After the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris we now have a choice: We can either calmly come up with a rational plan to take on this very, very real threat or we can give ISIS everything it wants.
And Republicans, it appears, have decided they’re going to give ISIS everything it wants.
You see, ISIS, like all terrorist groups, thrives on backlash.
It isn’t just trying to win physical battles; it’s trying to win propaganda battles, and for ISIS, the best propaganda victory is when it gets to portray itself as the sole, legitimate protector of Muslims all over the world.
Since the vast majority of ISIS’ victims are Muslims themselves, this isn’t exactly the easiest thing to do.
And so, ISIS has decided to attack the West in the hopes that doing so will provoke a backlash against Muslims that’s so strong that European Muslims will start to believe its sick, twisted version of Islam and join the fight in Iraq and Syria.
This is literally what ISIS says it wants to do.
As one of ISIS’s leading propagandists explained in a manifesto called “The Extinction of the Grayzone” that was published earlier this year, most Muslims in the West actually oppose extremism and have to be converted to the jihadist cause.
The best way to do this, this propagandist went on to explain, was to conduct terror attacks against the West that through their sheer violence provoked a vicious backlash against Muslims.
Once this backlash starts, he wrote, “The Muslims in the West will quickly find themselves between one of two choices, they either apostatize and adopt the [infidel] religion propagated by Bush, Obama, Blair, Cameron, Sarkozy, and Hollande in the name of Islam so as to live amongst the [infidels] without hardship, or they [emigrate] to the Islamic State and thereby escape persecution from the crusader governments and citizens.”
This backlash strategy also holds true in the Middle East, where ISIS hopes it can get Western powers to kill Muslim civilians and thus position itself as a defender of the faithful against the evil crusaders.
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