So, like many on the Left, the Conservative Mr Hannan seeks, in a sense, to contextualise the Charlie Hebdo murders by blaming wider French society. The killers were social rejects, he says; educational failures, welfare addicts etc, and in frustration at French social injustice, they hit out in the only way they knew.
Even when such explanations come from the Right they are not convincing.
Mr Hannan’s claim might make some sense if Islamist violence were a rare commodity. But in fact it is not. As Samuel Huntington put it in his book, The Clash of Civilizations, “Wherever one looks along the perimeter of Islam, Muslims have problems living peaceably with their neighbours.”
The truth is that Muslim violence cuts across the entire planet. Huntington gives examples, from Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines in the Far East, to India and Kashmir, to Israel and the Lebanon in the Middle East, to the Caucasus and Russia, to the Balkans, to the Sudan and Nigeria in sub-Saharan Africa. In all of these places, Islam is in serious violent conflict with its neighbours.
Why is this? No doubt Islam is not always and everywhere to blame. But the fact remains that almost everywhere that Islam abuts a non-Islamic culture, there is violent conflict. And now, after sixty years of Muslim immigration into Europe, so too is Europe experiencing Islamist violence.