FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Devil Made Me Do It

In homicide trials I’ve always been slightly suspicious of the “I was abused as a child so I had to murder my girlfriend” courtroom defense.  Or “I was high on meth at the time and…”  Or, “I couldn’t find a job and shot the cop…”  Or, “I have too low an IQ to understand the consequences when the AK47 in my hand got a life of its own …”

The latest version of “Yes I killed my parents so please don’t punish me because I’m an orphan” is the current excuse for young Sunni Muslims on jihadi rampage in Brussels, Ankara and Istanbul (where most victims are Muslims), London  and San Bernardino.  The key words are “disaffected”,  “alienated”, “excluded” or “embittered European youth”.

You live in a slum suburb like Molenbeek or an inhumanly colossal concrete Corbusier-designed Paris banlieue  where exclusion, discrimination and poverty drive you to petty crime and prison where you convert to mass murder  of innocent Muslims and us.

Please.  Most of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudi Arabian middle class.  A college graduate, “quiet, polite” Chicago-born Syed Farook who masterminded the San Bernardino massacre, was religiously devout and had a good job  as an “environmental health specialist”.  Many killer jihadists are college educated especially in technical fields like engineering.

A few days ago, back in my old West London neighborhood, around Notting Hill, two middle class guys in their early 20s, Tarik Hassane and Suhaib Majeed, faced lengthy jail terms for plotting to gun down soldiers and police officers in an ISIS-inspired attack.  They used my jogging space, Regents Park, to send encrypted messages to their handler;  reconnoitered army barracks and police stations; got hold of weapons; and carefully planned a drive-by bloodbath before London counter-intel squads raided their homes.

Soccer-playing Arsenal-fan medical student Hassan, a maths geek and prize winning poet, is the son of a Saudi diplomat and used to tool around Ladbroke Grove in a multi-thousand dollar Range Rover.  Suhaib Majeed was a physics  student at prestigious Kings College and chairman of the Islamic Society.

As the Duke of Wellington is supposed to have said after the battle of Waterloo, “It was a damn close run thing.”

OK, some European jihadists are poor kids trapped in a downward spiral.  But some are like Hassan, Majeed and Syed Farook, economically comfortable but bent on revenge for western sins that range from drone-imperialism to bad sex habits contrary to sharia.

Obama like George W. Bush avoided a term like “radical Islamic terrorism”.  Good for them for not over-reacting. What other words can we use to satisfy our liberalism that also describes what’s happening?

More articles by:

Clancy Sigal is a screenwriter and novelist. His latest book is Black Sunset

Weekend Edition
December 14, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
A Tale of Two Cities
Peter Linebaugh
The Significance of The Common Wind
Bruce E. Levine
The Ketamine Chorus: NYT Trumpets New Anti-Suicide Drug
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Fathers and Sons, Bushes and Bin Ladens
Kathy Deacon
Coffee, Social Stratification and the Retail Sector in a Small Maritime Village
Nick Pemberton
Praise For America’s Second Leading Intellectual
Robert Hunziker
The Yellow Vest Insurgency – What’s Next?
Patrick Cockburn
The Yemeni Dead: Six Times Higher Than Previously Reported
Nick Alexandrov
George H. W. Bush: Another Eulogy
Brian Cloughley
Principles and Morality Versus Cash and Profit? No Contest
Michael F. Duggan
Climate Change and the Limits of Reason
Victor Grossman
Sighs of Relief in Germany
Ron Jacobs
A Propagandist of Privatization
Robert Fantina
What Does Beto Have Against the Palestinians?
Richard Falk – Daniel Falcone
Sartre, Said, Chomsky and the Meaning of the Public Intellectual
Andrew Glikson
Crimes Against the Earth
Robert Fisk
The Parasitic Relationship Between Power and the American Media
Stephen Cooper
When Will Journalism Grapple With the Ethics of Interviewing Mentally Ill Arrestees?
Jill Richardson
A War on Science, Morals and Law
Ron Jacobs
A Propagandist of Privatization
Evaggelos Vallianatos
It’s Not Easy Being Greek
Nomi Prins 
The Inequality Gap on a Planet Growing More Extreme
John W. Whitehead
Know Your Rights or You Will Lose Them
David Swanson
The Abolition of War Requires New Thoughts, Words, and Actions
J.P. Linstroth
Primates Are Us
Bill Willers
The War Against Cash
Jonah Raskin
Doris Lessing: What’s There to Celebrate?
Ralph Nader
Are the New Congressional Progressives Real? Use These Yardsticks to Find Out
Binoy Kampmark
William Blum: Anti-Imperial Advocate
Medea Benjamin – Alice Slater
Green New Deal Advocates Should Address Militarism
John Feffer
Review: Season 2 of Trump Presidency
Rich Whitney
General Motors’ Factories Should Not Be Closed. They Should Be Turned Over to the Workers
Christopher Brauchli
Deported for Christmas
Kerri Kennedy
This Holiday Season, I’m Standing With Migrants
Mel Gurtov
Weaponizing Humanitarian Aid
Thomas Knapp
Lame Duck Shutdown Theater Time: Pride Goeth Before a Wall?
George Wuerthner
The Thrill Bike Threat to the Elkhorn Mountains
Nyla Ali Khan
A Woman’s Selfhood and Her Ability to Act in the Public Domain: Resilience of Nadia Murad
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
On the Killing of an Ash Tree
Graham Peebles
Britain’s Homeless Crisis
Louis Proyect
America: a Breeding Ground for Maladjustment
Steve Carlson
A Hell of a Time
Dan Corjescu
America and The Last Ship
Jeffrey St. Clair
Booked Up: the 25 Best Books of 2018
David Yearsley
Bikini by Rita, Voice by Anita
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail