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Correct -- It's less about poverty than about identity with Islam's radical interpretation.

Reader comment on item: Which Has More Islamist Terrorism, Europe or America?

Submitted by anon (United States), Jul 3, 2008 at 07:11

Dr. P -- Right you are!

Islamism has little to do with economic or other stresses. Put differently, ideas matter more than personal circumstances. As I put it in 2002, "The factors that cause militant Islam to decline or flourish appear to have more to do with issues of identity

All researchers and policymakers need to hear you loud and clear when you conclude that "Islamism has little to do with economic or other stresses. Put differently, ideas matter more than personal circumstances. ...'The factors that cause militant Islam to decline or flourish appear to have more to do with issues of identity than with economics.' Whoever accepts the Islamist (or communist or fascist) worldview, whether rich or poor, young or old, male or female, also accepts the ideological infrastructure that potentially leads to violence, including terrorism."

The folks in Brooklyn Heights and Jersey City who were involved in the earlier WTC attack were educated, relatively well off, and moved about society without restrictions. After the first bombing, the Islamists of the NYC metro area continued to live ordinary relatively affluent lives. Some of the biggest contributors to questionably radical Islamist causes are the communities most affluent entrepreneurs. And these same influential folks were the ones driving the Arab immigrant communities back to traditional dress and chastising more moderate and secular Arabs in their midst to revert back to the path of conservative Islam while enjoying the fruits of a liberal secular society.

So, again, you are very correct, and a good observer of Islamism growing under our own western noses; and it has less to do with poverty than with identity with Islam's radical interpretation.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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