Put simply, it may be better to downplay these murders than to allow them to dominate the narrative. This is far from a simple task - especially as the nature of social media has (rightly) weakened the ability of news organisations to control the debate. But any serious assessment of policy must recognise that this violence is a tool and Western policymakers are being manipulated into making rash judgements.
The recent migration of many jihadist organizations to social media reflects a desire to expand their targeted audience one step further. Password-protected forums - up until recently the main virtual gathering place for al-Qaeda supporters - made content particularly difficult to access for wannabe jihadists, while also representing a common target for the security services' disruption efforts.
Every time something cruel happens, the reflex is go into the rattle bag of clichés of condemnation. What that does is prevent serious thought about the politics and ideology behind the decision to fly a plane into the World Trade Centre, murder Daniel Pearl in Pakistan because he was Jewish, and now butcher James Foley because he was American.
This group who claims to be speaking for all Muslims, truly isn't. They don't speak for me. And I have given them no right to represent me, I have given no approval, in the actions of what they're doing. None of what they do, is complacent to the rules of Islam, none of what they do, signifies Islam in any way. In short - THEY. ARE. NOT. MUSLIMS.