NYT: ISIS getting Arab Recruits who are Sexually Repressed
Life imitates art! Yesterday I wrote a piece describing how feminists were sexually attracted to Islamic radicals. A few hours later, the New York Times published a piece describing how young Arab men are joining ISIS because... they're sexually repressed!
Mr. Aly raised his son, Islam Yaken, in Heliopolis, a middle-class Cairo neighborhood with tended gardens and trendy coffee shops, and sent him to a private school, where he studied in French. As a young man, Mr. Yaken wanted to be a fitness instructor. He trained relentlessly, hoping that his effort would bring him success, girlfriends and wealth. But his goals never materialized. He left that life and found religion, extremism and, ultimately, his way into a photograph where he knelt beside a decapitated corpse on the killing fields of Syria, smiling.
“Surely, the holiday won’t be complete without a picture with one of the dogs’ corpses,” Mr. Yaken, now 22 and fighting for the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, wrote in a Twitter post in July, during Ramadan.
He was a party boy; he dated girls and posed for photos with his shirt off, flaunting his physique. He worked out hard in the gym and built a sizable community on Facebook. He had girlfriends. And in the close company of his male friends, he boasted about having sex with women...
[Mr Yaken even did an online talk show where he] discussed topics like the benefits and drawbacks of pornography, masturbation, sex and the temptations posed by women.
Mr. Yaken started to feel guilty about his lifestyle choices, his friends and family said. He scolded himself for missing prayers, for disobeying his parents, for betraying the conservative values of his community. But most of all, Mr. Atef said, Mr. Yaken felt guilty about his relations with women...
In his quest for answers, Mr. Yaken found Sheikh Muhammad Hussein Yacoub, a popular Salafist preacher with tens of thousands of followers.... he immersed himself in worship, waking up every day at dawn to pray at his neighborhood mosque.
...And then he joined ISIS. The NYT piece wasn't quite this simplistic, it also talked about the poverty of Egypt as a factor too, but this was the main focus of the article, basically, that radical Islam makes young Arab men feel guilty about sex and to redeem themselves, they decide to cut people's heads off. Think I'm exaggerating? Go and read the article yourself.
I think of course that this entire article is ridiculous. ISIS members commit all sorts of sexual atrocities. Only yesterday there was a headline in the Daily Mail that read "ISIS fighters are desperately trying to obtain VIAGRA, spending money on kinky underwear for their 'wives'... then subjecting them to 'brutal, abnormal' sex acts."
So what is really going on here? I think young Arab men like Mr. Yaken are taught in their classrooms, by their parents, and yes, in many cases in their mosques to be intolerant of other religions, and even other sects of their own religions (Sunnis vs. Shiites, for example). It's well known that in many countries such as Saudi Arabia that non-Muslims are compared to pigs and dogs. You teach people things like this from a young age and it is no wonder they devalue the life of others.
Now, having said that, I have to agree that it doesn't help when young men get that natural feeling and all the girls around them are covered head to toe in black. But in Yaken's case he was getting the girls, that's not what caused him to become a killer.
Until we address the fundamental issue that in Muslim countries, respect for other cultures is not widely taught, we should not be surprised to see easy recruitment for radical islamic groups like ISIS.