Sunday, June 04, 2006

Commonality among extremists

I think at this point pretty much everybody knows about the Canadian jihadists who were scooped in in a police sting on Friday night.

(There is some controversy over whether or not they would have been able to acquire the explosives in question were it not a sting; surely the massive amounts of fertilizer involved would have set off alarm bells, even if CSIS hadn't been tracking these guys for a good while now.)

What struck, me, however, was this backgrounder on the recruitment of "homegrown" terrorists: how they're usually young men angry at modern secularism who use snippets of religion and are recruited through a combination of societal radicals and extremist Internet writings. Sure, this fits the profile of an Islamist, but it also fits the profile of the kind of white kid who becomes a violent skinhead.

Go read the article: if you know anything about recruitment by racists, you'll see how striking similarity is.

(Does this mean that "Islamists" and "race warriors" share other similarities? Not really, and this post should not be taken as the kind of xenophobia that tends to infest this sort of discussion. What's striking is that this sort of thing seems to have little to do with the religion or ideology itself. They could be just as easily violent Hindus or Marxists or Shintoists or whatever.)

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