‘Jihadists hate West because it’s obsessed with sex’ – religious historian
Historian and broadcaster Diarmaid MacCulloch said that Western attitudes to sex also account for the antagonism felt towards the Western world by Putin’s Russia.
After speaking at the Hay Festival on Tuesday, Professor MacCulloch, who is a Church of England deacon, told the Times: “The anger that other cultures feel towards Western sexual openness… it is so much of the murderous anger which we are seeing in Boko Haram, Islamic State and other revivalist movements of the 20th century.
“Islam, in particular, is the religion of angry young men who are terrified by the way in which women’s roles have changed in the last 50 years.”
He argued that distinct Western attitudes to sex were a result of the agricultural revolution in the West, which ensured economic security, allowing space for far freer debate on sex than conditions permitted in the rest of the world.
McCulloch’s analysis jars with recent comments by London Mayor Boris Johnson MP, who during a January outburst accused all jihadists of being “literally w*nkers” who watched a lot of porn.
“If you look at all the psychological profiling about bombers, they typically will look at porn. They are literally w*nkers. Severe onanists,” Johnson said.
Also speaking at the Hay Festival was Tom Holland, who produced the TV series ‘Islam: the Untold Story’.
Opening up an additional front in the critique of Islam, Holland said the key to countering the influence of religious extremists was to refute the idea of the Prophet Muhammed as unassailably perfect.
“One thing that people seem to have learnt is that to question the moral perfection of Muhammad is akin to poking a hornets’ nest with a stick,” he said, while delivering the first Christopher Hitchens Lecture.
“Not examining these claims [about Muhammad] leaves free those who want to put the most hostile spin on it. Jihadists cannot possibly be deradicalized unless the prophet is deradicalized as well.”
He added that jihadists found sanctions for what they do “within the various biographies and traditions associated with the Prophet … when beheading an infidel seems to have been enshrined within what every jihadi aspires to do, it is surely not irrelevant that Muhammad owned a sword that can be translated as the ‘cleaver of vertebrae.’”