If George Bush had never engineered the invasion of Iraq; if Saddam Hussein was still in power there; if British troops had never been sent to Afghanistan; if the state of Israel no longer existed; if there was no civil war in Syria; if Kashmir were part of Pakistan; if Egypt was a liberal democracy; if Russia had never brutalised Chechnya; if Serbs had never massacred Bosnian Muslims…as many ifs can be added to the list as one pleases, but the conclusion is the same.

If all these things had never happened, Islamist maniacs would still want to carve out their pre-modern dictatorship through terror, and murder those who refuse to bend to their maniacal vision – such as Stéphane Charbonnie and his team at Charlie Hebdo.

Yes, western foreign policy is a factor in stoking Islamist extremist and violence.  However, it doesn’t follow that it should be changed because this is so.  Liberal democracies should change their foreign policy when it’s wrong (as is sometimes the case) – not because terrorists will murder innocents if they don’t.  And in any event, as we have seen, foreign policy is not the main driver of Islamist terror.  They don’t kill us because of what we do.  They kill us because of who we are.

But I am getting ahead of myself. Perhaps it will be claimed that Philip Hammond or Francois Hollande or Tony Blair or whoever Islamism’s apologists want to blame today were the illustrators who drew Charlie Hebdo‘s cartoons of Mohammed.