The law of unintended consequences has rarely played out as harshly.
Such has been the wave of Islamic State and Islamic State inspired violence in Europe this summer, it seems those activists in the 'counter-jihad' movement (sometimes categorised on the left as the 'islamophobia industry') are struggling to keep up.
On 1 August the Gates of Vienna blog wrote:
"It used to be that Vlad and I would get a break of a week or so between major crises. We’d get a chance to catch our breath, have a couple of nights’ sleep, maybe do something else besides jihad-jihad-jihad for a few hours, and be rested and ready to start again when the mujahideen staged another slaughter."
The pace of jihad in Europe, the rhythm and staccato beat, is now one of its distinguishing features. Attacks in Germany, Belgium (yesterday) and France may have little formal connection or structured timetable, but they are received and digested in that manner by an ever weary populace.
Where does this end? Who will tire out and give up first? In Michel Houellebecq's magisterial novel Submission it ends very simply - the media simply ceases reporting such attacks. At an academic dinner party in Paris, with the noise of gunfire and explosions in the distance, lecturers halfheartedly search for information on their smartphones, hoping the trouble will not reach their location "If they thought the networks were going to cover the event... they were kidding themselves. The blackout was complete" (p.48)
Houellebecq is not a complete sage - in one scene French villagers seeking objective news on events in their country are portrayed crowding around a TV tuned to the BBC (p.111). Many, myself included, would trust the BBC far less on religion than the French media. But he is at times prescient. Not least when France takes the first step towards reducing its coverage of terrorism, by declaring it will no longer name or photograph terrorist actors.
A sign of principle? No a sign of tiredness.