November 9, 2005 by AK

What the doctor said

Theodore Dalrymple describes the mentality of the “suicide bombers among us” rather convincingly:

And since people rarely like to admit low motives for their behavior, such as the wish to maintain a self-gratifying dominance, these young Muslims need a more elevated justification for their conduct toward women. They find it, of course, in a residual Islam: not the Islam of onerous duties, rituals, and prohibitions, which interferes so insistently in day-to-day life, but in an Islam of residual feeling, which allows them a sense of moral superiority to everything around them, including women, without in any way cramping their style.

This Islam contains little that is theological, spiritual, or even religious, but it nevertheless exists in the mental economy as what anatomists call a “potential space.” A potential space occurs where two tissues or organs are separated by smooth membranes that are normally close together, but that can be separated by an accumulation of fluid such as pus if infection or inflammation occurs. And, of course, such inflammation readily occurs in the minds of young men who easily believe themselves to be ill-used, and who have been raised on the thin gruel of popular Western culture without an awareness that any other kind of Western culture exists.

We’re dealing with a mix of urban lowlife mentality and a residual pseudo-Islam, both fermented by a range of feelings from dissatisfaction to resentment to “rage” and hatred. Racial alienation must be in play, too.

To what extent these young men are influenced by the voices of global Islam (or pseudo-Islam) is an open question to me.


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