Slate – God-Fearing PeopleWhy are we so scared of offending Muslims? By Christopher Hitchens

Following a highly entertaining take down of religion (they really need to learn how to enjoy that):

It is often said that resistance to jihadism only increases the recruitment to it. For all I know, this commonplace observation could be true. But, if so, it must cut both ways. How about reminding the Islamists that, by their mad policy in Kashmir and elsewhere, they have made deadly enemies of a billion Indian Hindus? Is there no danger that the massacre of Iraqi and Lebanese Christians, or the threatened murder of all Jews, will cause an equal and opposite response? Most important of all, what will be said and done by those of us who take no side in filthy religious wars? The enemies of intolerance cannot be tolerant, or neutral, without inviting their own suicide. And the advocates and apologists of bigotry and censorship and suicide-assassination cannot be permitted to take shelter any longer under the umbrella of a pluralism that they openly seek to destroy.

I’ve never heard that point really made before. At any rate, it’s certainly been shown to work. In Nigeria, for instance:

While it’s true that a rough peace seems to be holding today, and that dialogues between Muslims and Christians are growing, many locals say that dialogue may never have begun if Nigerian Christians hadn’t learned to stand up for themselves. That is, they believe the Muslims might never have come to the table if they hadn’t been forced to do so by a growing Christian capacity to answer Muslim-initiated violence blow-for-blow. …

The frightening implication seems to be that retaliatory violence on the Christian side may have been necessary to balance the scales.

“Only when we started reacting did the Muslims see a need for dialogue,” said Dogo, the general secretary of the Christian Association of Nigeria in the north. “They saw our people have resolve, and that’s when the decision was made to form a consultative forum of religious leaders.”

What the lesson of Nigeria may thus suggest is that a stiffening of the spine on the Christian side may be necessary to set the table for future breakthroughs.

Well, this war isn’t really living up to its potential, so maybe we’ll have a good old fashioned worldwide wholesale slaughter to make up for it. Yippee!