Islamic terrorism since they were allegedly committed by Muslims. That the suspects belong to a militant organization, such as the ISIS, adds fervor to calling it Islamic terrorism. That the perpetrators are Sunni, Shia, Wahabi, or even non-practicing Muslims, though noteworthy, matters little in the politics of tagging. Many nations, including Muslim nations allied with the West such as Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey suffer terrorist violence. Muslim nations do not brand such violence as Islamic terrorism. Islam and terrorism are correlated only when violence is committed against Western targets or unleashed inside a Western nation, such as the attacks in France.
Hours after the Paris attack, the fiery rhetoric emitted in France was reckless. President Francoise Hollande promised Read More