As ISIS tears through the Middle East like a virulent disease, we're waking up to the meddling ignorance of our governments who thought they could play chess with pieces they didn't understand. In fact, one way and another they have helped train and fund this terrorist horde, as Washington's Blog explains.
I think of Al-Qaeda and the like as seventeenth-century Puritans: no booze, fags, gambling, music, dancing, sex... there is no escape into ecstasy but through self-righteousness and bloodshed.
Where some people are mistaken is in thinking all Muslims are like this. They're not, any more than all Christians in England were Cromwell's holy thugs.
What we want to watch out for is excitable young men being groomed for testosterone-fuelled massacre. I've seen the tip of that iceberg myself, or rather, heard it.
Working with a project for 15-year-olds years ago, I met one very nice Asian lad (not clever, but much better than me at cleaning the project's fish tank) who wanted to get off his addiction to cannabis, "bud" or "Bud-dha" as he put it. Needing a core in his life to strengthen himself against temptation, he got religion and so started to take his Islam more seriously, praying five times a day.
To help his meditation, he had a bootleg CD of devotional song, which was exquisitely beautiful. A few minutes in, just as we were relaxing and opening our minds, the overlay came: propaganda against the Jews, timing phrases to match the slow, seductive tempo of the prayerful voice still pouring out its hymn.
I told the directors of the project, and got a don't-be-silly response. But there will be, must be, others, sitting in their bedrooms, listening to similar material and starting to surf the Net for more that confirms their world-view and reassures them that they too can have an important role to play in their god's plan for the world.
It can be challenged, and I have done so in a local secondary school where a highly intelligent boy wanted to rag the khuffar male teacher in front of him. But we will have to be strong and firm in the defence of our civilisation.
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