Tag Archive for 'Al-Qaeda'

Forced marriages cause terrorism?

I’ve not heard yet heard a convincing explanation as to what causes young Muslim men, apparently integrated into British society, to become terrorist nut jobs. But no suggestion I’ve seen has been as bizarre as this one from Hassan Butt.

“A lot of the guys I know actually have become radicalized or initially took the first steps … as a result of them being … forced to marry someone they don’t want to marry,” Butt told CBS.
Their refusal to submit to their parents’ traditions, he noted, drove them toward radical preachers.
He said that the mastermind of London bombings was himself a victim of a forced marriage.

Source: British Muslim Renounces Violence [IslamOnline.net]

Is he serious? As a self-confessed reformed terrorist sympathiser I suppose he has some credibility in coming up with a hypothesis but it does seem rather surreal to me.

On the other hand, I can see the logic in his argument: many immigrant Muslim parents attempt to impose traditions on their children that are at best, cultural and at worst, anti-Islamic, in the name of Islam. When those children rebel, it’s inevitable that they would, at least temporarily, reach for the other extreme. I would have expected that extreme to be Hizb-ut-Tahrir, rather than Al Qaeda, but I guess in some cases they might actually get pushed that far.

The overall picture is almost certainly more complicated than the simple line of argument Butt is quoted as presenting. Nevertheless it may be a line of investigation worthy of scholarship.

The positive aspect of this story, however, is that Butt does appear to have grown up and renounced violence. In doing so he demonstrates that at least some of those nutters are actually capable of finding some sense. I suppose that gives us a small glimmer of hope.