When I visited Amsterdam a few years ago, I took an obligatory self-tour through the notorious “red light district” that has had so many people have been up in arms for so many years.
It didn’t alarm me at all to see women wearing lingerie dancing in windows, although I soon learned that these were not Dutch girls; they were almost all immigrants from Eastern European countries. Whether they were being exploited I don’t know, but I guess they must have found selling themselves in Amsterdam preferable to struggling in the Slovakian job market or they wouldn’t have been there.
There was one thing I found disturbing, though. An angry Mideastern man was standing in front of one of the businesses, and to say he was in a state of serious emotional distress would be understatement; he looked like he was freaking out on LSD. He would look at a window where a girl dressed in a provocative outfit was dancing (I think she was wearing naughty S&M garb and waving a riding crop), and then he would look away and bend his head down while straining as if in excruciating pain. Really, really weird. So it was no surprise to read that the group which assassinated Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh had also been implicated in a plot to attack Amsterdam’s red light district.
Which brings me to more recent news. Via Michael van der Galien, I learned about two essays discussing how terrorists harness the dynamics of Islamic sexual repression. While this didn’t really surprise me, the fact that it was a primary motivator in the case of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab is not only cause for concern for those charged with watching these people, but I found myself wondering about the possible implications vis-a-vis the war against sex.
From a piece by Mirande Divine which appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald, titled “Sexual Starvation and Jihad Fantasies“:

The 23-year-old Nigerian charged with trying to detonate a bomb on a Northwest Airlines flight over Detroit on Christmas Day was lonely and sexually repressed, according to messages left on an Islamic website.
As a US Senate Homeland Security committee continued to argue this week about how to handle Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the emotional anguish in his web posts provides an insight into fanatical Islam and what drives often hapless young men to become suicide bombers. Much as we would like them to be, they are not monsters.
Being the son of a wealthy banker, and living in London, Abdulmutallab had no real beef with Western life, did not complain about racism or express concern for downtrodden Muslim brothers.
But, like the September 11 bombers, who visited strip clubs before their date with destiny, when his devout religious beliefs conflicted with his corporeal desires, he found that blowing himself up along with a whole lot of infidels was preferable to being sexually frustrated.
As the New York Post put it: “The bomb wasn’t the only thing burning in his pants.”

This might make no sense to most of us, who would rightly find ourselves puzzled over why a rich kid who’s sexually frustrated would rather kill himself than go out and get laid. Normally, we would think of someone like that as a psychiatric case, deserving of pity. Except there’s an organized effort to find people like that, and convince them that the best way to “cure” these feelings is to take out as many Westerners as possible. After all, his feelings are our fault! We allow the decadent sexual temptations that so torment him!
From “Why the Rich Muslim Boy Became a Terrorist,” by Jamie Glazov:

…the most obvious torment that arises in the life of a young devout Muslim like Abdulmutallab is what he himself honestly describes: the tension between sexual desires and the Islamic mandate of, as he writes, “lowering the gaze” in the presence of women. “The Prophet (S) advised young men to fast if they can’t get married,” he agonizes, “but it has not been helping me much and I seriously don’t want to wait for years before I get married.”

That “lowering of the gaze” business describes to a T the mortified look I saw on the face of that disturbed Mideastern guy in Amsterdam. He was incapable of simply going into the place and paying for what he so obviously wanted (or simply leaving the area if it distressed him), and most likely, he externalized his desires as “evil” being directed at him by others. I think he might have been a fertile recruit, and were I running a terror cell, I would have my people stake out red light districts and look for Mideastern types showing signs of such sexual repression distress. (Perhaps the Western intelligence services would be wise to do the same, if they don’t already.)
As Glazov explains, because of religious strictures, this shameful sense of sexual longing can trigger a seemingly insatiable need to “purify” themselves, which can become redirected as terrorism directed at the West:

