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 very particular enemy -- and one that is recognizable to students of history.And who is it who is really hurt by these new jihadists? The poor Muslims.
This is the revolt of the privileged, Islamic version. They have risen so far, so fast in the dizzying culture of the West that they have become enraged, disoriented and vulnerable to manipulation. 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. The zenith of his warped amalgam of ancient and modern was having holy warriors fly airplanes into skyscrapers.
Reading some of the London bombers' biographies, you realize the depth of their cultural confusion: "Shahzad Tanweer, 23, came from one of Beeston's most respected families," wrote the London Independent about one of the July 7 bombers. And according to The Post, he had just received a red Mercedes from his dad.
What will stop this revolt of privileged Muslims? One possibility is that it will be checked by the same process that derailed the revolt of the rich kids in America after the 1960s -- namely, the counter-revolt of the poor kids. Poor Muslims simply can't afford the rebellion of their wealthy brethren, and the havoc it has brought to the House of Islam. For make no mistake: The people suffering from jihadism are mostly Muslims.I don't know if this applies to all the London bombers since one of them was on welfare. I don't know if his depiction of class differences in the terrorists is true throughout the world, but it is certainly true that poor Muslims are being hurt by what these bombers are doing supposedly for the benefit of Muslims.
I can't imagine that the poor Egyptians who've been struggling to make a living in the resort towns around Sharm el-Sheikh are too happy this week. The jihadists who came bumping over the mountains to detonate last weekend's bombs may have been thinking of the 72 virgins that awaited them in heaven. But the Egyptian fellah is thinking about where he's going to get his next paycheck to feed his family.
And I can't imagine that the poor Iraqis whose families are being blown away by daily suicide bombs feel a great kinship with the Saudi jihadists who have been slipping across the border via Syria, trying to slake their angst about modern life through martyrdom.