By brutally killing staffers of Charlie Hebdo magazine, the violent extremists have offended their faith far more than the perceived blasphemy of the magazine. Theirs is a political ideology -- of using terror as a weapon -- to avenge a history, to settle grievances and to assert power through violence.
Who would say that deadly acts and statements have never been committed in the name of a faith -- whichever faith it may be -- throughout history? What historian would explain away the "wars of religion" between European Christians in the 16th and 17th centuries as mere socio-economic casualties? What is the rationale behind this bastion of thought that, in recent days, led to the statements that this was a case of "madmen" who "distorted religion," as if there were religious elements purely detached from what these men did?