Suicide bombing is about sex

#1
Via T.P.M.Barnet
Suicide missions are not always religiously motivated, but according to Oxford University sociologist Diego Gambetta, editor of Making Sense of Suicide Missions, when religion is involved, the attackers are always Muslim. Why? The surprising answer is that Muslim suicide bombing has nothing to do with Islam or the Quran (except for two lines). It has a lot to do with sex, or, in this case, the absence of sex.
...
It is the combination of polygyny and the promise of a large harem of virgins in heaven that motivates many young Muslim men to commit suicide bombings. Consistent with this explanation, all studies of suicide bombers indicate that they are significantly younger than not only the Muslim population in general but other (nonsuicidal) members of their own extreme political organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah. And nearly all suicide bombers are single.
So it comes down to them not getting their oats because some fat sheik has all the totty in his harem rather than theology. I remain skeptical that when religion is involved seems to be propping a rather creaky theory.

While it's true that their idea of heaven often is described in terms of rumpy pumpy this is simply the package promised to every believer. Muslim scripture is very, very clear about the extreme sinfulness of suicide and even indirect attacks on noncombatants, it requires considerable theological agility to sell this tactic on religious grounds. Both Jews, Christians have traditions far less careful of Allah's sacred property: the believers life.

I can't recall many people asserting back in the 70s that most truck bombers were Catholic or that the IRA were a product of the blood soaked Christian tradition of martyrs They were of course but few saw fit to latch on to that signifier.

Now if he'd factored in demographics he'd be on firmer ground. Something like half the population of Saudi is under 25 and has bugger all to do but sit in grim madrasas getting lectured by the Arab equivalent of Alf Garnet. This combined with the fat sheik effect and the centrality of fatherhood in Islamic society may partially explain their fondness for blowing themselves up in Sh'a market places.
 
#4
There was a documentary not so long ago (Channel 4, I think) interviewing potential suicide-bombers in Palestine. The majority of them were educated young women, with good prospects in a comparatively open environment. I wouldn't have been surprised at this in Saudi, or any other hard-line mysoginist Islamic state, since their high achieving women would tend towards hopelessness, but this really took me by surprise.

What a desperate bl00dy waste it all is.
 
#5
smartascarrots said:
There was a documentary not so long ago (Channel 4, I think) interviewing potential suicide-bombers in Palestine. The majority of them were educated young women, with good prospects in a comparatively open environment. I wouldn't have been surprised at this in Saudi, or any other hard-line mysoginist Islamic state, since their high achieving women would tend towards hopelessness, but this really took me by surprise.

What a desperate bl00dy waste it all is.
That breaks the blue balls model of the suicide bomber nicely. I'm a little wary of the idea that despair is somehow key to the psychology of suicide bombing, rage and an overly optimistic faith in a better future seem more common.

I recall one of those involved with a recent attack in Jordon was a young women who'd lost family in Fallujah.

There was this by Farhana Ali a couple of months ago:
Though the face of the recent female bomber in Iraq will likely remain unknown to the public, her violent act forces the ultimate question of why and how Muslim women are recruited or self-selected for martyrdom operations. For terrorism analysts, the answer often lies in the woman’s connections, direct or indirect, to the terrorist leader, organization or the conflict, in whose name it is assumed that female bombers commit an act of terror. For academics, the answer may lie in examining the ideological, historical, socio-political, or economic factors that could impact a woman’s decision to choose suicide as a tactic of warfare. Western scholarship also has emphasized the question of female emancipation within Islamic patriarchal societies, assuming that all would-be female terrorists are second-class citizens. And while many scholars are preoccupied with analyzing the personal and individual reasons for female terror, the reality is that we may never know why Muslim women choose death over life. And since no two conflicts are alike, it may be equally difficult to ascertain the motives and factors that influence a woman’s desire to become a shahida (female martyr).
There's this also by the very dodgy Judith "Curveball" Miller on the female suicide bomber:
The face of modern terrorism, and of suicide bombing in particular, is increasingly female. Though still a minority among suicide bombers in Israel and Iraq, the growing number of women willing to volunteer for such missions is especially evident in non-Palestinian and non-Islamic secular movements. Christoph Reuter, the German author of My Life Is a Weapon: A Modern History of Suicide Bombing (Princeton University Press, 2004), notes that one-third of the estimated 10,000 Tamil Tiger cadres in Sri Lanka have been female. Among suicide commandos, female participation is close to 60 percent.

The same is true for the pkk, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, the largely secular Muslim militants who have been battling Turkey since the 1970s for Kurdish rights and autonomy. Eleven out of some 15 suicide bombings staged by the pkk since 1996 were conducted by women, as were three out of six foiled attacks. In Chechnya, women have conducted 43 percent of the attacks since suicide missions began there in 2000.

Even in Israel, where the total number of such attacks declined sharply in 2006, Reuven Ehrlich, who directs the Intelligence and Terrorist Information Center in Tel Aviv, reports in a recent study that a woman conducted one of the four suicide attacks.

