On the Internet, you're never really alone. Name any fad, any cause, any hobby or passion -- Shaker furniture? Dungeons and Dragons, Bolivian tree frogs? -- and you're only a few clicks away from someone who shares your obsession.
That's great. It's also horrible. Because while there's no harm in tree frog fans sharing pictures and stories inspiring others to fly to the Andes to take pictures of exotic creatures, the Internet also lets evil people share stories and pictures inspiring others to cut off the heads of various infidels and apostates.
Though I'm perfectly comfortable with YouTube, Twitter,
Rather, my point is that to a considerable extent, ISIS -- and groups like it -- is a modern foreign legion for losers. When discussing people who openly boast of rape, murder and torture, "loser" is hardly too harsh. But invective is not my intent when I call them losers. These men -- and a few women, too -- are losers in a more significant sense. They are losers at Western Civilization.
The men in the discussions asked all sorts of questions about the rules for sexually abusing (i.e. raping) the women. One British Muslim asked, "I have
Many of the Westerners flocking to
What they are not is assimilated. They may have passports identifying them as American, French or British, but they are not American, French or British in their hearts. These labels do not give them the meaning and mission in life they crave. And Western democratic capitalism bores them. Often the children of immigrants, they are literally misfits; they don't fit in with their parents' native culture but they also haven't connected to the society in which they now live.
And that is nothing new. The French intellectual
In other words, the ideology of radical Islamists is a convenient uniform in their crusade for power, sex, vengeance, excitement, whatever. The Telegraph's
There have always been isolated losers. But that isolation often inspired its own remedy. People want to belong to a community. That desire fuels assimilation and civilization. The horrifying challenge of today, is that thanks to the digital age and an ideology and a culture that often sees assimilation as incompatible with "multiculturalism" the losers no longer have to stop being losers to cure their sense of isolation. They can join a huge virtual rape gang on the web and have their evil desires confirmed and celebrated. And some of them, weary of puncturing their masturbatory reveries by pecking out LOL on a keyboard, have the option of hopping on a plane.