According to witnesses, Theo van Gogh, the Dutch film-maker, who was shot by an Islamist assassin on his way to work in Amsterdam last November, tried to reason with his assailant. “Surely we can discuss this,” he kept saying as the shots kept coming. Van Gogh was reacting like BBC reporters did Thursday, assuming that the man who was killing him may have some reasonable demands which could be discussed in a calm, democratic atmosphere. But sorry, old chaps, you are dealing with an enemy that does not want anything specific, and cannot be talked back into reason through anger management or round-table discussions. Or, rather, this enemy does want something specific: to take full control of your lives, dictate every single move you make round the clock and, if you dare resist, he will feel it his divine duty to kill you.