This is not a swipe at Islam, Moslems or their way of life i.e customs and traditions. This is an attempt to rationalize why I believe that Islam and the Islamic world is prone to extremism and religious fundamentalism. I am sure that rational and moderate Moslems everywhere who criticize and condemn such atrocities and acts of barbarity would concur.
I was born and raised in a quite liberal environment. My best friend while I was growing up was a girl. I have quite a lot of female relatives as well as friends. I attended a mixed sex school. I had my first sexual encounter at age 19 and by 22, sex had lost its mystery. It is still a very healthy act that I indulge in, no doubt, but the old allure, pull, mystery e.t.c was gone. The whole thing was laid bare and dare I say it became quite normal. So I have noticed, once these testosterone-fueled teenagers have experienced and come to grips with sex, the whole pot of enthusiasm tends to simmer down in most cases if not all. That X-factor that sex (or the opposite sex) had seems to melt away. In fact, we all become desensitized.
This is very true of human nature, the fact that we want something that’s usually beyond our reach. Once upon a time, we were obsessed with the oceans but as soon as we conquered them and the planet itself, we began to look outwards. We’ve put men on the moon and that is not enough for us, we want Mars. I am absolutely sure that mankind will not be satisfied until we reach the ends of the universe. From a personal perspective as a child who was kept indoors, there was always something glamorous about being allowed to play outside. Oh how I envied those who could go out and come in at will. Then I grew up and realized that there was nothing to it. What am I trying to say? If a human being is denied free access from something, it only serves to stoke their curiosity or increase their longing for it. Marketers and business people utilize it all the time to increase the value of their products. It is called artificial scarcity.
In the heart of core Islam, sex is a taboo topic. Children of different sexes are (usually) kept apart. In some (not all) households, brothers and sisters are not even allowed to mingle, much less with children of the opposite sex outside. In some areas, boys sometimes grow up without having ever seen a female face not to talk of a female body. There is a huge and deep segregation in the heart of an Islam society (I do not want to go into the suppression and objectification of women). These boys then grow into young men who walk around with serious sexual urges (which is completely natural) that they are afraid of expressing, rather they attempt to suppress it. In animals (which we also are), this leads to irrational behavior and wanton aggression. Fundamentalists posing as religious leaders then harness this aggression into the phenomenon that is known today as terrorism.
The human urge for self-preservation is very powerful so it beats me as to why a young healthy man would willingly end his life (along with those of others) for a cause that he doesn’t really understand? I have watched a documentary in which journalists have gone undercover to interview fighters, and the thing is, the western capitalism that many of these dissident groups agitate against cannot even be fully explained by many of the foot soldiers. Some said they were called to fight jihad, not capitalism. They all agreed that if they die in the service of Allah, they will be sent to paradise where seventy-two (72) virgins are currently standing around, waiting to throw themselves at the next fallen jihadist (oh what an orgy it will be). I (and so many others) do consider it fallacious but for young sex-starved male (and I’ve put myself in their shoes), it’s probably worth dying for.
Of all human desires, sex is probably the most powerful desire of them all. We are engineered and hard wired this way. Some very unscrupulous individuals are sending young people to their deaths to serve their selfish ends. If they believe in paradise, why are they still alive? Why? Why can’t these young people ask them? They can’t because they have been indoctrinated and because is a powerful motivator. They would happily enter the service of a god who can make that urge to be fulfilled beyond their wildest dreams.
This I believe is a very good reason (one of the many) why religious extremists will always have an ever willing pool of foot soldiers to draw from. Something’s got to change. I am not saying that Islamic societies should become like the morally loose western societies but at least they should loosen the noose a bit. Desperate people go to desperate lengths to achieve the objects of their desire. I am not a Moslem and I certainly have no power to change it but I can draw attention to it so that one day we can have a better and safer world.