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Charlie Hebdo – The West Fell Into Jihadist Trap

Have western governments lost sight of the values they supposedly hold dear?

This article from Medium.com looks at the response post Charlie Hebdo.

Democracy, in the West or anywhere else, is based on the willingness to strike compromises, to solve conflicts of interests peacefully within the framework of the rule of law. For democracy to function, citizens must be prepared to give and take. This also means that in a civilized society we agree to live with cultural or religious differences, without deliberately insulting those whose values we do not share.

This is not a matter of cowardly collaboration with evil, or giving up our freedom of expression. Nor does it mean, as some would claim, a lack of principle. Tolerance is not a sign of weakness.

What tolerance shows is a reluctance to view social values in absolute terms, or to divide the world into good and evil. But even tolerance is not absolute: One thing that no democratic society can accept is the use of violence to impose one’s views, whether they are religious, political, or a combination of the two.

We can only guess at the psychological motives of the men who murdered the editors and artists of Charlie Hebdo, or of the man who abducted hostages and killed four at a kosher supermarket. Perhaps they were pathetic losers, who turned from adolescent dreams of girls, football, and easy money to Holy War. This appears to have been the case for many homegrown jihadis, including the killer of Theo van Gogh. They would not be the first vulnerable young people to adopt a revolutionary cause to give themselves a sense of power and belonging.

Read more: Charlie and Theo — How Europe fell into a jihadist trap