"History is philosophy teaching by example." (Lord Bolingbroke)

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Thursday, July 14, 2005

"How Could They," Our British Friends Ask

A week after the terrorist attacks in London killed (to date) 53 people, Britons are incredulous that some of the terrorists were born and bred in their country. "How could this happen?" they ask, shocked. They have the impression that the killers, being British-born, automatically have the same loyalty to Britain that other Britons have.

However, the terrorists did what they did precisely BECAUSE they are British-born. They did it because they needed to prove to themselves, to their fellow Muslims, and to the non-Muslim Britons among whom they lived, just where their true loyalties lay.

How better to accomplish this than by killing themselves and others in the name of Islam!

Muslims truly aren't like the rest of us. The cannonical documents of their religion, the Koran and the Hadith, go to great lengths to tell them that it is the moral destiny of Islam to rule the world. To that end, Muslims are morally obligated to do whatever is required, up to and including murder and mayhem. Muslims who do not accept this goal are considered to be such "bad" Muslims that they are considered heretics, which, in Muslim society, can bring the death penalty.

Muslims are taught that it is not permissible to have loyalty to man-made law, or to man-made administrative units such as Britain; the only permissible loyalties are to the law of Allah as contained in the Koran (sharia), and to the "Ummah," which is the collective Muslim population of the world.

We often hear about the lack of "assimilation" of Muslims into Infidel communities; the reason for that is that the practices and loyalties adopted through assimilation are not morally permissible in Islam. On the other hand, we often hear about Muslims who "are such nice people, just like you and me."

But remember, because of their moral code, they cannot be like you and me. With our respect for man-made law and our allegiance to the countries of our birth, we cannot be alike. Heart-felt assmiliation is not possible, unless a Muslim is willing to give up the fundamental tenets of his religion which forbid it.

When Muslims are born and educated OUTSIDE THE UMMAH, they feel pressure to prove that being born and educated outside the Muslim world has not affected their loyalty to Islam. They feel a need to prove what "good" Muslims they are. This can be done by several means--by refusing to associate with the Infidel, by refusing to criticise terrorism, by actively supporting terrorism through approval or financial support, or, most convincing of all, through "martyrdom."

What greater proof of devotion and loyalty can there be?

Young Muslim men are the most common "martyrs." Like other young people, both male and female, they have more sex hormones now than at any other time in their lives, which leads to the classic teenage/young adult behaviors seen world-wide.

Neurodevelopmentally, the function of high levels of sex hormones is to establish the final organization of the brain in its transition from the child form to the adult form. This transitional period is frought with volatility; the neural connections between the primitive emotional centers of the brain (the kind that produce the need for immediate gratification and temper tantrums in small children) and the thinking/planning/reasoning part of the brain (the kind seen in most people over 35), are now becoming established, but the connections between the two come and go by the thousands each second. That produces the unpredictability of the teen/young adult--one day he seems calm and reasonable, and the next day he seems depressed and hostile. Now, more than at any time in his life, he seeks a "roadmap" to help guide him through life.

For most people, this "roadmap" takes the form of a religion. For Muslims, it is Islam.

Adolescents and young people are just beginning to establish themselves in independent life. Due to their lack of experience and judgment, they face more uncertainties, and even dangers, than more mature people do. For this reason, whatever they do involves more risk. To enable them to be able take the necessary risks, they must have some means of being psychologically protected against full awareness of their impact.

This protection is achieved by the presence of a sense of invulnerability. Intellectually, the young person knows about danger, including death, but deep in his heart, he doesn't feel that it applies as much to him as it does to other people. Somehow, he will dodge the bullet.

As the young person emerges from dependence on his family, he seeks to join the larger group of which he is a member. At the beginning of his life amid the larger group, the adolescent has a fantasy, almost delusional at times, of the status that he hopes to attain within the group. Somehow, he believes that he'll make his mark and be remembered; he'll be a hero of some sort. He spends a good deal of time imagining the admiration and respect he will receive from group members for his achievements.

The combination of convincing a child that it is immoral to have any loyalties outside the Ummah; the need the adolescent has to prove his loyalty to the Ummah; the volatility of the adolescent; his sense of invulnerability; the profound need he feels to make his mark within the Ummah; his conviction that he will somehow acquire status within the group, with all the respect and admiration to follow, is what leads the young person to kill himself and others.

All his pre-death fantasies are commonly reinforced by "send-off" ceremonies, pictures and videos taken during the ceremonies, the display after death of the pictures, the praise heaped upon him to the dead martyr's family, the examples he becomes for small children yet to become martyrs, and, of course, the assurance that there will be immediate admission to Paradise, where he can spend his time having sex with pearl-skinned boys and continuously recycled virgins (or white grapes, if recent linguistic research is accurate).

Terrorism of any sort, but especially martyrdom, is the solution to all the young male Muslim's fantasies, especially if he is born among the Infidel, where the need for proof of solidarity with the Ummah is greater than it is anywhere else.