.

Monday, August 16, 2004

The Key to Jihadist Ideology and Strategy

The Key to Jihadist Ideology and Strategy

When trying to explain the Islamists' global campaign of mass murder, both liberals and conservatives, despite their fierce mutual disagreements, make the same underlying mistake. People on the anti-war left believe that Al Qaeda attacked us because we're imperialist, or because we're racist, or because we don't do enough for Third-World hunger (yes, there are people who actually believe the hunger argument; most of them are Episcopalians). By contrast, many people on the pro-war right, especially President Bush, believe that the Islamists hate us for our freedoms, opportunities, and overall success as a society. In other words, the left believes that the Islamists hate us for our sins, and the right believes that they hate us for our virtues. Both sides commit the same narcissistic fallacy of thinking that the Islamist holy war against the West revolves solely around ourselves, around the moral drama of our goodness or our wickedness, rather than having something to do with Islam itself.