Monday, November 07, 2005

The Suicide Bombers Among Us

The Brussels Journal site pointed us to this other, excellent article by Theodore Dalrymple on the London suicide bombers. If you have wondered how "regular British kids" could go so wrong or how the 9/11 hijackers could be visiting strip clubs before their "matyrdom operation," the answers are at hand:
The Suicide Bombers Among Us by Theodore Dalrymple: "As is by now well known (for the last few years have made us more attentive to Islamic concepts and ways of thinking, irrespective of their intrinsic worth), the term 'jihad' has two meanings: inner struggle and holy war. While the political meaning connotes violence, though with such supposed justifications as the defense of Islam and the spread of the faith among the heathen, the personal meaning generally suggests something peaceful and inward-looking. The struggle this kind of jihad entails is spiritual; it is the effort to overcome the internal obstacles--above all, forbidden desires--that prevent the good Muslim from achieving complete submission to God's will. Commentators have tended to see this type of jihad as harmless or even as beneficial--a kind of self-improvement that leads to decency, respectability, good behavior, and material success.

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In Britain, however, these two forms of jihad have coalesced in a most murderous fashion. Those who died in the London bombings were sacrificial victims to the need of four young men to resolve a conflict deep within themselves (and within many young Muslims), and they imagined they could do so only by the most extreme possible interpretation of their ancestral religion."
It's really immpossible to summarize this article, so you'll need to read it yourself. Dalrymple's ideas do explain a lot. Unfortunately, understanding does not lead to ready solutions to the problem of Islamist terrorism.

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