Why young Muslims hate

Dalrymple explains that Muslims growing up in the West

see a society in which the summum bonum is consumerism, but whose members, through lack of money or lack of discrimination, are not even very good at that.

Young Muslims see a white society in which people do not know how to

  • dress with dignity or self-respect
  • eat well
  • enjoy themselves in a sociable fashion without an undercurrent of violence

The whites of the slums, Dalrymple points out, are

uncouth and uncultured, living in the eternal present moment of popular culture, wearing a deracinated uniform: shell suit, trainers, baseball cap. A way of life has emerged that is utterly charmless and that no sensible person would wish to emulate.

Young Muslims hear passionate disquisitions from their fathers and uncles about

  • the degeneracy of the white culture around them
  • the disastrous anarchy of family relationships among the whites
  • how superior to all this moral squalor their own traditions are

When they receive the racist taunts of their white contemporaries, they harbour a sense of their superiority. Yet, says Dalrymple, they cannot simply reproduce their fathers’ mental world. They are part modern Westerners too, with many of the same debased tastes as their white contemporaries. They

  • listen to the same music
  • eat the same fast food
  • play the same games
  • are attracted by the same baubles, such as mobile phones and designer trainers
  • adopt the same disgusting body-piercing and tattooing practices

The young Muslims

feel guilty about their lack of cultural purity. From guilty desire and surreptitious identification it is a short step to insensate hatred and rage.

The mixture of material inferiority and a feeling of spiritual or cultural superiority is a combustible one, found also at moments in their history in Russian Slavophils, the Japanese, and Latin Americans. The Muslim world, Dalrymple notes, is

acutely aware of its technical weakness and impotence: to catch up economically with the West it must adopt the West’s methods, and a large part of its culture. Even armed resistance to the encroachment of Western culture has to be carried out with Western weapons — scimitars won’t do. It is a humiliating thought for members of a proud culture that if that culture had ceased to exist three centuries ago, the world would not have had to go without any of the inventions that have shaped modern life.

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