Posts in Terrorism
Wish I'd said that - September 22, 2019

“I am a hard-shelled materialist myself, I suppose. But I was reminded of Chesterton last week by a report of a conversation between one of the would-be Islamikaze bombers, Muktar Said-Ibrahim, and a former neighbour of his in Stanmore, the suburb of north London where he grew up. ‘He asked me,’ Sarah Scott recalled, ‘if I was Catholic because I have Irish family, and I said I didn't believe in anything, and he said I should. He told me he was going to have all these virgins when he got to Heaven if he praises Allah. He said if you pray to Allah and if you have been loyal to Allah you would get 80 virgins, or something like that.’ Now it is the easiest thing in the world to make fun of the notion, apparently a commonplace among jihadists, that a suicide bomber who successfully blows up a decent number of infidels is rewarded in heaven with 80 virgins. (I personally can think of nothing more terrifying than 80 virgins; I can just picture the belles of St Trinian's running amok.) But is it, I wonder, significantly stranger to believe, like Sarah Scott, in nothing at all?”

Niall Ferguson in the Telegraph July 31, 2005