That’s some cadre

In Fawlty Logic, James Taranto quotes French celebrity intellectual Bernard-Henri Levy to make a point about a certain “phobia.”

Levy puts it this way: “In the dark times ahead, battles await: Islam against Islam, pluralistic civilization against the nihilists of jihad. But it is really one war, and we must wage it together, united.”

The majority of Muslims are peaceful and “moderate” and have a common interest with non-Muslims in combating “the nihilists of jihad.” … For the sake of argument, let us assume the moderate-majority hypothesis is true. Let’s make it a very large supermajority—say 99% of Muslims have no truck whatever with the violent few.

The world-wide Muslim population is estimated at 1.6 billion. If 99% of them are peaceful and moderate, that leaves a cadre of 16 million potential terrorists and sympathizers. [Unfortunately that number is a bit larger than 1% – ed]  As we saw in Paris—and as we’ve seen again and again over the years, in New York, Jerusalem, Madrid, London, Bombay, Sydney and many majority-Muslim countries—even a handful of violent jihadists are capable of wreaking enormous carnage and disruption.

To view that with trepidation and dread is not in the least phobic. It is entirely rational.

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