The need for jihad

31 October 2014

The need for jihad

From free democracy to violent jihad is a big step. Yet there are in our country young people taking this step. Jihadism evidently provides for a need. A doctrine that explains everything, including your own failings. Why you don’t succeed at school, or at your work. Why your parents don’t understand you, why you became a criminal. An ideology that connects everything you do to something that’s much bigger. Everything you say, what you eat, how you dress, is linked to a huge and eternal right. You can tell your friends your father, or the imam, the truth. You can liberate yourself by sacrificing yourself in a violent struggle.

By Ronald van Raak, MP for the SP


Fear of freedom

This Sunday, All Souls’ Day, we commemorate the murder of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh by a radical jihadist ten years ago. Since then there have been no more such attacks in our country, but the threat has certainly not diminished. Recently I have been able to delve into the rationale of the jihadists, into the question of why young people in a free country adopt a violent ideology. Precisely that freedom is reason for radicalised youth to hate. Violent Salafism offers security and safety, self-confidence and pride. That explains the rapidity with which young people sometimes become radicalised. The highroad from outcast to chosen one.

Don’t be naïve

Some 150 Dutch citizens have now joined the jihad, and a few dozen have returned. The numbers are small, but that can be enough, as the case of Mohammed Bouyeri, currently serving a life sentence without parole for the assassination of Theo van Gogh, demonstrates. We should not sow unnecessary panic, but we should also not be naive. Since Van Gogh’s murder, Salafist organisations have not been combatted. Jihadist networks can still simply go their own sweet way. The government also continues to blow a smokescreen across Mohammed Bouyeri’s network. We have finally succeeded in having the enquiry into the security service AIVD’s actions reopened.

Knowing why it went awry at the time can probably help to avoid fresh mistakes.

This article first appeared, in the original Dutch, on the website The Post Online.


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