Between 1985 and 2006, Schweitzer says, 220 women suicide bombers have accounted for 15 percent of the total number of successful or attempted attacks throughout the world. In 2006 alone, women were enlisted for suicide raids from Belgium, India, Iraq, Turkey, and the West Bank territories, he writes in Female Suicide Bombers: Dying for Equality (Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies, August 2006). Indeed, the phenomenon appears to be “contagious,” especially among women, concludes Mia Bloom, an American expert.

Bloom and Schweitzer caution that the increase in women suicide bombers reflects neither a progressive attitude towards women nor gender equality in the religious, revolutionary, and national liberation movements that promote such terror. Women continue to play a distinctly marginal role in most of these groups. Even in death, inequality endures: A Palestinian family, for instance, is usually paid far less for a woman’s suicide death than for a man’s. And despite efforts to lionize their sacrifice and portray them as heroines, Schweitzer concludes, women serve mainly as “pawns and sacrificial lambs.”
To call the PPK a Muslim militant group even with the qualifier that they are largely secular would surprise Abdullah Öcalan; they're Marxist-Leninist/Maoist Kurdish nationalists with a tendency to shoot rival Islamists on sight. Historically Maoists have been inclined to suicide actions and not at all sexist in their choice of revolutionary martyr from the People's Liberation Army human wave to The Viet Cong use of women as suicide bombers.

In Algeria the FLN used attractive Western looking girls as bomb carriers simply because they could pass by French patrols if not unnoticed unsuspected. The use of female human ordinance probably has more to do with simple expediency and societal gender assumptions than any larger factor. Women are just as capable in this field as men.

Miller is surprisingly sensible on to the threat in the US:
What lies ahead for the United States abroad and at home is even harder to project, and not surprisingly, equally divisive among scholars. Israeli-style “walls” in Iraq and Afghanistan will not keep out militants opposed to America’s presence or policies there or contain Iraq’s deadly sectarian violence that so far shows little sign of abating. A political compromise acceptable to the major factions, or neighbors who feed various insurgents, has so far proven elusive. At home, Americans have yet to adopt a psychology of what one Israeli security official called “hardening your hearts as well as our targets” when terrorists strike. Israeli security takes pride in restoring “normal” life in Israel within hours after a suicide attack. Many Americans, by contrast, remain traumatized by the September 11 attacks.

On the other hand, many Israeli, Arab, and American scholars and security officials doubt that America is likely to endure domestically the waves of suicide terror that Israeli has weathered. Gil Kleiman, a former superintendent of the Israeli National Police who was partly raised in the U.S., says, “you need to control geographic and political territory to use the suicide weapon effectively. That space does not exist in America.” Yes, non-Islamic fanatics, such as Timothy McVeigh, the right-wing militiaman whose 1995 Oklahoma bombing attack killed more Americans domestically than any other single terrorist strike prior to 9/11, have an infrastructure and friendly territory in which to work, build, and proselytize, Hoffman acknowledges. And McVeigh, in fact, contemplated a suicide strike against his target until he discovered how vulnerable it was.
 
#6
smartascarrots said:
There was a documentary not so long ago (Channel 4, I think) interviewing potential suicide-bombers in Palestine. The majority of them were educated young women, with good prospects in a comparatively open environment. I wouldn't have been surprised at this in Saudi, or any other hard-line mysoginist Islamic state, since their high achieving women would tend towards hopelessness, but this really took me by surprise.

What a desperate bl00dy waste it all is.
What were the questions they were being asked. What do you want to do with your life :?

If your missus comes in on pay day with a big coat on, smelling of almonds,looking worried and sweating do you:

1. Think your in for kinky sex because she knows its payday and wants to go shopping.
2. Slot her because you think she maybe a suicide bomber.
 
#7
The_IRON said:
smartascarrots said:
There was a documentary not so long ago (Channel 4, I think) interviewing potential suicide-bombers in Palestine. The majority of them were educated young women, with good prospects in a comparatively open environment. I wouldn't have been surprised at this in Saudi, or any other hard-line mysoginist Islamic state, since their high achieving women would tend towards hopelessness, but this really took me by surprise.

What a desperate bl00dy waste it all is.
What were the questions they were being asked. What do you want to do with your life :?

If your missus comes in on pay day with a big coat on, smelling of almonds,looking worried and sweating do you:

1. Think your in for kinky sex because she knows its payday and wants to go shopping.
2. Slot her because you think she maybe a suicide bomber.
Wait to see whether she asks "Does my bomb look big in this?"
 
#8
At one point I thought they believed that suicide bombers tended to be the quiet intelligent ones, that were warped in to believing fame beckoned by blowing themselves up?

This was true of the IRA too, young lads with no prospects turned in to local celebs practically by turning to the gun and bomb.
 
#9
From that wiki link:
"Besides, the penis of the Elected never softens. The erection is eternal"

Sounds like priapism to me. Painful.
 

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