How much more mayhem can we endure

When jihadists stormed the offices of a Paris magazine this week, killing 12 people and wounding another 11, the world was forced to face the tragic fact that the global “war on terror” may never end.

The murderers targeted the satirical French weekly Charlie Hebdo, whose cartoons frequently ridicule Muslim terror leaders and invoke the Prophet Muhammad. This apparently marked the magazine and its journalists for death.

The carefully planned attack was so brazen — the terrorists pursued specific journalists for execution, shot dead two police officers, and then made a clean get-away — and cut so deeply into Western values that it deserves special examination.

France is home to the largest Muslim population in Western Europe. In recent years the country has seen ghastly attacks on Jews and Jewish institutions, including the 2012 murder spree at a Jewish day school in Toulouse and last summer’s mob violence against Paris synagogues.

Now the violence has spread beyond the Jews. On Jan. 7, the cherished values of free speech and a free press came under fire not in Iraq or Syria, but in the capital of a Western democracy.

World leaders quickly issued strong denunciations of the attack. But the terrorists and their sponsors could care less about condemnations.

How much more mayhem will Europe and the West endure before we see a reactionary shift?

In France, that could mean the rise of the National Front, a far-right party formerly on the fringes and known for its anti-Semitic and anti-immigrant views. Should that party win power, it may seek to erode French civil liberties. Will it attempt racial profiling or mass deportation of Muslims? It depends on how far French citizens feel they have been pushed.

Because we deeply value open, tolerant societies, we recoil at the idea of collective punishment and ethnic cleansing. As Jews, we know such tactics often have been used against us, and we do not wish to see them employed against others.

Ideally, we will fight Islamic terror in tandem with moderate Muslims. After the Paris attack, a French imam told reporters, “I am extremely angry. These are criminals, barbarians. This is not Islam.”

We take him at his word. It is time for a serious worldwide Muslim uprising against the forces of jihadism. The alternative is too awful to imagine, for Muslims and for everyone else.