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Doug Horne

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  • Sharpening Contradictions: Why al-Qaeda attacked Satirists in Paris
    • Charlie Hebdo was the perfect target strategically (if you're a terrorist). Anyone could simply say "those terrorists were extremists getting revenge" and then apply that idea to all Muslims if they wish. That is precisely what people are doing now, if you look at comment threads. It has been perfect for polarization of those who were primed for it. Now, there is a much more distinct divide between Muslim and non-Muslim, and a radicalized and enlarged anti-Muslim voice which is pretty loud today. If they had attacked an elementary school (or some other thing with no conceivable rationale behind it for normal people), it would still have been possible to say "well, those were extreme Muslims, they aren't like the rest of the population ... they wouldn't support such things". Precisely because Charlie Hebdo printed things that were clearly potentially offensive to any Muslim (really, stick Jesus into any of those cartoons and half of the USA would be going crazy) it makes it much more possible to paint all Muslims with the same brush after this attack, if you are the type to lean that way.

      They have effectively galvanized their anti-Muslim opposition and added to their ranks ... the terrorists do not want peace and tolerance, they want war and more reasons to attack again ... they want hate, and they have quiet successfully cranked it up. They have learned how to do this, and they repeat the same tactics over and over.

      This is about power, and it is working so far.

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