In the course of a larger essay on the world’s political woes, David Brooks points out that all of the major acts of terrorism have had the effect of creating a cultural climate of anxiety, suspicion, and insecurity that he calls “small terror.” [Read more…]
ISIS and other jihadist groups are using the internet to spread their message and recruit new members. To combat this, Eric Posner, a prominent law professor from the University of Chicago, says that we need to put limits on freedom of speech. Specifically, he proposes in Slate that we make it illegal for anyone to visit or link to or point other people to jihadist websites.
Again, note the syndrome: Our security is at risk, so eliminate civil liberties! Fear as the pretext for doing away with freedom. [Read more…]
Can the West keep up its postmodernist ideology of relativism–that there is no moral truth and that all cultures are equally valid–in the face of ISIS terrorism? Andrew Klavan thinks not. [Read more…]
It turns out that 80% of the French citizens who joined ISIS come from non-religious families. These converts to Islam and jihadism describe it in terms of religious liberation, a putting away of meaningless materialism to find personal meaning and transcendent purpose. Can it be that human beings have an innate need for transcendence, and that suppressing and denying the religious impulse causes it to break out in extreme, violent, and twisted forms?
Ross Douthat discusses the phenomenon in the New York Times. [Read more…]
The married couple that killed 14 people and wounded 21 at a center for the disabled in San Bernadino, California, had jihadist connections. The shooting might have elements of workplace violence, since the male assailant worked there and apparently was angered at a Christmas party, but the FBI is handling the case as a counterterrorism investigation. [Read more…]