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Columns and Articles by Dr. Laina Farhat-Holzman

January 03, 2015

Youth who seek "meaning" find it in bad places.

Intrepid TV journalists have managed to conduct interviews with some of the most puzzling Jihadis flocking to ISIS. It seems inconceivable that a French teen-ager raised as a Catholic in Normandy could choose to join ISIS and decapitate a prisoner on television. But when asked why he does this, he says that he hopes to die and go to heaven. He hates western civilization because it is corrupt, run by Jews, and full of shameless women who dare to show their faces and who do not defer to men.

Young women also flock to Syria where they babysit until selected by a "warrior" to become his sex-slave wife and bear his children, preferably boys. I can understand why young Muslim women would rebel against their oppressive home life and use Jihad as an excuse for a little adventure (and maybe sex); but it is more difficult to understand why any European woman with half a brain would convert to militant Islam. Even more puzzling are girls willing to become suicide bombers. Their status in Muslim Paradise is not a happy one. They will still serve men.

Why are these young people so dense?

o Boredom and the search for adventure with the justification that it is religiously blessed.

o Failure of the European host societies to integrate immigrants into their cultures, opting instead to keep them on the dole. These young people neither feel Muslim nor French, British, German, Danish, or Swedish. Becoming a Jihadi provides fellowship and solidarity, helped by serious brainwashing.

o Reluctance of modern European countries to practice any sort of love of nation, believing that patriotism leads to war. However, without understanding the miracle of western civilization, students have the choice of believing in nothing or believing in a cleverly propagandized notion of the superiority of Islamism. ISIS makes a point of condemning national identity, creating instead an imaginary supra-nation, an Islamic caliphate. This gives them a flag they can salute, a black pirates' flag.

o One cannot but wonder how much of this movement is the result of the terribly inbred first-cousin marriages preferred in the Muslim world, the consequences of which are producing anomalies and mental retardation. Don?t they, and converts from prisons, know that ISIS will kill them if they want to go home?

It is not popular among our teachers and intellectual elites to praise our own civilization. There is handwringing over Western colonialism that did such damage to the Muslim world while ignoring that the Muslim Turks colonized this region and retarded it for 500 years. It is not popular to note that Western colonial powers actually created nation states that had not been there before, and gave them the institutions to run them. India, for one, would not be a country without the British colonial administration.

The scientific revolution of the 18th century rose out of two millennia of western institutions: revival of the learning of ancient Greece and Rome, some dazzling Islamic science which flourished briefly and then died, and a religious reformation that permitted rational thought to supplant obedient belief.

The ancient institution of slavery (including the slavery of women) was only ended by Western civilization. Not enough credit is given, or taught in schools, about our emancipation of black slaves and women.

The UN's 2013 Slavery Index lists 29.8 million slaves worldwide, involuntary servitude, including children; enforced child marriage; and criminal sexual slave trafficking. Countries with the highest number of slaves are China, Pakistan, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Russia, Thailand, Congo, Burma, and Bangladesh. India dwarfs them all in sheer numbers. But seven of ten countries with the largest percentage of slaves are Muslim. If all married women, not just underage brides, were included as slaves, the numbers would be even higher.

Since war has been declared on the Western world (as well as on the western-influenced Muslim world), we should revisit how we understand and support our own civilization. It may be chic to be a nihilist, but has never been smart. We have a civilization worth fighting for. ISIS doesn?t.

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Dr. Laina Farhat-Holzman is a historian, lecturer, and author of God's Law or Man's Law. You may contact her at Lfarhat102@aol.com or www.globalthink.net.