Matt Gemmell, on ideologies after the Paris attacks:
When acts of terrorism are committed, we feel shock, and grief, and of course anger. We rush to find a target for these emotions, so they can be carried outwards, away from ourselves; we need a focus. Radical, militant Islamists are the flavour of the moment. We identify them as Muslims, and there’s the target for our outrage.
It’s the wrong target. Not because militant Islamists aren’t (in their view, at least) Muslims, but just the opposite. They’re extremists. They don’t represent an entire faith, or set of ethnicities, or collection of countries. But they want to.
For some time now I have been trying to compose my thoughts about the differences between extremist and religious groups — they are very different — and Matt Gemmell expressed my thoughts more eloquently than I ever could.