Guardian: ISIS jihadis are searching for their ‘identity’

Jihadi John successfully finds his identity

…What is it that draws thousands of young Europeans to a brutal, sadistic organisation such as Isis? “Radicalisation” is usually seen as a process through which extremist groups or “hate preachers” groom vulnerable Muslims for jihadism by indoctrinating them with extremist ideas. Some commentators blame western authorities for pushing young Muslims into the arms of the groomers. The advocacy group Cage UK claimed last week that Mohammed Emwazi had been driven to Syria by MI5 “harassment”. Others stress the “pull” factor in radicalisation. The problem, they claim, lies with Islam itself, a faith that, in their eyes, legitimises violence, terror and inhumanity.

Neither claim is credible…

…What draws most wannabe jihadis to Syria is, to begin with, neither politics nor religion. It is a search for something a lot less definable: for identity, for meaning, for “belongingness”, for respect. Insofar as they are alienated, it is not because wannabe jihadis are poorly integrated, in the conventional way we think of integration. Theirs is a much more existential form of alienation.

There is, of course, nothing new in the youthful search for identity and meaning. What is different today is the social context in which this search takes place. We live in a more atomised society than in the past; an age in which many people feel peculiarly disengaged from mainstream social institutions and in which moral lines often seem blurred and identities distorted…


If there is nothing peculiar about Islam, why do only Muslims have this mysterious identity problem? Or why do non-Muslims suffering an identity crisis become Muslims and commit crimes?  

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  • “If there is nothing peculiar about Islam, why do only Muslims have this mysterious identity problem? Or why do non-Muslims suffering an identity crisis become Muslims and commit crimes? ” – good question Frau Katze – the question they don’t ask at Guardian and don’t want you to ask.

  • jzaik

    SNL actually did something funny I guess with the ISIS commercial.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCMLMIGzy4M

    • eMan14

      There is a perverse truth in that.

  • Martin B

    Jihadis are searching for jobs, identity, their lost car keys…anything, anything but Islam. The desperation is so bad, it’s comical.

  • Xavier

    Their identities are in someone else’s skull cavity?

  • Linda1000

    It used to be in the late 60s and 70s that when people were searching for identities and meaning in life they ran off to join a hippy commune, kibbutz, anti- war movement, hitch-hiking odyssey across Europe, smoked a lot of dope, did a lot of drugs then returned home broke with their brains half fried when the thrill of their Bohemian lifestyle faded. Don’t know why there is so much more violence today or why the attraction for it is so prevalent.
    Don’t see how the Internet has so much influence on anyone. Billions of people are not affected one way or the other.
    There is still a futuristic commune of hippies in Arizona just north of Phoenix called Arcosante. Weird place with strange people I found when I went through it in the early 90s. I remember the people were growing lots of plants (not grass) so I thought it was experimental farming.
    http://www.vice.com/en_ca/read/i-went-to-a-futuristic-hippie-commune-in-the-desert-arcosanti

    • Xavier

      Interesting article.

  • Jason

    Even if we buy the argument that it is at least sometimes a case of existential/societal angst that is driving these people to ISIS, why ISIS in particular? He mentions the decline (seemingly) of Communism – but one could still join the Communist Party. For that matter, one could join the Wall Street/globalization protests, or PETA, or rally against Climate Change, etc. Why ISIS? Are they attracted to the violence? That’s part of it, I suspect.
    Anyway, the article implies that the ISIS interpretation of Islam is extreme – readers here know that it is not. If Islam and its texts of hatred were not available to these poor, lost, searching souls, they presumably would not be sawing off heads. Who knows what they would have chosen instead, but it would certainly be less harmful to the rest of society.

    • luna

      I believe there are “recruiters” involved in most cases.

    • Because Islamism needs the most explaining away.

  • Physics grad

    The Guardian is evil incarnate

  • winniec

    Leftards continue to whitewash and hide jihad! Jihad is an individual duty and a duty of the entire Muslim community. The Leftards want to continue the replacement of European populations until they are all absorbed and no one is left who cares about freedom. At that point, they will no longer worry about elections. Muslims are being used to bust up European culture, the culture of rights and finish the genocide against Europeans.

    • Xavier

      I don’t know that they will kill all the Europeans. Moslems have traditionally kept some dhimmis alive to generate taxes and provide foreign technologies that they cannot master. Plus, there’s that slave thing.

      • eMan14

        Their arrogance may be their undoing. They will put those who aren’t killed into slavery.

  • cmh

    just remember that muslims have absolutely nothing to do with Islam

  • Dana Garcia

    Headchopper — that’s a hell of a calling in life.

    But Islam is sort of a reverse universe where evil is good. That was the episode in Star Trek where Spock had a goatee.

  • Hard Little Machine

    Everyone needs to grab a hacksaw and skull fuck the severed heads of everyone who works for The Guardian.

  • By raping girls and women?

    This leftist apologia for Islamists is beyond tiresome. It’s offensive to be this stupid now.