The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'suicide bombing'
An interesting article on the psychology of suicide bombers:
The kind of would-be suicide bomber I have known thinks to himself:
They have accused me of what I have done.
What I have done is no crime.
Therefore those who accuse me are the corrupt of the earth.
Those who accuse me are truly representative of the society from which they come.
The destruction of the corrupt of the earth will be rewarded appropriately. Therefore it matters not which individuals I destroy.
The belief is therefore not in representative government, but in representative guilt.
From a BBC article, asking what could motivate normal young men from Leeds to become suicide bombers:
"Then the government aren't helping that either because they approach people by putting labels on them.
"These kids, whoever they are, want to create their own identities but are being told they are Muslim, white, black or whatever.
"The majority of the lads just want to be British but ever since 9/11 they've been pushed back time and again onto a Muslim identity.And elsewhere, questions are being asked about multiculturalism and its present implementation.
Could it be that multiculturalism, as practiced in Britain, overemphasises the rights of cultures over the rights of individuals to choose their own identities, discouraging them from joining the mainstream of British culture in the interest of diversity? In the multicultural age, the concept of assimilation is considered unfashionable, bordering on racism; the alternative, however, seems to encourage the formation of enclaves and ghettos, and the sorting of individuals into those by their ancestry or background. Could it be time to reassess this balance?
If someone is, say, Catholic or Jewish, that is treated as incidental to everything else they are, rather than as a primary and core part of who/what they are. (Well, except possibly by various Ulster unionists and BNP neo-Nazis). If someone is Muslim, however, that seems to be regarded as a fundamental part of their identity, an indicator of difference. The subtext seems to be "they're not like us": they pray differently, eat differently, drink differently, dress differently, and even if they don't, they have different values. Over time, this could become a self-fulfilling prophecy, an internalised mechanism of segregation.
Part of this is due to the legacy of 1960s New Left identity politics, with its emphasis of empowerment through collective identity and condemnation of any privileging of a mainstream culture over subcultures as "hegemonic". Taken to its extreme, this would end up with disjoint, ghettoised communities, each with their own cultures and values. And when there is little meaningful interaction between communities (and impersonal transactions in kebab shops and minicab offices don't count as meaningful), it is easy for radical elements within either community (be they Islamist militants or the BNP) to dehumanise the other community as a faceless collective enemy, rather than a large number of different individuals, some of whom one could probably get on with rather well.
So what does the Russian svengali who came up with lesbian schoolgirl pop do next? Suicide-bomber pop, of course. Ivan Shapovalov, who gave the world t.A.t.U., is now planning a "terror concert", in the wake of the Beslan siege; tickets will look like airline tickets, and the concert will feature a group named n.A.t.O., with a female vocalist attired as a "black widow" suicide bomber singing in Arabic, and references to al-Qaeda and Iraq. The Russian Ministry of Culture has expressed regret that they have no legal means of cancelling the concert.
Israeli settlers are planning to use guard pigs to defend settlements from attackers. Pigs are believed to have a better sense of smell than dogs; also, contact of any sort with a pig renders Islamic militants ineligible for martyrdom and the statutory 70 virgins (or was it raisins?). The one catch is that the raising of pigs is forbidden in orthodox Judaism, though settlers are requesting a special exemption for this scheme from their rabbis. (Though couldn't the bombers get a special exemption for fighting off Israeli guard pigs from their imams?)
And while we're on the topic of martyrdom, suicide bombers in Iraq are apparently kidnapping babies, wrapping them in explosives and leaving them in public places as bombs. I suppose if you believe in martyrdom and the absolute rightness of your cause, any act of depravity that helps The Cause can be justified; those innocent bystanders you slaughtered in the course of Getting Your Message Across will get their recompense in the afterlife. (via mitch)
Some excerpts from a manual for WW2 kamikaze pilots, translated recently from the Japanese:
At the very moment of impact: do your best. Every deity and the spirits of your dead comrades are watching you intently. Just before the collision it is essential that you do not shut your eyes for a moment so as not to miss the target. Many have crashed into the targets with wide-open eyes. They will tell you what fun they had.
A man has committed suicide by detonating explosives strapped to his body near Lara railway station (on the Melbourne-Geelong railway line).
A chilling look at the training of Palestinian suicide bombers, who are taught from very early childhood to seek martyrdom:
In Hamas-run kindergartens, signs on the walls read: "The children of the kindergarten are the shaheeds (holy martyrs) of tomorrow." The classroom signs at Al-Najah University in the West Bank and at Gaza's Islamic University say, "Israel has nuclear bombs, we have human bombs."
They also are promised something more risqué: unlimited sex with 72 virgins in heaven. The Koran, the sacred book of Islam, describes the women as "beautiful like rubies, with complexions like diamonds and pearls." In one of the passages of the Koran, it is said the martyrs and virgins shall "delight themselves, lying on green cushions and beautiful carpets."
"I know my life is poor compared to Europe or America, but I have something awaiting me that makes all my suffering worthwhile," says Bassam Khalifi, 16, a Hamas youth leader in Gaza's Bureij refugee camp. "Most boys can't stop thinking about the virgins."