February 08, 2015

Source: Shutterstock


Anyway, what is more or less certain is that Coulibaly would have emerged from a swamp of discontent, of thwarted entitlement, or more accurately of a thwarted sense of entitlement. Hardly a day would have gone by without him being told, or hearing somehow or other, that he inhabited the land of les droits de l”€™homme, of human rights, of liberty, equality, and fraternity. But what would his experience of daily life have been? Armed at huge public expense with the worst education which could possibly be provided over the prolonged period of his childhood and adolescence (an adolescence from which he would never emerge into adulthood), made aware neither of the possibility or necessity of personal effort, his mind filled with ideas and values derived from debased products for consumption by proletarians manufactured by a cynical culture industry, neither obliged or able to earn a living, and aware of the disdain and contempt with which he would be viewed by anyone minimally successful, his mind a bubbling cauldron of inchoate resentment; how wonderful for him to have found a providential”€”and enjoyable”€”role and purpose in the world, namely to kill or injure people!

“€œI”€™ll give them liberty, equality, and fraternity!”€ he would have thought (or felt). Because of his sense of entitlement, it would never have occurred to him that he had been fed, watered, housed, schooled, doctored all his life for nothing in return. What is given as an entitlement is not received with gratitude. 

So in thinking about our home-grown Islamists, it is not enough to fume at the sheer idiocy and wickedness of their ideas; we should turn our attention inward as well, to our own societies.               


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