Anne Applebaum has a good column today about how it’s not just Muslims who can feel the attraction of “revolutionary violence”–a lot of Irish-Americans once did as well:
My point here isn’t really about Northern Irish politics, however, but about the extraordinarily powerful appeal of foreign, “revolutionary,” “idealistic” violence to the inhabitants of otherwise peaceful societies. You don’t have to be Muslim, or poor, or an extremist, to feel the romantic pull of terrorism. You can be a middle-class American and a lapsed Catholic whose grandmother happened to come from Donegal.
But the appeal of foreign violence can also be destroyed, or at least reduced, if community leaders agree that they want that to happen. If British Muslims deploy every one of their religious, civic and business institutions, they may, over time, be able to eliminate the climate of tolerance that made the London bombings possible, just as Irish Americans — as well as Rep. King, who has now called on the IRA to disband — eventually helped eliminate the climate of tolerance around the IRA. And if they don’t — there will always be recruits willing to die for a glamorous foreign cause.