Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Link roundup

1. Thomas Barnett on declining mosque attendance in Europe:

What this data reminds us of is the underlying reality that, when people immigrate from a more religious environment to a less religious environment, they're not doing it to export their religion but to take advantage of the economic opportunities they are certain they will find there. Given enough time and opportunity, secularization follows. But not all succeed in this quest, and those dissatisfied types are particularly susceptible to radicalization--in that classic, Marxist alienated sense.

Thus, a big flow of immigrants sees two trends emerge: 1) an overall slow secularization among the bulk; and 2) a scary radicalization among the vastly unsuccessful minority. On the second point, don't assume that economic failure is required to qualify, because anything that makes you unhappy in your new life can do it. Thus the classic case is the moderately successful, well-educated type who, for some combination of reasons, feels deeply alienated in his new world.

And yeah, a certain lack of success in one's personal life is frequent within this crowd, so maybe they got the education, and maybe they're struggling a bit in their career, but what really irks them is this sense that life has not panned out as hoped for in terms of success in marriage, family and so on. EVERYBODY is susceptible to this disillusionment in life, but discombobulated immigrants more so. And when a radicalized alternative pathway is dangled in front of one's face by recruiters, it can easily become the path of least resistance. Immigrants are particularly susceptible because they feel some guilt for leaving the homeland and the old ways.
2. 9 Ideas for Creative Jalapeno Popper Fillings.

3. Steve Thomas's video game propaganda images are now available as a calendar.

*Buy propaganda posters at Amazon.