It’s a serious question:
The trajectory to extreme violence of this gentle, pious young man who wanted so much to be good and consequential, and yet was consumed with guilt about sex, fits with much of what is known about other Islamist suicide bombers.
Perhaps the best psychological explanation comes from United in Hate: The Left’s Romance with Tyranny and Terror, the recent book by Jamie Glazov, the managing editor of FrontPage Magazine.
In a chapter entitled “To Hate a Woman”, he describes in chilling detail the oppression of women in parts of the Muslim world and the “theological justification” for violence against females “from the very moment of their birth”.
Islamist hatred of women has “fertilised the soil in which … terrorism and the new death cult have grown”.
He claims there is an “Islamist war on private love [which] derives most of its energy from a deep-seated misogyny. Women’s empowerment, independence and self-determination, especially the sexual variety, pose a threat to Islamism’s very existence.”
Islamist misogyny, he claims, comes from Islam itself. “The notion that women are by their very nature inferior to men is the underpinning of the entire structure and derives its legitimacy from numerous traditional teachings.”
It is no coincidence that the Arabic word “fitna” has two meanings – beautiful woman and social chaos.
Glazov writes that in many Islamic societies, “women are supposed to dehumanise themselves in order to be tolerated … Women are considered to be the incarnation of shahwa [desire] which comes from the devil. In this environment the pathological notion arises that a man and a woman cannot be alone without the ominous threat of evil in their midst.
“The men denigrate the object of their lust so as to diminish their own shame. In this dynamic of sexual repression and misogyny, love is reduced to violent domination which becomes directly intertwined with terrorism against societies that allow women freedom, especially sexual freedom.”
Practices such as polygamy and repudiation – in which a man can divorce his wife by pronouncing certain words – conspire to “minimise the possibility of private love even among married couples”.
“Islam teaches that the sexual act is dirty and consequently surrounds it with rituals. The objective is to build a wall between the lovers themselves.”
Polygamy, Glazov writes, has a disastrous effect on Muslim boys who grow up with “all kinds of siblings born of different women which gives them the idea that none of these women, including their own mother, was good enough to be cherished alone. The boys internalise this misogyny which leads in turn to self hate.”
Their psychological abandonment of their mothers is “directly connected to their urge for terror and suicide”.
Female genital mutilation, in which a woman’s clitoris – or entire external genital organs – is removed is an attempt to “deny women even the possibility of personal happiness and sexual satisfaction”.
Glazov writes of Saudi instructional TV programs about wife-beating and cites a report from the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences which estimated 90 per cent of Pakistani wives had been beaten or sexually abused for offences such as cooking an unsatisfactory meal.
Where is the National Organization for Women? Seriously?
Oh wait… they’re actually the National Organization for Abortion Advancement… I forgot.