Muslim terrorism and immortal longings 1

The immediate cause of a terrorist attack is the decision by the attacker to carry it out. (Except of course those forced to act against their will – for example, little girls made into suicide-bombers in Nigeria by the ISIS-affiliated organization Boko Haram.)

However compelling he (generic masculine) considers the reason why he must do it, he makes the choice to do it. He will kill, injure, destroy for a reason that seems good to him.

Most acts of terrorism now, everywhere, are committed by Muslims in the name of Islam. They do it because Allah told them to through Muhammad, who was told what Allah wanted by the Angel Gabriel. Muhammad memorized the words and in turn dictated them to literate persons who wrote them down, and so created the Koran. Thus “kill the infidel”, Koran 9:5, inter alia.

There’s a big reward for the Muslim who does it: an eternity in paradise, conceived of as a luxurious garden brothel. A strong incentive to a believer.

But there is also the more immediate reward for him of glory on earth, in his personal social sphere. His home town. Among his kith and kin and neighbors. His hurrah circle who will put pictures of him in the market place, in local newspapers – perhaps even on national TV.

Every little soul must shine. Every little soul wants glory. And glory both in heaven and on earth is within a Muslim’s reach if he’ll  just die in the act of killing some non-Muslims.

We do not need academic studies and professorial authority to tell us that. In fact, academics are the most unlikely people to see what’s under their noses. But it can happen.

A. Z. Mohamed – a Muslim himself, living in the Middle East – writes at Gatestone:

Responding to findings of a recent study on what motivates both ISIS fighters and those who combat them, Arie W. Kruglanski – distinguished professor of psychology at the University of Maryland and former co-director of the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism – said:

The ideology component addresses individuals’ need to matter and feel significant. … It tells people what to do, such as fight and make sacrifices, in order to gain respect and admiration from others.

Kruglanski, whose 2014 article, “Psychology Not Theology: Overcoming ISIS’ Secret Appeal,” argues that religion (in this instance, Islam) plays a smaller part in what makes terrorists tick than “the [human] need for … personal significance.” He added:

Especially when it comes to violence that is shunned by most religions and most cultures, you need validation from a group of people that would then become your reference group. So the group component is very important, particularly when it comes to antisocial activities that are forbidden or shunned.

But in Islam, Professor Kruglanski, terrorist murder and maiming are not forbidden or shunned.

Well, one cannot expect a professor to get it all right. And least this one got hold of one true and important point. He thinks that the terrorist need to look great to those he lives among is a stronger motivation for his taking the path of martyrdom than the teachings of the Koran which provide him with the excuse and opportunity. That is to say, personal validation is a stronger motive than religious idealism.

A. Z. Mohamed does not agree. He thinks that personal validation is secondary. He does not want the significance of Islamic teaching to the jihadi to be underestimated.

Kruglanski is one of many Western professionals who attempt – through science – to gloss over the very real distinction between people who become jihadists in the name of Islam and those who do not. It seems as if many analysts gloss over the role of Islamic teachings – the Quran, the Sunna, and fatwas – by minimizing them while highlighting matters such as the need for personal significance and validation. By minimizing the content of the Islamic literature, what they overlook is that Islamic teachings actually justify many activities that they would label antisocial. Many analysts also ignore that the validation jihadists get from their reference group is mainly Islamic in words and meanings and that reference group has no significance without referring to the Islamic texts. It often seems as if political correctness – trying to persuade the readers that jihadists are no different from other terrorists and Islamic teachings have no connection to terrorism – is substituted ignoring and minimizing the Islamic texts. the Islamic. What are the roles played by Islam and its group dynamics?

What seems a universal dismissal or whitewashing – intentionally or not – of what is written in the texts, has become so prevalent, that it undermines our ability to recognize, let alone rectify, it.

And because the apologists for Muslim terrorism – which include all the governments of the Western world except the Trump administration – insist that Islamic terrorism “has nothing to do with Islam”, it is indeed essential to stress that Islam commands it. 

So while I continue to believe that glory in the ‘hood – however large or small the ‘hood may be – is the strongest reason for Muhammad’s children to die while killing as many infidels as possible, I appreciate the writer’s point that Islam must be blamed.

And I condemn as vehemently as he does the moronic “political correctness” that the Left has imposed on Western minds, which gives birth to the lie that Islamic terrorism has no root in Islamic doctrine.

Where radical Islamism is concerned, [the] practice of political correctness has proven deadly, literally and figuratively. Out of fear of being labelled by their peers as “Islamophobic,” many of the people engaged in research on Islamic terrorism overlook or understate certain facts – such as the call on the part of jihadists to obliterate Western civilization [see Sayyid Qutb’s Social Justice in Islam] – and justify evil through moral equivalence. This is done, in part, by equating the teachings of the Koran with the Bible, and by claiming that no culture is superior to, or more violent than, another.

Contrary to politically correct psychological assessments, there is abundant empirical evidence to suggest that Islamic teachings are central to the radicalization of Muslims. Highlighting terrorists’ situational factors and universal human tendencies fails to include actually looking at the texts themselves and, by downplaying what is there, makes the solution even more elusive.

There are many variables that work together to make a Muslim believe, for instance, that they love death more than unbelievers love this ‘donya’, – this inferior life. Even relatively “moderate” Muslims, as hard as it is for a Westerner to comprehend it, deeply believe that we are here just for an insignificant instant, and that the really important life is yet to come in the afterlife.

He finds additional personal motivation for young Muslims to venture on their dramatic acts of destruction – sadism, need for a thrill – and all with the excuse of the higher purpose:

Many young Muslims might be possessed by their sadistic impulses and welcome the thrill of being given permission to act on them, being told that they are actually obligatory and good; that the person committing them is, in the view of the texts, heroic and will receive lavish rewards.

And some will do it out of sheer obedience:

Other people, who feel dependent and need structure, might be relieved by having every activity prescribed for them and might be pleased to be possessed by their highly persuasive and controlling Islamist leaders.

But the fact remains, the writer reiterates, that “the true origins and nature of Islamic terrorism” lie in Islam itself.

Right. They do. And that is such an indictment of the religion that it justifies wiping Islam off the face of the earth.

Until that happens, every Muslim, if not tied up or drugged, could say “No”.  Many do. But far too many will not resist the temptation to become an instant hero by committing a gloriously god-commanded – and therefore surely super moral – act of terrorism.


Jillian Becker    December 16, 2017

Posted under Articles, Islam, jihad, Muslims, Terrorism by Jillian Becker on Saturday, December 16, 2017

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