The terrorist attacks in France illustrate that there exist within the human population people who are not only willing, but apparently eager, to lose their lives for a “cause” so that they can slaughter hundreds of people even if the actual victims of their efforts are innocent bystanders who personally have not fought against them and whose only “crime” is being a citizen of a country fighting against those terrorists, or in some cases, only being present in that country. In the case of ISIS, what makes it worse is that ISIS and its sympathizers believe, or at least publicly declare, that their struggle is to create an Islamic Caliphate. Unhappily, this struggle for “freedom” is to create an “Islamic State” in which they are free to kill or enslave anyone who does not believe exactly as they do and in which women are slaves and brood mares.
Tens of thousands of angry young men who feel disenfranchised and marginalized have flocked to this cause, and it’s clear that a great many of them, if not a majority, are fanatics in every sense of the word. As history has shown, negotiating, talking, or compromising does not change the mindset of a fanatic. Most people cannot drastically change their mindsets once they become adults, and that means changing the mindset of a large body of extreme fanatics, i.e., those willing to kill repeatedly for their cause, is highly unlikely, to say the least.
The only successful remedies in dealing with such fanatics are either isolation from those fanatics or the application of greater force. In the modern high-technology world, as events in France and elsewhere have demonstrated, complete isolation or containment of fanatics is not possible, and since fanatics don’t ever give up, greater force essentially means large-scale slaughter of those fanatics, because small-scale slaughter only creates more anger and more fanatics.
This leaves the “West” with in an extraordinarily difficult position, either to beef up security and containment measures almost to the level of a police state, and still recognize that such measures will not stop all terrorist attacks… or enter into an all-out war in the Middle East, in which millions will likely die.
But then, all those ISIS fanatics will go to Paradise, while all the other combatants and non-combatants who perish will just die ugly painful deaths because the ISIS fanatics KNOW that anyone who doesn’t share their beliefs deserves to die for their apostasy, just as less violent fanatics know that everyone else’s beliefs are wrong and that non-believers should be required to comply with the beliefs of “the chosen.”
The Founding Fathers, of course, drawing upon their knowledge of past centuries of European religious fanaticism, designed a Constitution to keep the fanaticism of religion out of government and law, for exactly these reasons, reasons that American religious extremists seem to ignore, even as ISIS provides another example of the evils of extremism in pursuit of the true faith, whatever that may be.