The jihadis from the West probably feel pressure to prove they’re not ‘soft,’ and various other mostly younger men from around the Muslim world probably have as many reasons as there are jihadis: Glory, honor, boredom, slave women, bloodlust, adventure etc.
‘At least Marxism had a patina of rationality, and most of its adherents (in the West at any rate), while not averse to violence in the abstract, were willing to postpone the final, extremely violent apocalypse to some future date and did not believe that by blowing themselves up or cutting people’s throats they would ascend directly to the classless society or meet Marx in his pantheon. You could be a martyr in the Marxist cause, but only on the understanding that death was final. The best you could hope for was that, after the final victory of the proletarian revolution, you would have a postage stamp issued in your memory.’
From another piece of his on many a Western intellectual (many multiculturalists are leftover ideologues with no place to go, and so can have a very difficult time seeing some of the connections between their ideology and that of the jihadis, always claiming the moral equivalence and evil of all religions of their ideological enemies, while they claim all the light, right, and progress).
Here’s a sentence you don’t come across every day:
‘Clearly the example of a transsexual Muslim airline pilot was meant as a reductio ad absurdum and not as a real or actual concern.’
And just to frustrate matters more, because the goal is often to think, and then act, if one must. Samuel Huntington was a previously loyal FDR Democrat who often thought for himself:
“The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion, but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact, non-Westerners never do.”
–Samuel Huntington (wikipedia). The quote is from The Clash Of Civilizations and is fairly well known, and I’m sure intelligently disagreed with.
Political Order In Changing Societies info here, a book likely worth your time.
Also On This Site: Link sent in by a reader to Alexander Hitchens essay: As American As Apple Pie: How Anwar al-Awlaki Became The Face Of Western Jihad
Paul Berman At The New Republic: ‘From September 11 to the Arab Spring: Do Ideas Matter?’…From Foreign Affairs: ‘Al Qaeda After Attiyya’….From The AP: ‘Al-Awlaki: From Voice For Jihad To Al-Qaida Figure’