This month’s attacks in Paris, France killed 130 innocent people and left hundreds more battered, bruised, and reawakened to the danger of radical Islamic terrorism in the west. Political leaders and presidential candidates are speaking out, and everyone’s megaphone is pointed straight at Syria and the heart of ISIS.

BBC anchor and host of This Week Andrew Neil took his network’s coverage to the next level this week when he totally let loose against the terrorists’ ideals:

“Welcome to This Week, the week in which a bunch of loser jihadists slaughtered 132 innocents in Paris to prove the future belongs to them, rather than a civilization like France. Well, I can’t say I fancy their chances.”

France, the country of Descartes, Boulet, Monet, Sartre, Rousseau, Camus, Renoir, Berlioz, Cézanne, Gauguin, Hugo, Voltaire, Matisse, Debussy, Ravel, Saint-Saëns, Bizet, Satie, Pasteur, Molière, Frank, Zola, Balzac, Blanc. Cutting edge science. World class medicine. Fearsome security forces. Nuclear power. Coco Chanel, Château Lafite, coq au vin, Daft Punk, Zizou Zidane, Juliette Binoche, liberté, égalité, fraternité, and crème brûlée.

Versus what?

Beheadings, crucifixions, amputations, slavery, mass murder, medieval squalor, a death-cult barbarity that would shame the Middle Ages.

Well, IS, or Daesh or ISIS or ISIL—whatever name you’re going by, I am sticking with IS, as in Islamist scumbags.

I think the outcome is pretty clear to everybody but you. Whatever atrocities you are currently capable of committing, you will lose. In a thousand years’ time, Paris, that glorious City of Light, will still be shining bright, as will every other city like it, while you will be as dust, along with the ragbag of fascists, Nazis, and Stalinists that have previously dared to challenge democracy, and failed.

We need more of this attitude in our coverage of terrorism and the spread of ISIS. In the wake of the attacks, Barack Obama said that the carnage was “an attack on all of humanity and the universal values we share.”

This, of course, is crap.

The massacres in Paris did not constitute a collective attack on any sort of shared value system or collective consciousness; no, it was an attack on a very particular value system and state of mind—one that is fundamentally and eternally incompatible with the tenants of radical Islam and in fact any liberty-hating ideology.

ISIS doesn’t just hate Christianity, or democracy, or the concept of an equal society; they also despise little things that make places like America and France places that people want to escape to.

We live in a world filled with wonderful things like the Federalist Papers, and Beethoven, and Monet’s water lilies—but we’ve also been blessed with the bizarre, the profane, and other things that offend, shock, or bore 90% of the population. Significant or no, they matter in the context of the war on terror because they exist simply because we want them to, apart from any institution or structure that mandates or forbids them.

Politics inevitably clouds every discussion we try to have about the rise of radical Islam—just look at what the DNC did with its latest ad. It’s frustrating, but we can beat it if we divert from the political and focus, like Andrew Neil did, on all of the other things that distinguish the way we live from the desolate hellscape that is Islamic jihad.

Follow Amy on Twitter @ThatAmyMiller


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