Militant Islam and the Year of the Mass Delusion

As Albert Einstein is reported to have once said, “insanity means doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

2016 ought to go down as the year of the greatest mass delusion in history—a delusion beside which the witch manias, the South Sea bubble panic, and the Dutch tulip mania pale in comparison.

Unlike other collective delusions, however, this one has a twist. Social delusions and mass hysteria typically occur when large numbers of people become falsely convinced that some great disaster is imminent. In our times it’s the opposite: a great number of people have become fully convinced—despite all evidence to the contrary—of the nonexistence of an actual threat.

I refer, of course, to the resurgence of militant Islam and along with it the revival of the Islamic dream of a worldwide caliphate.