They want to create a rift between Muslims and non-Muslims. They want to draw foreign armies onto their soil so that they can revel in jihadist glory. Like the nihilist acts in Paris, they want to pull the world into chaos and darkness just for the heck of it. If we put troops on the ground, we will play straight into their hands. The propaganda value will be inestimable. This will surely drive Muslims and non-Muslims further apart, and spur a war against Islam…exactly what ISIS wants.

What concerns me is the widespread sentiment that Islam is a hateful, toxic religion. Not because it’s not true, but because there are 1.6 billion Muslims around the world. Putting ideology aside, the vast majority of Muslims are peaceful. There are NOT 1.6 billion potential jihadists. How many are there? Well, let’s do a back-of-the-envelope calculation…

If only one per cent of the world’s Muslims were predisposed to violence, that would be 16 million soldiers fighting for Allah. A formidable army to be sure. (That’s more than the active and reserve military of China, India, U.S.A., North Korea, Russia, and South Korea combined.)

If we create the kind of hate that a war on Islam would produce, it would draw in the other 99 per cent of otherwise peaceful Muslims, simply because they would be fighting for their own survival. This would literally be another World War, but on an unimaginable scale.

To avert such a global catastrophe, we cannot allow ourselves to hate. We cannot hate Islam. We cannot fear Muslims. We cannot wage war against a religion. We must accept the fact that Islam is an integral part of the tapestry we call our civilization.

In dealing with the radical Islam problem, we must tread carefully. Sending in troops is a nonstarter.

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