If this is indeed a spiritual war, as I believe it is — not Christianity vs. Islam — but the way of peace vs. the way of violence, it must be fought, and may only be won, with spiritual “weapons:” prayer, steady resolve, unflagging attempts at reconciliation, refusal to let fear or grief, as real as they may be, diminish our hope or our joy. We will win, the earth will win, not by annihilating the enemy, but by loving the enemy, not by making war, but by making something beautiful of our selves and our world.
Answering violence with violence may make small gains and win some short-term sense of security, but in the long run, this security is illusory, and the only winner is violence itself and all of us are the losers.
Is this way expedient? Does it pass the common sense test? No … but common sense and expediency are never the arbiters of what is right. Let’s not be stronger, but wiser … and better.