That one of the victims in the Manchester bombing is just 8 years old is no accident: The bomber, whether he was working with ISIS or not, almost certainly knew that children would be at the Ariana Grande concert, writes the New York Times editorial board. It's a calculated strategy: By going after kids, terrorists are trying to bait the rest of the world into a "holy war"—to "provoke a thirst for vengeance and a desire for absolute safety so intense, it will sweep away the most cherished democratic values and the inclusiveness of diverse societies." Of course, authorities must exercise "maximum vigilance" to keep citizens safe, but that doesn't mean falling into the terrorists' trap.
"The quickest way for open societies to lose the freedoms they enjoy and the Islamic State seeks to destroy would be to whip up divisive ethnic, racist, and religious hatreds," warns the editorial. As an example, it cites a since-deleted tweet from British commentator Katie Hopkins calling for a "final solution" in the wake of the Manchester attack, an echo of Hitler's strategy. That's exactly the kind of reaction civilized society needs to avoid, says the editorial. ISIS "wants nothing more than to watch Western democracies embrace its mad version of a holy war pitting Muslims against Christians." Click for the full editorial. (Read more Manchester stories.)