In Iraq, they murder journalists who say things they don’t want to hear.
In Afghanistan they murder moderate Muslim clerics — six in just the last two months.
Also, as Harvard scholar Ahmed H. al-Rahim has noted, Muslims intellectuals who criticize Islamism — the writer Farag Fouda, for example — have been assassinated. Others — Sayyid Mahmud al-Qimany, for example – have been threatened, and so, al-Rahmim writes, “to spare his family the fate that befell Fouda’s, Mr. Qimany recanted all his writings, promising never to write again… his only weapon was his pen, which alas he surrendered to the Islamists as others before him surrendered their lives.” More on this here.
In all these cases, the enemy has a very clear idea of what he is doing: Eliminating those with objectionable views while also encouraging others to consider changing their opinions. It sounds like an effective approach. We had better develop an effective response.
I’m reminded of this quote:
“Terror struck into the hearts of the enemies is not only a means, it is the end in itself. Once a condition of terror into the opponents’ heart is obtained, hardly anything is left to be achieved. It is the point where the means and the end meet and merge. Terror is not a means of imposing decision upon the enemy; it is the decision we wish to impose upon him.”
– Brigadier S.K. Malik 1979, “The Koranic Concept of War”