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Starved Souls: On Western Youth Embracing Jihad

24 October 2014 @ 11:41

For every one pupil who needs to be guarded against a weak excess of sensibility there are three who need to be awakened from the slumber of cold vulgarity. The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles but to irrigate deserts. The right defence against false sentiments is to inculcate just sentiments. By starving the sensibility of our pupils we only make them easier prey to the propagandist when he comes. For famished nature will be avenged and a hard heart is no infallible protection against a soft head.

― C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man [tip of the fedora to Pecos]

Richard Fernandez on why Islam, in general, and ISIS, in particular, are found appealing by young people:

…People like a winner. A talker and a promiser, not so much. Islam now has an “aura”. [BOB: I did state several years ago that Mohammedism would eventually become chic.]

The New York Times says that Western women are embracing the Jihad in surprising numbers. “The precise number of women seeking to join the groups is unclear, but some analysts estimate that roughly 10 percent of recruits from the West are women, often influenced by social media networks that offer advice, tips and even logistical support for travel. These networks often portray life under the caliphate as a kind of Islamic paradise that offers a religious alternative to what can often be a second-class life of struggle and alienation in the West.” Michael Totten points out “a poll released last week by the Washington Institute suggestss that the Islamic State may be more popular in Europe than in the Middle East.” Even in North America the urge to convert is strong. “Revealed: Muslim convert who shot dead Canadian soldier is the ‘privately-educated son of country’s immigration chief.”

And one wonders, while we’re on the subject of the appeal of ISIS among Western women, whether the “Hussein” in the Barack Hussein Obama wasn’t part of his mystique in the first place. Maybe the teenage jihadi girls want the same mystique too, only they want more than the thrill of a middle name. The liberal ideology is a very old and empty idea that is continuously undergoing cosmetic surgery to look young. Liberalism isn’t Western culture, but its corpse. Our institutions without the animating spirit are but a coffin containing the expiring remains of a once great civilization. The box is painted in bright colors, but the young have looked inside it and seen what it contains: a demographically dying, self-hating and ultimately amoral culture that’s ready for its ghastly closeup.

And for want of an alternative to this corpse they go to the only flag permitted to fly by the corpse itself: ISIS. Too many people are looking at the offerings of decadence and theocracy and tossing the coin. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. The left believed it would be safe from rivals. It feared Judaism and Christianity, but did not fear Islam, thinking it too hideous to compete. Maybe it should reconsider.

Alduous Huxley understood that not everyone would buy into the Brave New World of the left. For all too many, the Obamacare and Obamaphones and Kim Kardashian diet won’t be enough. History shows the young always demand to know why men live and die. Snarky answers from Lena Dunham aren’t good enough any more. And of all the questions in the liberal west, none is more forbidden to ask than why you are alive….

When we locked up the sacred writing of our civilization in a safe labled ‘hate speech’; when we made it shameful to fly the flag, wear the uniform, or bow your head to something greater than the Great Leader what did we think we would get? We got ISIS. The Left believed they could abolish the transcendant without understanding that this process risked abolishing man. The Great Narrative strove to make man merely an animal, and in its stead they got a monster.

The murder of the Transcendant by the Left, the removal of a belief in it from our everyday knowledge, left a a big, gaping hole in the Souls of the people of The West. Not everyone, of course, accepted that God was dead, but enough have so that His presence in the World was effectively neglected.

To further worsen the situation, too, too many of us who refused to deny the Transcendant allowed and accepted, went along with, the severe downplaying or denial of it’s existence, thereby aiding and abetting the Soul Suckers, the Enemies of Mankind, the monster makers.

So we should not be surprised that the hollow children produced by such a Society in massive Denial of Reality should embrace such things that appear to infuse their starved Souls with meaning and purpose. Add to this that young people, at that stage where they are in transition from childhood to adult — one that produces a maddening confusion of emotion — are particularly susceptible to emotional appeals that seem to answer their wretched and impatient yearnings, and what this combination produces is a desperate grasping for anything that seems to bring meaning and purpose to their empty lives, that succors their dehydrated and thirsty Souls.

