I found this on Eteraz ('heartfelt disagreement' in Urdu) and the links within most informative, and have added the author to the list of those to visit from time to time to gather other perspectives on the world.
The post is titled "Muslim musings on British Muslims." The author is a foreign born American Muslim with ties to Britain whose only jihad 'is in the marketplace of ideas'. In this post he notes while alienation is a common theme among British Muslims, it is relatively rare in the American Muslim community. He also notes it is hard for Americans to accept that parts of Europe still provide no social mobility for immigrants. Somewhat affluent in material things, but surrounded by a post modern culture they cannot fully participate in, The post—modern Nihilism of these youth meets the regressive Nihilism of Islamic Fanaticism.
According to the author, the recruits are told they are unique, special, 'misunderstood' and 'strangers' to the world. There may be other factors at work. Multiculturalism loves so called authenticity. Being a soldier of jihad seems more authentic than running a pizza parlor. I suspect some of the parents of the alleged British suicide bombers share feelings with a middle class American black family I know who worked hard to give their daughter a good education only to watch her succumb to the lure of a 'more authentic' street culture. I also worry that the lure of fame— infamy in this case, plays a part in recruitment. The need for personal fame is very much part of post—modern Nihilism and no one in our media culture becomes famous faster than a mass murderer. Every time a terror plot makes the news, our news media does a mad scramble to find pictures and do profiles of the alleged perpetrators. A lesson from the sports division might be in order. The camera immediately cuts away from any disruptive fan and their names are never mentioned in post game coverage.
While the article talks at some length about the difference between the Muslim experience in America and in Britain, the best summation of the two cultures comes in a comment posted by a British Jew.
Here in the UK, if you're of immigrant stock, you can just about be British, but never English. I know it's a subtle distinction, but one immediately understood here. Therefore, people like me, 3rd generation on my Mother's side, at least 6th on my Father's, will still always be alien......I was born here in London in 1945, and I still feel like an outsider, yet in NYC I feel at home.
Reading that, I felt very proud to be an American.
Rosslyn Smith 8 12 06