Monday, December 28, 2009

Desperation Is The Mother Of Invention--Not Of Terrorism

Someone left a comment on one of my posts (Gaming Gaza: It's The Truth--Not Gaza--That Lies In Ruins) defending terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians on the basis that
desperate people don't think rationally. Desperate people turn radical. It has always been like that.
Yet in the most recent attempted terrorist attempt against the US, we see once again that when it comes to terrorism, ideology trumps economics.

Powerline writes that the Nigerian Muslim who tried to blow up the Northwest/Delta flight from Amsterdam to Detroit appears to be
 the son of a prominent Nigerian Banker named Alhaji Umaru Mutallab who most recently has been an engineering student at University College in London.
If that information proves out, Mudallad (or Mutallab, or whatever) will fit the usual Muslim terrorist profile: young, well-educated, from a prosperous family, oriented toward science and engineering. [emphasis added]
The same post links to Mark Steyn who spells it out:
So once again we see the foolishness of complaceniks who drone the fatuous cliches about how "in this struggle, scholarships will be far more important than smart bombs". The men eager to self-detonate on infidel airliners are not goatherds from the caves of Waziristan but educated middle-class Muslims who have had the most exposure to the western world and could be pulling down six-figure salaries almost anywhere on the planet. And don't look to "assimilation" to work its magic, either. We're witnessing a process of generational de-assimilation: In this family, yet again, the dad is an entirely assimilated member of the transnational elite. His son wants a global caliphate run on Wahhabist lines.
That link in that quote is to a post Steyn wrote in 2008, where he noted in a criticism of John McCain:
There's plenty of evidence out there that the most extreme "extremists" are those who've been most exposed to the west - and western education: from Osama bin Laden (summer school at Oxford, punting on the Thames) and Mohammed Atta (Hamburg University urban planning student) to the London School of Economics graduate responsible for the beheading of Daniel Pearl. The idea that handing out college scholarships to young Saudi males and getting them hooked on Starbucks and car-chase movies will make this stuff go away is ridiculous - and unworthy of a serious presidential candidate.[emphasis added]
And yet the accepted narrative continues to claim just that--resulting in added pressure on Israel, and continued terrorist threats around the world.

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Tomer Elias said...

Education is of course not the only way to fight terrorism but it doesn't mean that it isn't important. The leaders and executers of islamist extremism terrorists are always well western educated people but the masses that follow them aren't. Education might not prevent the terrorists from being terrorists but it will prevent the masses from following them and believing blindly that what there leaders are doing is right and in the true name of Islam, that there depression is the cause of Israel, the west and that hatred is the right way to act.
I recommend that you read the books
Three cups of Tea and From Stones into Schools which are about an american mountaineer named Greg Mortenson who is promoting and bringing literacy to children mainly girls in the heart of the taliban countries

Anonymous said...

Well said, Tomer. Education is an important way (not the only, though) to fight powerty, radicalism and terrorism. Desperate people really don't think rationally and many of them will turn radical. That's why Hamas has a lot of support among Gazans, but not among Palestinians living in West Bank (where the life is much better). Sure, the leaders and operatives of radical groups are usually rich and well educated, but their followers aren't.

Daled Amos said...

That's why Hamas has a lot of support among Gazans, but not among Palestinians living in West Bank (where the life is much better).

If that were true, Hamas would not be posing the threat to the PA in the West Bank that it currently does, and Abbas would be making a fuss about the IDF's presence there protecting them from Hamas.