Some of the commentary has focused on the nature of the magazine, which is, in my opinion, irrelevant. To be sure, the magazine and its staff were despicable. They specialized in offensive portrayals of religious figures (masturbating nuns and popes wearing condoms), but that's certainly no justification for their murders. Murdering those who offend is the sort of thing that savages do. Murdering innocent civilians and police who get in the way is beneath savagery.
Speaking of the slain police officers, their deaths are an example of the needless tragedy inflicted upon people by liberal policies. The officers arrived at the scene unarmed and on bicycles. Other officers were forced to retreat because they had no weapons with which to confront the terrorists. If they had had access to what the average cop in America has in his squad car, or if any of the victims had had a gun in his desk drawer, the death toll might not have been nearly as high. One has to wonder why on earth French police are not armed.
Whatever the case, other commentary has been devoted to the nature of the religion which motivates people like these three to commit murder. The editors of National Review have written a very good piece on this. Here's an excerpt:
A religion that commands murder as the punishment for blasphemy offends the God it professes to worship. In reality, it worships the Devil. And by such deeds as the half-random murders of innocent people ye shall know that truth.There are indeed two Islams. Those who adhere to the religion of "peaceful accommodation" need to face a very unhappy truth: Until those who adhere to the "religion of death" are repudiated and expunged from the umma, Islam will continue to be seen in the eyes of the world as a great evil rather than the work of God. Nothing any secular Westerner could do could cause as much harm to the image of Allah, the Prophet, or of Islam as what has been done in their name by those who profess to revere them. People like those French Muslim terrorists are the worst enemies Islam could have.
Is Islam that religion? For most of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims, it is not. They follow the precepts of the Koran and seek to live harmoniously alongside their infidel neighbors, and where two Koranic interpretations clash, they choose to believe the one that conforms more to the civil laws and social customs of their societies. Most of the time they don’t ponder much on religious texts but get on with the daily business of living.
That is not so, however, for a large minority of Muslims — maybe hundreds of millions worldwide — who cleave to interpretations of their faith that enjoin murder, rape, torture, and cruelty as pious, even mandatory, acts. They take their diabolic faith seriously, and the result is what we saw in Paris today.
Thus, there are in practical terms two Islams — a religion, if not of peace, then of peaceful accommodation, and a religion of death.
Western political leaders try to dismiss this second death cult as a perverted or false Islam, or even as nothing to do with Islam at all. That dismissal is false and, worse, completely unpersuasive. The death cult has learned imams and sophisticated theologians among its adherents. They can quote Islamic texts in support of their revolting doctrines — and do so far more convincingly than President Obama, David Cameron, or Tony Blair do in support of their own.
Their scholarship strengthens the faith of the suicide bombers and child soldiers. And because they justify murder and issue fatwas mandating it, they exercise some intimidation even over the leaders of the other Islam.