We're learning the hard way that the secular liberalizing forces that shape values in the West give us no protection from Islamist terror. The pride we take in our tolerance, our determination to fight fair, to look for the "root causes" of poverty, ignorance and oppression to explain the anger of the likes of Zacarious Moussaoui and the evil of Sept. 11 put us at peril. Most of the Sept. 11 terrorists grew up in middle-class comfort and knew neither poverty nor oppression.
Moussaoui, nurtured in the Islamic culture, became virulently and violently anti-American, contemptuous of the "soft" psychological and sociological interpretations Americans make of the Islamist enemy. He was even contemptuous of the two jurors who took into account his unhappy childhood, his father's hot temper and his hostile relationship with his mother as mitigating causes of his viciousness, and spared his life.
So what could honor have to do with it? For the Islamic terrorist, a lot. In a remarkable book tracing the significance of the concept of honor, James Bowman warns that to understand the jihadists it's essential to understand their definition of "honor" and "manhood." Honor, as they define it, is even more important than the dogma of their dogmatic religion. "It is natural enough in a culture like ours, informed by the psychotherapeutic revolution, to think even of geopolitics in terms of psychology and emotions," he writes in "Honor: A History." "But these are irrelevant in an honor culture." He cites Osama bin Laden to make his point.
"We believe that we are men, Muslim men who have the honor of defending Mecca," bin Laden told an al-Jazeera TV interviewer in 1998, sneering at "the weakness, feebleness and cowardliness of the U.S. soldier" when the Clinton administration withdrew from Somalia. Bin Laden has particular contempt for the "toughness" of the Americans who send women to war against men: "By God, Muslim women refuse to be defended by these American and Jewish prostitutes."
The tactics of the American interrogators who forced prisoners to wear women's panties as a humiliation tactic to break down their resistance offends Western sensibilities, but as an interrogation tactic the American interrogators understood the Islamist codes of honor. Offensive or not, it often worked.
Whoa: US Hasn't Detained Five Benghazi Terrorists Due to Trial-Related Evidentiary Concerns | Guy Benson