Perry de Havilland at Samizdata wonders at the motivation behind the recent spate of attacks in the UK. A number of theories have been advanced. Some I have added Which is the most likely and why?
- The Salman Rushdie Knighthood
- The defilement of the sacred soil of Saudi Arabia during Desert Storm
- the Spanish expulsion of the Moors from Spain
- Richard the Lionheart's actions during the Crusades
- immoral Western behavior
Multiple choice selections are allowed. Imagine that this is a serious question and you are an earnest policy analyst, eager to remove the principal sources of discontent and hatred which you believe underly these attacks. You are averse to the idea that the world is gripped by an irreconcilable clash of civilizations and believe that a negotiated solution to these "fundamental" problems is possible. How would you go about approaching the problem?
It is interesting as a mental exercise because it forces one to examine the forces that actually drive the current wave of Islamic terrorism. There are a number of causes which are implicit in the rage directed against the West which are not obviously stated. The first is the existence of Israel. The second is Kashmir. The third, which hardly figures in any list, is the current rivalry between the Sunni and Shi'a confessions of the Muslim world. To what extent are the attacks on the West driven by the groups spawned by this sectarian rivalry? I would argue that even if the West were to agree tomorrow to convert, en masse to Islam, the "underlying causes" would not be completely eliminated. First of all, which type of Islam would they convert to?