Category Archives: delinquency

A burning sense of injustice

In Nantes, in response to the shooting by police of a man called Aboubakar Fofana (the subject of an arrest warrant for organised robbery, possession of stolen goods, and criminal conspiracy), who had tried to run them down in his car,

for four successive nights 100 youths with balaclavas descended into the street and burned at least 50 cars, as well as a doctors’ office and parts of a school and petrol station. Some threw Molotov cocktails at the police.

It is difficult to believe, writes Dalrymple,

that they did not take delight in the opportunity, combining delinquency with supposed moral purpose.

What could that purpose have been?

Let us grant for the sake of argument that the shooting was unjustified. Would it then make sense to burn 50 of your neighbours’ cars and destroy a doctor’s office? At the very least, this response does little credit to their thought or logic.

Dalrymple notes that the fact that Fofana had a criminal record

did not cool their ardour. As is usual in these cases, friends of the deceased could be found to say that ‘he was a smiling and intelligent young man’ who ‘never looked for problems’ (other than robbing people). We might wonder whether, if he had been shot by a member of a rival gang, there would have been any rioting.

Dalrymple says it is hard to escape the conclusion that the rioting was in part motivated by the desire that people like Fofana

should be left to carry on their depredations without hindrance.

Frivolity of Western criminal justice

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A mockery: Palais de Justice, Brussels

How liberal pœnology fosters Islamist terrorism

Dalrymple writes that the 2016 Brussels bombings

exposed the frivolity of the Belgian criminal-justice system, which it shares with the British and French systems, and several others, and which has turned the fight against crime into an elaborate and expensive—though lucrative—charade.

Ibrahim El Bakraoui possessed and used a Kalashnikov, which

Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 08.55.51is not generally a sign of good citizenship or of a momentary lapse therefrom such as we may all from time to time suffer.

And

you would not have to be Sherlock Holmes to surmise that a man who had used a Kalashnikov before he went to Syria might be a dangerous man after returning.

Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 09.03.00Khalid El Bakraoui was

left at liberty.

One is struck, says Dalrymple,

not only by the leniency of the original sentence—the violent robbery of cars is not the result of a submission to momentary temptation—but by the iron determination of the system to keep him out of prison.

Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 09.06.29Given that

so many Islamist terrorists graduate seamlessly to politico-religious crime from common delinquency, one can say with tolerable certainty that one of the root causes of such terrorism in Europe is liberal pœnology, with its view that punishment is therapy and prisons are hospitals for the temporarily disturbed or naughty.

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Another episode of tic douloureux

John Fothergill gave a still useful description of trigeminal neuralgia in 1773

John Fothergill gave a useful description
of trigeminal neuralgia in 1773

Dalrymple likens the periodic anguish, convulsions and agitation caused by Islamist terrorist attacks to Fothergill’s disease or prosopalgia. He writes:

Every incident is now like an episode of tic douloureux: a condition very difficult to treat.

One not insignificant feature of the problem, he points out, is that their religion, for certain Muslims, is

the continuation of delinquency by other means.

Nicolas André coined the term tic douloureux in his Observations pratiques sur les maladies de l'urètre et sur plusieurs faits convulsifs (1756)

Nicolas André coined the term tic douloureux in his Observations pratiques sur les maladies de l’urètre et sur plusieurs faits convulsifs (1756)

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Sadism as godliness

Screen Shot 2015-02-08 at 07.10.43Faits de petite délinquance (rien de bien méchant)

On a different planet: the Monde newspaper

Moussa Coulibaly’s record before his stabbing spree at the Jewish club: six convictions — theft, narcotics use, insulting police officers, that kind of thing. Kids will get up to that sort of stuff. Trivial really.

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How the Monde reported the story

Dalrymple writes:

Given the percentage of offences that are actually elucidated in France (as elsewhere), the chances are that he had committed at least ten times as much as he had ever been charged with, and it is also very likely that some of what he had done was a good deal more serious than anything that has come to light. The total amount of harm he did, the misery caused to or inflicted on others, was considerable. Rien de bien méchant doesn’t quite capture it.

Naughty boy: Moussa Coulibaly stabbed three soldiers outside a Jewish community centre

Naughty boy: Moussa Coulibaly stabbed three soldiers outside a Jewish community centre in Nice

Such a thing could only have been written by

someone inhabiting so utterly different a social world that he has no idea of the nature of Coulibaly’s.

The trajectory followed by Coulibaly, says Dalrymple,

is depressingly familiar. I could have written the outlines of his biography myself merely by having read what he did in Nice. As with many others of his type, his delinquency was followed by religious radicalisation that gave to his criminal impulses a patina of moral justification.

Islamism

Screen Shot 2015-02-08 at 09.49.40not only gave him permission to do bad things, but made them morally obligatory. Could there be any greater pleasure in life than making others suffer for righteousness’ sake? For such as he, and those worse than he, sadism is next to godliness, or even the thing itself.

The Werther effect

is not confined to Muslim converts or radicals, though no doubt such conversion adds to the weak-mindedness of which the effect is a manifestation.