Revolt of Privilege, Muslim Style

(Washington Post) David Ignatius - When you read reports that the Muslim terrorists who bombed the London Underground may have gotten together for a pre-attack whitewater rafting trip in Wales, you realize that this is a revolt of the privileged, Islamic version. London bomber Shahzad Tanweer had just received a red Mercedes from his dad. Their spiritual leader is a Saudi billionaire's son who grew up with big ideas and too much money. He created a new identity for himself as a jihad leader, carrying the banner of a pristine Islam from the days of the Prophet Muhammad. People who were students in the 1960s will remember the phenomenon: the idealistic kids from elite public and private schools who went to college, felt guilty about their comfort amid a brutal world, and joined the Progressive Labor Party to ally with oppressed Third World workers. There is a cult aspect to this jihad. The Islamic extremists are often described as "Salafists." The Arabic word salaf means "past," and the Salafists are said to be trying to recreate the pure values of the Prophet's companions.

2005-07-27 00:00:00

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