Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A Muslim 'gap year', and beyond

The UK's Crevice case is illustrative. It was not, as most western media claim, an [Al Qaeda] plot. The [perpetrators] went looking for AQ in Pakistan and had to pay 3500 Euros for a trainer and bring their own supplies.
-- from Terrorism and radicalisation: what to do, what not to do by Scott Atran, who says that, like gangsta culture, skateboarding, post-Madonna belly-button exposure and the hushpuppies fad, "the new wave of terrorism is about 'Youth Culture', not the Koran". 'Al Qaeda in Maghreb', for example, "is a logo, not part of an international organisation". But here is an interesting finding:
Would-be and captured suicide bombers rarely cite personal humiliation as a trigger but almost always cite the humilation suffered by others.
And economists and others should pay attention to this:
Jihadis do not respond to utilitarian cost-benefit analysis...; they respond to moral values...; each death inspires many more young Muslims to join the cause; and a utilitarian perspective [such as the U.S Quadrennial Defence Review which seeks to minimise U.S. costs in lives & treasure, while imposing unsustainable costs on the enemy] plays into the hands of terrorists. The U.S and allies [make a profound error in] try[ing] to reduce people to material matter rather than moral beings...

...Faith in Dreams and Heroes, perhaps more than industry and power, gives impetus to lives and civilisations.

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