For anyone who has studied the dynamics of terrorism, one of the major tools used to further an extremist agenda is to create an irrational response to acts of violence.
ISIS attacked Paris, calculating that a French response would create further division between Muslim and non-Muslim, thus creating a recruiting tool for them and furthering their nihilistic objectives. Al Qaeda did much the same on 9/11, hitting New York City and Washington DC in order to provoke a massive response. Osama Bin Laden achieved his aim by drawing the United States into a never ending bloodbath in the Middle East and creating an almost limitless supply of Islamic radicals eager to join the fight for a world wide caliphate.
So when western countries reject Syrian refugees fleeing extreme violence in their country in response to the attacks in France, they play directly into ISIS’s hands and exacerbate an already volatile predicament that could easily descend into a much deeper conflict.
In America, governors of various states have declared that they will not accept the thousands of Syrian refugees seeking political asylum. These states have explicitly given into ISIS and their vision of a greater war, and should be shamed for their cowardice and refusal to extend help to some of the most desperate and vulnerable human beings on the planet.
News Week has helpfully created the map above of the states bowing down to ISIS. Take a look and remember which states decided to stand up to terror in the most effective way possible. Because hate by definition cannot be destroyed by hate, and in the midsts of truly vile acts of barbarity, empathy becomes our greatest weapon. Without it, we simply give in to the very thing we are supposedly fighting against.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.