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A vigil for the victims of last week’s attack outside Britain’s Parliament, London, U.K., March 29, 2017 (Rex Features via AP Images).

Why Over-Hyping the Jihadi Threat Is Bad Strategy

Friday, March 31, 2017

Last week, Khalid Masood, a British-born convert to Islam with a long criminal record, plowed a vehicle into a crowd of pedestrians on London’s Westminster Bridge and then stabbed a policeman before being killed by other police. Unsurprisingly, the self-styled Islamic State claimed responsibility. Whether the group actually had any involvement with Masood was irrelevant, since his religious-tinged violence fit its narrative.

As usual the America media was flooded with commentators asserting that the London attack once again demonstrated that violent jihadism is not a distortion of Islam but its true essence. The Westminster attack, they claimed, was just one more battle in a 1,000-year war as Muslims attempt to impose their beliefs on the West. “The war is real,” senior presidential adviser Sebastian Gorka said on Fox News. The comments by Gorka and others who share his perspective demonstrate the influence of what can be called “counter-jihadi extremism” in today’s political landscape. ...

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