Adam L. Silverman
Before we start, a brief Public Service Announcement: The odds of an American being killed in a terrorist attack is 1 in 3.5 million per year!!!!!!
As has been widely covered just about everywhere, several gunmen attacked the office of a French satirical publication early today. I highly recommend the BBC's, or really any news service's coverage other than the usual American media outlets, to get appropriate, non-hysterical, non-fearmongering coverage. As we see all too often when something happens in the US, our media goes into immediate freak out mode. While this may make for good revenue through advertisement sales, it really does not do much to inform Americans.
Several days ago in his post on James Fallow's recent article, COL Lang remarked about how easily Americans became fearful after 9-11 and how we have remained that way. We have seen that on display today by think tank fellows (h/t SteveM), retired general officers (h/t Zandar), and sitting members of the House (h/t Zandar) and the Senate (h/t Charles Pierce). Today's media coverage, the informed commentary that it contains, and American reactions will follow the same pattern that both COL Lang and Mr. Fallows lamented - more fear driving more poorly thought out policy responses. It is important to remember that the odds of an American being killed in a terrorist attack is 1 in 3.5 million per year!!!!!! Not that a little thing like facts or reality are likely to make any difference.
Finally, before the usual suspects get completely into the swing of things by claiming that Muslims never condemn other Muslims who commit terrorism or who claim their actions are somehow covered under Islam, here's the initial google search result for Muslim, and some Arab, organizations that have already condemned the attacks, even though we are still not sure, other than a witness statement of a screamed "Allahu Akbar" during the attack, who is actually responsible.
Dar al Ifta (Egypt's official fatwa issuing organization)