Thursday, July 14, 2005

...and then they grow up 

I have to say that I fail to see what the fascination with "boy bombers" is. Yes, they were young, but even the youngest one at 18, was not really a teenager anymore, except through sheer arithmetic. Children, or boys, did not murder 52 London commuters - young men did. It's true, they were boys once, as all men once were. Bin Laden and Hitler, too, were five-foot tykes with squeaky voices and bad acne. So were Jesus and Gandhi. But so what?

Sure, it's a statement about the horrid trajectory their lives have taken, culminating in the sickening end of July 7; a journey from the innocence of childhood to cold homicidal rage of early adulthood. But it tells us nothing about who the bombers really were, what made them change, and what they had become.

Speaking of what made them change, this speculation from "The Independent" seems vaguely ridiculous:
A series of setbacks in Hussain's life may be behind a sudden change from a British Asian who dressed in Western clothes to a religious teenager who wore Islamic garb and only stopped to say salaam to fellow Muslims.

School created the first setback. After attending Ingram Primary, he moved up to Matthew Murray secondary- now the Holbeck campus of South Leeds College - in September 1998, where he was entered for a number of GCSEs. But he was withdrawn by teachers from his GCSEs and left on 20 July 2003 with a GNVQ in business studies.

He had always found an escape in football. But, about two years ago, the Hornets' pitch was closed down. At about the same time, Hussain seemed to disappear into another world, according to associates.
Can't really run with "poverty is the root cause of terrorism" in this case, so pretty soon, one way or another, they will be blaming neo-liberalism and cut-backs in services. The society, as always, will be to blame.


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