Why Is the Islamist Death Cult So Appealing?

…They enlist because they are unhappy, and the eschatological rebellion against everyday morality satisfies them. The Islamist idea, in its most extreme version especially, offers every solace that a mopey young person could desire. It proposes an explanation of unhappiness. It ascribes the alienation to a conspiracy. Its stipulation of Jewish evil justifies the joys of loathing and murder. It promises a radiant future.

Meanwhile, it offers the joys of romantic costuming, which have always figured prominently in the totalitarian appeal. Instead of the black shirts of Mussolini’s men, or the brown shirts of the Nazi paramilitaries, here is the Islamic State’s black uniform, which the Brothers Kouachi went to some trouble to don in order to slaughter the Charlie cartoonists. And the jihad offers the glamour of suicide. It is a sexually marvelous suicide, to be awarded posthumously and preposterously with the delights to be had from 72 virgins…