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Originally published in The Daily Express
On MONDAY two civilians died among the dozens taken hostage by a Muslim gunman in a coffee shop in Sydney. On Tuesday a gang of uniformed gunmen massacred 132 children and nine others at a school in Peshawar, Pakistan. If it sometimes seems as if hardly a day goes by without an Islamic extremist carrying out an act of terror it is because it doesn’t.
Every day there are attacks like this. Sometimes they are in first- world cities such as Sydney or – back in October – Ottawa. Sometimes they are in poor Nigerian villages. But whereas once we would hear only about some of these, today we learn – often within minutes – about nearly all of them.
Increasingly it is the case that everybody has a smartphone and that has a positive result as well as a very negative one. The negative one is that extremists who act in the name of fundamentalist Islam can get extraordinary megaphones for their cause.