Monday, September 18, 2006

Fighting Back: Pope notes the violent history of Islam. Muslims respond by killing a humanitarian nun and burning things.

One thing we generally agree about the Islamic terrorists is that they are usually PR savvy. They use global media to their advantage. If a Muslim child gets killed or a milk factory gets destroyed during the course of Western military activity, they exploit it -- even as the terrorists target children and civilian infrastructure. They exaggerate and tell lies about mistreatment and violence to generate sympathetic news coverage.

So why would Muslims respond to the Pope's condemnation of Islamic violence with more Islamic violence? Why murder and incite riots when this underscores exactly what the Pope is talking about?

Because they want people to believe it. They know that their only real weapon is fear. If they moderated their approach and appeared reasonable, they would be ignored by the world. But because any verbal or written criticism -- even one as innocuous as a cartoon -- will incite a violent reaction, they propagate that reputation in order to extend their influence.

While there are also some angry reactions from moderate Muslims, much of the violent protests are instigated by terrorist groups, and Islamic despots are fanning the flames of hatred. They can viciously criticize other groups, such as Jews and Christians, and never expect such a reprisal. But by overreacting to every criticism, Islamofascists actually increase their power as we react in fear.

This strategy seems to have obvious short-term gain but long-term failure. As such, we shouldn't be afraid to say what we think, lampoon what we want, and criticize those who deserve to be criticized.

This is a major front in the War on Terrorism. We haven't been asked to sacrifice much for this war, simply because of its complexity of the operations. That's too bad, because in this war, the terrorists are targeting ordinary American civilians in a clash of civilizations.

But we can fight back by defending freedom of speech at all costs. We should make movies, draw cartoons, and express ourselves without fear of violence. Then the terrorists lose their power and effectiveness.


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