The aim of Isil is political: to re-establish the Caliphate and make Islam once more an imperial power. But there is another aim shared by many jihadist groups: to silence anyone and anything that threatens to express a different truth, another faith, a different approach to religious difference. That is what lay behind the attacks on the Danish cartoons; on Catholics after a speech by Pope Benedict XVI; the murder of Theo van Gogh; and the attacks on Charlie Hebdo. The calculation of the terrorists is that, in the long run, the West will prove too tired to defend its own freedoms. They are prepared to keep committing atrocities for as long as it takes, decades if need be.

This kind of movement cannot be defeated by military means alone.The world needs to hear another voice from within Islam, echoing the open-mindedness that made Islamic Spain in the eighth to 12th centuries the “ornament of the world”.

We need people of all faiths to express their active opposition to terror in the name of God. It was Machiavelli not Mohammed who said that it is better to be feared than to be loved. It was Nietzsche, the atheist, who saw life as the will to power.

To read the article in full go to the Daily Telegraph