in one of the areas of Paris most notorious for raising Muslim terrorists, and offers various explanatory factors that operate on the would-be bomber or jihadist, particularly those brought up in the West.
adolescence (and young adulthood) is not so much the age of idealism as of narcissism, self-importance and grandiosity.
To the young who lack self-esteem, who have the feeling of worthlessness, of ‘being a piece of rubbish’, as one of them put it to me, [jihadism] gives not only the recognition of having suffered a prejudice, but of being an elect of God, unbeknown to himself and others. To comply with this destiny, he must inspire respect and fear, become a missionary for the cause, a hero before whom the gates of glory are opened. He can make his own justice, he is authorised to be above the law in the name of God’s superior law. The ‘piece of rubbish’ becomes formidable. He must make himself fearsome and feared in his own family. A father said to me, ‘My son has become my father, he lays down the Islamic moral law for me.’