I en nettdebatt hos Nytimes hadde Bernard-Henri Lévy en morsom «quip» om hvordan man kan forstå radikaliseringen blant muslimer:
There’s something else as well. It’s the eternal rivalry between what in France we call the Girodins and the Montagnards, the moderates and the hardliners, the partisans of compromise and the apostles of violence or simply of radicality. We have known since 1789 that it is the latter who most often defeat the former. We know that there is a frightful prestige associated with the radical spirit. More precisely: we know that there is a terrible seductiveness, an ideologial and symbolic advantage, that goes with the Montagnard spirit. That, I think, is what is happening in the Muslim world today.