Monday, November 16, 2015

Maybe not mindless, but still doomed to fail

Mindless terrorists? The truth about Isis is much worse | Scott Atran | Comment is free | The Guardian

There's parts of this column which are interesting, such as this:
There is a recruitment framework. The Grey Zone, a 10-page editorial in Isis’s online magazine Dabiq in early 2015, describes the twilight area occupied by most Muslims between good and evil, the caliphate and the infidel, which the “blessed operations of September 11” brought into relief. Quoting Bin Laden it said: “The world today is divided. Bush spoke the truth when he said, ‘Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists’, with the actual ‘terrorist’ being the western crusaders.” Now, it said, “the time had come for another event to … bring division to the world and destroy the grey zone”. The attacks in Paris were the latest instalment of this
strategy, targeting Europe, as did the recent attacks in Turkey. There will be more, much more, to come.
And this sounds about right, when it comes to explaining the appeal of ISIS to disenchanted young men:
As I testified to the US Senate armed service committee and before the United Nations security council: what inspires the most uncompromisingly lethal actors in the world today is not so much the Qur’an or religious teachings. It’s a thrilling cause that promises glory and esteem. Jihad is an egalitarian, equal-opportunity employer: fraternal, fast-breaking, glorious, cool – and persuasive.
But overall, I think he's too pessimistic about how long it can last as a successful, on the ground, movement.

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