A woman pushes a pram past a "Je Suis Charlie" street art near Brick Lane in east London, January 14, 2015.
Luke MacGregor / Courtesy Reuters

Since the attacks on Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket in Paris, the consensus has only strengthened among French and world leaders that the acts marked an escalation in a war with global radical Islam. To show their determination to face down this shared challenge, 40 heads of state—from Italy to Mali, Israel to Palestine—marched in step from Place de la République to Place de la Nation last Sunday.

The similarities between this massacre and earlier attempts to punish supposed insulters of Islam and its prophet are undeniable. The 1989 death warrant against Salman Rushdie, the 2002 murder of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh, and the 2010 attempted murder of the Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard were also aimed at artists and writers. The cast of jihadists is familiar, too: alienated and frustrated young men living in a Western country, who have reached out to a radical celebrity. All of this serves

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