Abolish Western Man, as the Left has done, and the young will turn East to the Orient.

Demonize the Western concepts of Honor and Virtue and our Posterity will seek whatever versions are left, no matter how crude, Barbaric, degraded they are.

For there is a yearning in the Human Soul for what is Honest, Decent, and True. But the forces of Evil know how to fake such noble attributes and people not infused with Common Sense, Right Reason, Morality, and History [ie: the ability to think and reason] are extremely susceptible to the pitch of the con artist, especially those who are employed in the service of wicked and malevolent masters.

SIDENOTE: As always, many of the commentators over at The Belmont Club are insightful and well-worth reading.

Here are a few of them and their remarks on Richard’s post…


It’s as if Islam, as a whole, is asking, perhaps begging: "is there anyone man enough to crush us"?

Perhaps it’s unsurprising that young Western women have noticed the lack of a manly response from the simpering eunuchs that make up the Western "elite".

They’ve noticed, and found their own culture’s men repellant.

It seems western feminism despises the very "enlightened" men is seeks to create.

Does that constitute some kind of a joke?


It is innate that young women want to love heroic young men. Heroic young men are men who believe in something big, some great cause that animates them, showing their courage and selflessness. They want dashing young men willing to fight, even to death.

Europe has done everything it can to prevent young men from being heroes for western civilization. But they can’t remove the instinct of young women to find such a young man. So they find it in a culture that would enslave them. Because that culture wants to conquer. Their own culture has told them it wants to die.

America is almost there. Young men are not allowed t be heroes, not allowed to fight for God and country or family. These notions are at best, foolish relics of the past. So the women will fall for ISIS.


…We have bigger welfare states! Shorter hours! Government-paid this and that! A thousand TV channels! Pictures of naked women streamed live to you while you sit in your chair!

The human need for the heroic, to be called to something larger, to endure hardship for the greater good and push forward a great cause, to live brilliantly and die gloriously, goes unanswered. And ISIS, while it is evil to its core, has something to offer that need. People who travel to the Middle East to volunteer to fight for an organization in combat with several regional armies and the US Air Force may be misguided but they’re going out of their way to sacrifice themselves for a cause, evil though it may be.

A good comparison is the small number of Westerners who have traveled to Iraq and Syria to fight with the Peshmerga, undergoing the same journey but with less assistance and in a good cause.

There’s something in the human spirit that wants to be a hero, at least sort of one and at least some of the time. If the West has nothing to offer that part of the spirit, people will look elsewhere, even to some very dark places.

The Orient is always to be found in the cast of a shadow.

And all the time — such is the tragi-comedy of our situation — we continue to clamor for those very qualities we are rendering impossible. You can hardly open a periodical without coming across the statement that what our civilization needs is more “drive”, or dynamism, or self-sacrifice, or “creativity”. In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.

—C.S. Lewis, The Abolition Of Man

  1. Adobe_Walls permalink
    24 October 2014 @ 13:35 13:35

    Young people, especially young men need something to believe in. Something challenging and something to challenge. That’s why so many young people heed the call of leftism when young but then drift back to conservatism as they experience life and get to enjoy or have to regret the fruits of their labors. Those that grow up realize that the ills that seemed so correctable in a flash of energy, take time to remedy, or weren’t actually ills at all merely conditions of existence.

    It’s not only God that has been stripped from their lives, but their patriotism, pride in their race and cultural heritage. Young people in this country are taught that only white people’s heritage is uniformly evil. If everything we’ve ever had was ill gotten how can anything we hope to have not also be ill gotten? If everything we’ve had or been, every thing we have and are and therefore every thing we will have or be as the ”American People” is crap, what is there to share with those who come after? What’s the point of coming to live in America if not to become an American?

    The left would, for instance, argue that the shame of slavery negates any and all of the great and the good accomplished in this country’s first 250 years. If any evil great or small fully negates all of the great and the good then we have nothing of value at all. This leaves us only materialism and the hedonistic enjoyment of it. If that is not enough and for most it’s not, what else is there. Nature, including human nature abhors a vacuum and must, unless unnaturally prevented, will always fill it.


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