Rosemary Righter, writing in the Times carries out some class analysis on the sort of person attracted to contemporary Islamism:
The bloody infantry of terror is not necessarily poor; not only in the West, but also in the Arab and Asian worlds, the terrorists’ “star” recruits tend rather to be relatively well educated, resentful young men who see Muslims as the modern world’s losers
She’s not alone in making that observation. A recent headline in the same newspaper describes two of the recently arrested airline plot Islamists as:
The Telegraph echoes this with:
And it’s true that the 9/11 hijackers were representatives of the oppressed only by dint of some theological fancy footwork rather than by class background.
The UK and US Left which considers Islamism the ‘sigh of the oppressed’ have completely misunderstood the phenomenon. Islamism is actually a very unpleasant form of middle-class radicalism.
Take the Guardian’s favoured rent-an Islamist Soumaya Ghannoushi for further proof of this. Instead of readers having to traipse through the acres of Hezbollah flags at the sort of ‘peace’ meetings she speaks at, why not consider her vowel sounds at the vastly more congenial YouTube instead?
One can’t always tell the social class of a person from their voice but something gives me the impression Ms Ghannoushi has never even been in proximity to a bog standard comprehensive never mind attended one.
For those who can’t bear to listen to poorly thought out pseudo-radical rhetoric even in short bursts just imagine Tariq Ali’s over-the-top public school enunciation taking younger, female form and you’ve got her accent bang-on. It’s painful.
She’s not the only one – the upper echelons of soft Islamism are stuffed full of her type: those who spend their time in the West spouting ‘radical’ sounding rhetoric about imperialism when the Guardian gets the chequebook out instead of doing anything really radical – like forging links with beleaguered trades unionists in the middle east.
Let’s face facts: Islamism’s appeal, is largely to the sort of type of person who would have been tempted to cheer on the blackshirts in the 1920’s. It combines authoritarianism, militarism, anti-socialism and anti-liberalism with a special squeamishness about human sexuality.
Western Leftists who ally with Islamism because they think the phenomenon represents the interests of the masses are fooling themselves. If it represents anything it’s the prejudices of the bazaari and clerical class in organised form and we’ve already seen that in Europe.
It wasn’t nice then either, but at least in those days the left automatically knew they were against it.