Saturday, April 02, 2016

Why They Cheer The Terrorist Attacks

I'm listening to The Looming Tower right now by Lawrence Wright. Awesome book. I can't recommend it highly enough. It details the creation and rise of Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood in particular and the Islamist movement in general. Wright is no neocon and as a matter of fact, I think he's a bit of a lefty. In any case, the book is brilliant, following the lives of several key players as if it were a spy novel.

The one thing that has jumped out at me so far is the explanation of why Muslim civilians cheer successful terrorist attacks. In Islam, things happen because Allah wills them. When the Israelis beat the tar out of the Arabs in the 6 Day War, for example, the conclusion from the devout Muslims was that the Islamic world hadn't been sufficiently Islamic and Allah had turned against them. The solution was to be more Islamic than ever. The imposition of Sharia on everyone they can get their hands on is an effort to please Allah that he might will more good things on them.

When Islamists fly planes into buildings and kill thousands, when they shoot up Paris or blow up Brussels, the infidels have been killed because Allah willed it. Allah willed it because the Muslims have been sufficiently devout. In a way, the civilians are cheering their own piety as much as the military victories. The success of the Islamist attackers is a reflection of the relationship between Allah and the Muslim world.

It's like a student cheering when they get a good report card.

Wait until I show my Imam! He's going to be so proud of me!


IlĂ­on said...

"Wait until I show my Imam! He's going to be so proud of me!"

Just don't misunderstand the question and raise your hand at the wrong moment

K T Cat said...


Foxfier said...

Does he go into the difference in world-view any?
I know it can be really hard to convey that there is a way that people will support a group that horribly abuses them, because the basic assumption is that it's not inherently wrong.
We've got an assumption that people have rights because they're people, not because they can defend them-- and we've got centuries of a really good record of making that stick. We've got an assumption of safety that's all the more a blessing because we can't even see it.

K T Cat said...

Foxie, he quotes extensively from the Koran and Koranic scholars to give context to the motivating forces of the characters. Having read the Koran, I think Wright gives is way too much of a pass when it comes to justifying violence, but he does make the effort.