The Evil of Good Deeds and Good Thoughts
After the Mumbai jihad there was a response of "Do good deeds." The Jews of Chabad (the sect that had its members tortured to death) asked for Jews to do "a mitzvah," good works. A yoga group that had some of its members killed believes that love will triumph. Then Deepak Chopra weighed in with his "think good thoughts" campaign. Chopra's effort has the "magic" of if a million people pledge to think good thoughts the world will change for peace. All of these efforts may be summarized by one phrase: Be Nice.
I have nothing against being nice. Who does? But is that enough? What happened at Mumbai was evil. Any response must be aimed at preventing it from happening again. How can Being Nice prevent evil from recurring?
There is a strain of New Age, hippy, pacifist, and utopian thought which believes just that. Cue the Beatles, All We Need is Love. The Be Nice theory raises a question: if good deeds and good thoughts will prevent another Mumbai, then does that mean that the rabbi and his pregnant wife, who were tortured to death, had just not done enough good works? Is a 9-year-old girl who is raped just not nice enough?
Pacifists say that you should never respond to violence, because that just creates more violence. We should never use pain to correct. War is never the answer. These theories don't seem to take into account that learning how to avoid pain usually consists in remembering what led to the pain, so we don't do that again. Pain can and will change people's behavior. Pain works.
But, the first step in resisting jihad is not violence or war, but education.