Skip to comments.Education by Murder in Boston
Posted on 04/24/2013 6:16:43 PM PDT by markomalley
What will be the long-term impact of the Apr. 15-19 Boston Marathon attack and the ensuing action-movie-style chase, killing a total of four and wounding 265?
Let's start with what its impact will not be. It will not bring American opinion together; if the "United We Stand" slogan lasted brief months after 9/11, 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 then dissipate this good will by engaging in atrocities or displaying supremacist attitudes. High profile terrorism in the West - 9/11, Bali, Madrid, Beslan, London moves opinion more than anything else.
I know because I went through this process first hand. Sitting in a restaurant in Switzerland in 1990, Bat Ye'or sketched out for me her fears concerning Islamist ambitions in Europe but I thought she was alarmist. Steven Emerson called me in 1994 to tell me about the Council on American-Islamic Relations but I initially gave CAIR the benefit of the doubt. Like others, I needed time to wake to the full extent of the Islamist threat in the West.
Westerners are indeed waking up to this threat. One can get a vivid sense of trends by looking at developments in Europe, which on the topics of immigration, Islam, Muslims, Islamism, and Shari'a (Islamic law) is ahead of North America and Australia by about twenty years. One sign of change is the growth of political parties focused on these issues, including the U.K. Independence Party, the National Front in France, the People's Party in Switzerland, Geert Wilder's Party for Freedom in the Netherlands, the Progress Party in Norway, and the Swedish Democrats. In a much-noted recent by-election, UKIP came in second, increasing its share of the vote from 4 percent to 28 percent, thereby creating a crisis in the Conservative party.
Swiss voters endorsed a referendum in 2009 banning minarets by at 58-42 margin, a vote more significant for its ratio than its policy implications, which were roughly nil. Public opinion polling at that time found that other Europeans shared these views roughly in these same proportions. Polling also shows a marked hardening of views over the years on these topics. Here (with thanks to Maxime Lépante) are some recent surveys from France:
As Soeren Kern notes, similar views on Islam appear in Germany. A recent report from the Institut für Demoskopie Allensbach asked what qualities Germans associate with Islam:
In contrast, only 7 percent of Germans associate Islam with openness, tolerance, or respect for human rights.
These commanding majorities are higher than in earlier years, suggesting that opinion in Europe is hardening and will grow yet more hostile to Islamism over time. In this way, Islamist aggression assures that anti-Islamism in the West is winning its race with Islamism. High-profile Muslim attacks like the ones in Boston exacerbate this trend. That is its strategic significance. That explains my cautious optimism about repulsing the Islamist threat.
A four-minute instructional video just released by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) entitled Active Shooter Situation: Options for Consideration is filled with numerous suggestions for people confronting an active shooter, including evacuating the area, hiding from the shooter, warning others about the danger, locking and blocking doors, and silencing cellphones. Only in the gravest extreme, however, is resistance recommended:
If you are caught out in the open and cannot conceal yourself or take cover, you might consider trying to overpower the shooter with whatever means are available.
As the narrator is intoning this, the video shows an office worker reaching into his drawer and pulling out
a pair of scissors.
I think this will be like the drip, drip, drip of a leaking faucet. It will not change the country over night but I do think it will bring more people to the side of reality. This got a lot more coverage than than Fort Hood and it happened in a lot more public way that people can identify with. The Boston Marathon is a sporting event where many people go. The Boston Marathon bombing could just as well have happened in a baseball or football game or a little league game. A child was killed in the bombing and that always makes people think “That could have been my child”.
The wall to wall national coverage that was on for days with all the networks covering it, not just Fox News, brought in a large number of *low information voters*. Many of these people will be drawn into the discussions about terrorism, many will notice that there is something not quite right with some of the comments of their beloved liberal officials. This will get many of them to pay more attention to what goes on in the world and will turn them away from their liberal political leaders.
We have been waiting for the other shoe to drop for 12 years—this is the other shoe that dropped. The other attacks and attempted attacks didn’t happen to civilians or didn’t actually happen since they were stopped by law enforcement. But this one happened just as the terrorists had planned and it hurt hundreds of people who were just standing on a city street.
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