‘The fundamentalist seeks to bring down a great deal more than buildings. Such people are against, to offer just a brief list, freedom of speech, a multi-party political system, universal adult suffrage, accountable government, Jews, homosexuals, women's rights, pluralism, secularism, short skits, dancing, beardlessness, evolution theory, sex. There are tyrants, not Muslims.

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has said that we should now define ourselves not only by what we are for but by what we are against. I would reverse that proposition, because in the present instance what we are against is a no brainer. Suicidist assassins ram wide-bodied aircraft into the World Trade Center and Pentagon and kill thousands of people... But what are we for? What will we risk our lives to defend? Can we unanimously concur that all the items in the preceding list -- yes, even the short skirts and the dancing -- are worth dying for?... We must agree on what matters.”

–Salman Rushdie, Step Across This Line: Collected Nonfiction (1992-2002).


The future of terrorism can be defined as a handful of committed radicals with automatic weapons and suicide vests, striking in random places.Extremists will continue to attempt attacks, of course. But Paris showed that it’s not about how many they kill. It’s about the panic, the terror, the denial of safe space, the nerve-jangling sense that they might hit any place at any time.The line of argument over they years, of why they must be opposed, hasn’t changed.