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Two Ways to Measure Education by Murder

Reader comment on item: Education by Murder in Boston

Submitted by Alex (United States), Apr 29, 2013 at 15:11

I feel that during a period of denial like this one has no option but to take solace in Dr. Pipes' cautious optimism about Westerners waking up to the threat of violent Islamists within their own countries.

I honestly do find it surprising that such an awakening did not occur after the 9/11 attacks--it may have taken Dr. Pipes a bit of time to gain the same sense of a domestic threat from Islamists that Westerners are now slowly having generally, but, then again, hijacked planes being flown into buildings is a bit more demonstrative of an example than phonecall from Steve Emerson or a coffeeshop meeting with Bat Ye'or. I think the difference is in the number of victims actually, and in the number of perpetrators. In Boston, the low number of victims (and the young age of one of them in particular) served to personalize the narrative about this terrorist incident. The somewhat amateurish nature of the Tsarnaev brothers' plot, and the fact that they probably largely acted alone, speaks to their own independent motiovation, and gives Westerners a sense of a less predictabl;e type of danger in their midst than that coming from sophisticated operatives like the 9/11 hojackers, who carried out an attack of of such strategic significance that no one worries it could just happen again any time an Islamist residing in this country feels like acting out on his/her aggression. What surprises me is that, just as the Western realization of a domestic Islamist threat has taken so long to dawn on Americans since 9/11, there have not been more cases of rather indepdent jihadists like the Tsarnaev brothers (or the cases of "Sudden Jihad Syndrome" that Dr Pipes documents) in response to the example set by the 9/11 hijackers.

I think there might be two ways to to measure "Education by Murder":

1) the lower (and younger) the body count, the faster Westerners will absorb the lessons of an act of jihadist terrorism


2) the fewer (and more poorly trained), the more who will be likely to follow in their footsteps

Thus, I expect we will receive more lessons in the near future, hopefully with fewer victims each time.


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