There have been three major terror attacks in the West over the past five years—9/11, the 2004 train bombings in Madrid, and the 7/7 suicide attacks on the London Underground. For all the talk of a radical Islamist conspiracy to topple Western civilization, there are many differences between the men who executed these attacks. The ringleaders of 9/11 were middle-class students; the organizers of the Madrid bombings were mainly immigrants from North Africa; the 7/7 bombers were British citizens, well-liked and respected in their local communities. And interpretations of Islam also varied wildly from one terror cell to another. Mohamed Atta embraced a mystical (and pretty much made-up) version of Islam. For the Madrid attackers, Islam was a kind of comfort blanket. The men behind 7/7 were into community-based Islam, which emphasized being good and resisting a life of decadence.
The three cells appear to have had at least one thing in common, though — their members' immersion in gym culture. Often, they met and bonded over a workout. If you'll forgive the pun, they were fitness fanatics. Is there something about today's preening and narcissistic gym culture that either nurtures terrorists or massages their self-delusions and desires? Mosques, even radical ones, emphasize Muslims' relationships with others—whether it be God, the ummah (Islamic world), or the local community. The gym, on the other hand, allows individuals to focus myopically on themselves. Perhaps it was there, among the weightlifting and rowing machines, that these Western-based terror cells really set their course.
Í gær datt ég íða og pantaði einhverja hrúgu af Amazon. Ja, ég datt reyndar ekki íða, ég bara sat við tölvuna frameftir og pantaði hrúgu af Amazon. En mér leið þannig í morgun þegar ég mundi eftir þessu og velti því fyrir mér afhverju ég var að því einmitt þá.. En svo mundi ég að Firefly DVD settið er á fimmtíu prósenta afslætti þessa stundina og ég gat ekki gefið það frá mér. Restin af því sem ég pantaði er hinsvegar algert leyndó.