In the wake of the Nice attacks people are already saying: "But the terrorist wasn't pious. See! It has nothing to do with Islam."
Your good intentions towards us Muslims are only making the problem worse. This is as dangerous as saying it is everything to do with Islam.
The Crusaders weren't pious. But they had something to do with Christianity, right? Right? That something was the desire impious religious peasants had for martyrdom and the religious promise of redemption that Pope Urban II gave them.
Now switch out white Christians with brown Muslims and kindly cease with this bigotry of low expectations. This has something to do with Islam.
It is not a failure of security. We can deploy all the troops we want and it won’t solve anything. Some have accused the French authorities of letting their guard down after the Euros; that’s nonsense. To imagine the security apparatus would lapse into such complacency during a period of unprecedented threat – and unprecedented scrutiny – is absurd.
In fact, what we ask of them is impossible. As in the Orlando attacks, and probably here, people can now be radicalised through social media and online interactions that governments are not –and will never be – equipped to handle.
You can’t disrupt a network that was barely a network to begin with and you can’t break up a conspiracy of one. There will never be enough police to stop every runaway truck or every gunman in an airport, or nightclub, or stadium.
All we can do is stop the supply of recruits – and there are far too many of those. No terrorist represents the values of all Muslims, of course, but we have allowed hardline Islamism to permeate our communities and mobilise the vulnerable.
To stop it we have to make it less attractive, and that is a long-term struggle, similar to the those against racism, homophobia and anti-Semitism.
Campaigns like Families Against Terrorism and Extremism and the #MyIslam campaign are a start, but we will need the help of every element of society.
So please stop denying the nature of jihadism. Please stop ignoring the narratives which drive these attacks. Instead of aiding extremists who insist Islam today is perfect, perhaps you should aid us beleaguered reformist Muslims who are attempting to address this crisis within Islam against all the odds.
Some #solidarity, please. Because if you want to stop this, you need us.
Maajid Nawaz is the founder of the Quilliam Foundation, a counter-extremism think tank. A shorter version of this article originally appeared on Facebook.
Culled from Telegraph