The superstitions that beget terror

Dalrymple says of the 2019 London Bridge stabbing:

If it had been an episode in a novel by a social satirist, it would have been dismissed as too crude or absurd.

He writes that public discussion in the wake of the outrage reveals three superstitions that, thanks to the activities of criminologists, sociologists, psychologists, and others, are deeply ingrained in the public mind:

  1. Terrorists are ill and are both in need of and susceptible to ‘rehabilitation’, as if there existed some kind of moral physiotherapy that would strengthen their moral fibre, or a psychological vaccine that would immunise them against terrorist inclinations.
  2. Once terrorists have undergone these technical processes or treatments, it can be known for certain that the treatments have worked, and that some means exists to assess whether the terrorists still harbour violent desires and intentions.
  3. There exists a way of monitoring terrorists after their release that will prevent them from carrying out attacks, should they somehow slip through the net.

Usman Khan

These notions are, of course, false,

though they have provided much lucrative employment for the tertiary-educated and have contributed greatly to Britain’s deterioration from a comparatively well-ordered society to a society with one of the West’s highest rates of serious crime.

Their broad public acceptance

is evident in the remarks of Jeremy Corbyn, who, after the attack, said that terrorists should undergo rehabilitation rather than serve full prison sentences.

The father of the slain young criminologist said that he would not want his son’s death to be ‘used as a pretext for more draconian sentences’. Dalrymple comments:

Decadence can go little further.

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