It is precisely in this context that we see the origins of the Muslim suicide bomber’s journey into the heart of jihadi darkness.
For a pious Muslim who is attempting to obey the pleasure-denying mandates of his religion, the totalitarian and often sole choice available to him becomes purifying himself by extinguishing his own earthly sinful existence.
Thus, despite liberal fantasies, it is not Muslims’ lack of access to Western prosperity that spawns their terror, but exactly the opposite: it is Muslims’ contact with and ability to reap the benefits of Western values that end up serving as key inspirations for jihad.
Indeed, there is a morbid dilemma for the devout Muslim who has experienced and come into contact with the temptations of Western freedom. These Muslims end up feeling infected and fault America and the West for the excruciating guilt they feel over the desires that freedom plants within their hearts. To disinfect themselves, they end up lashing out violently at the tempter — and then ultimately at themselves for the impurity and desires that the tempter instilled….

Of course, it would be a serious mistake to blame the temptations offered in the West instead of the savages who cannot handle them in a civilized adult manner. As well as a classic case of blaming the victim.
At the risk of sounding paranoid, let me repeat my concern that the terrorists “are smart enough to exploit the tendency of people to commit logical errors like this”:

  • A. The Netherlands has legal drugs and prostitution;
  • B. Amsterdam’s red light district was attacked, and therefore;
  • C. Drugs and prostitution were the cause of the attacks.
  • By attacking red light districts and other sinful places, Islamists are deliberately encouraging moral conservatives (who naturally do not want to be in a position of defending red light districts or legal drugs) to acknowledge their moral authority, in classic divide-and-conquer fashion.
    I am not arguing that moral conservatives should suddenly favor red light districts or drugs; only that it be kept in mind that they are part of the strategy and not the reason for the attacks. To grant the attackers moral high ground when these things happen is almost like saying a woman deserved rape for wearing a miniskirt. (In fact, the attackers do not distinguish between promiscuous sex and the wearing of miniskirts. Similarly, licensing women to sell their bodies is as acceptable to Islamists as allowing them to enter male professions.)

    I’m with M. Simon on this one. Flood them with p0rn and other temptations. Hopefully, the shock will eventually wear off, and they’ll stop being so tormented by what ought to provide pleasure. If that doesn’t work, then I suppose we’ll just have to kill them if and when they try to act out on their sexual purification pogroms.
    But meanwhile, we need a backup plan. So I have an idea. An immodest proposal, if you will.
    Why not hire experienced prostitutes, pole dancers, and lap dancers to work as TSA screeners? I mean, if these psychosexually tormented misfits are going to be electronically strip-searched, why not have it done by people whose appearance is likely to elicit uncontrollable telltale reactions from those who would purify themselves by extinguishing their earthly sinful existences?
    The idea is not to prevent them from extinguishing their own earthly sinful existences, but to protect our earthly sinful existences.
    MORE: Considering that the airlines are now suffering from crippling, record losses, something clearly needs to be done to attract more passengers and promote air travel.
    So how about the scantily-clad screeners? I think they might they have a positive economic impact on an industry which in the doldrums. Because of the cumbersome restrictions, traveling has long ceased to be fun, and hiring sexy girls could provide the perfect remedy — at a very low cost.
    Considering that that’s in addition to providing a built-in honeypot to ensnare sexually-frustrated suicide bombers, I think my proposal is a win-win by any standard.
    MORE: It’s probably worth pointing out that right now is probably not a good time to travel with lizards in your underwear:

    WELLINGTON, New Zealand – A German man who stuffed 44 small lizards into his underwear before trying to board a flight has been sentenced to prison in New Zealand for plundering the country’s protected species.
    Hans Kurt Kubus, 58, will spend 14 weeks behind bars and must pay a 5,000 New Zealand dollar ($3,540) fine before being deported to Germany as soon as he is released, District Court Judge Colin Doherty ruled onTuesday.

    No word on whether the lizards were spotted by the new electronic technology, but it is to be hoped the security people will do at least as good a job of finding bombs as they do lizards.
    Not to make light of a serious issue, but really…
    When was the last time anyone was killed by guys with lizards in their underwear?