In the realm of European Islam, nothing is going quite to plan. In the perfect scenario of the continent's mainstream politicians, the law-abiding majority of Muslim citizens would be coming together now in a massive, thundering condemnation of terrorism. That in turn would create a renewed social consensus, paving the way for the defeat of terrorism in its latest, horrible forms, as it has been perpetrated in places like Nice, Brussels, Berlin, Manchester and London.
Reality turns out to be messier. Yesterday, in the German city of Cologne, there was a "not in our name" rally against terrorism, which was backed by some of the country's leading Muslim organizations, and by politicians from across the political spectrum. It was hoped that at least 10,000 people from all over the country would take part, and that it would inspire similar actions in other cities. But the event proved to be a damp squib. At most 3,500 turned up.