More will be known shortly. Thoughts and prayers to the victims and their families.
I’ve heard the second generation of immigrants often longs for some purpose and meaning (search for roots) from which the first has turned. Regardless of American politics and political philosophy (which has currently gone Leftward, more ‘multicultural,’ and Europeward in many respects), there are other factors all Americans are facing with a more interconnected world.
Via Wikipedia (source of sources):
What the recruits tended to have in common – besides their urbanity, their cosmopolitan backgrounds, their education, their facility with languages, and their computer skills – was displacement. Most who joined the jihad did so in a country other than the one in which they were reared. They were Algerians living in expatriate enclaves in France, Moroccans in Spain, or Yemenis in Saudi Arabia. Despite their accomplishments, they had little standing in the host societies where they lived.”’
In the case of Muslim immigrants, an exploration of roots includes possibility of access to radical literature/videos/material, online propaganda, and/or other more direct cultural connections to extremism and components of the Muslim faith/identity they see as cause for direct and radical action (e.g. the disgruntled in Molenbeek, Brussels, the higher rates of radicalization of Somalis in Minnesota as part of the conflict in their homeland, the Chechen conflict for the Tsarnaevs).
As to the larger forces at work, and a few thoughts on them: Perhaps it’s reasonable (loss of loved ones’ lives is never ‘reasonable,’ I know…) to expect incidents like these at a rate near 1 per every 3-5 years on American soil (15 deaths or greater) should the direct cause be radical Islam, and the perpetrators not part of a larger, coordinated attack (we’ve had more attacks with fewer deaths, and seen quite a few self-radicalizers, loners, and in the case of the elder Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarneav, the mentally unstable).
The odds of that larger attack (100 lives or greater up to many 1000’s due to larger-scale strategic planning, more advanced/destructive weaponry) is quite improbable, thanks in some part due to deterrence and intelligence, but such attacks have the potential to be extremely consequential to American cultural and political institutions and all of our freedoms, as was 9/11.
Of course, rates are only useful if they have predictive power, so perhaps I should say: I expect another attack with 0-15 deaths within 1 1/2 years, and 15 deaths or greater within 3-5, due to radical Islam (not necessarily homegrown). I’ll check in with this prediction in time.
In other words, the Muslim world’s internal problems in dealing with its own worlds, and the outside world, and its own radical movements is part of the issue. Muslim immigration to the West and the internal contradictions within the West, as well as Western involvement in the Muslim world is part of the issue. All of this can contribute to a complex situation in which some individuals choose horrific, bloody and violent action upon the West, within the West, inspired by Islamic terrorism.
The terror and fear involved in all of our minds, of course, is the one of the central purposes of these activities.
To say nothing of the actual lives lost.
*I should say it certainly follows from the above that having a ‘conversation’ about Muslim immigration means having a conversation about the violence, potential for violence and problems of the Muslim world suddenly in our own backyards (look around your house, block, school, wotk, town council etc….that’s what I mean by ‘our’), yet, the actual probability of any one Muslim immigrant atually being or becoming involved in terrorist activity is very, very, very small.
That said, the chances of that practicing Muslim having potentially divided loyalties between being an American citizen (the laws, the national defense etc) and being a practicing Muslim (submission of will in faith to God, the umma, even the sentiment and fellow feeling that can lead to radicalization) is a bit larger.
Rootless, multicultural cosmopolitan and/or open borders libertarian…I am not.
Related On This Site: From The AP: ‘Al-Awlaki: From Voice For Jihad To Al-Qaida Figure’
The Hitchens factor, and a vigorous defense of free speech: From Beautiful Horizons: ‘Christopher Hitchens and Tariq Ramadan at the 92nd Street Y’…Via YouTube: ‘Christopher Hitchens Vs. Ahmed Younis On CNN (2005)’…From Michael Totten: ‘An Interview With Christopher Hitchens’
Free speech (used both well and unwell) meets offended Muslims: ‘Mohammad Cartoonist Lars Vilks Headbutted‘During Lecture’……From The OC Jewish Experience: ‘UC Irvine Muslim Student Union Suspended’…From Volokh: ‘”South Park” Creators Warned (Threatened) Over Mohammed’
From YouTube: Roger Scruton On Religious Freedom, Islam & Atheism…From The Middle East Quarterly Via A & L Daily: Europe’s Shifting Immigration DynamicFrom The CSM: ‘WIll Pakistan Military Go After Taliban In North Waziristan?’
Repost-From Michael Yon: ‘The Battle For Kandahar’…Dexter Filkins Book On Afghanistan And Iraq: “The Forever War”…Monday Quotations-Henry Kissinger…Tom Ricks Via Foreign Policy: ‘American General Dies In Afghanistan; An American Lt. Col. Goes Off The Reservation