Muslims believe that ascending to paradise requires the usual avoidance of temptations: no alcohol, no drugs, no sleeping around, etc. But why adhere to such sacrificial purity if you can simply become a martyr with almost no effort? Why not just kill a bunch of infidels and go straight to your heavenly reward?
There’s a perverse logic to that, especially if you’re young and aimless and you can’t hold down a job because the boss won’t repeatedly give you time to pray during work hours. You’d have to be a fool to take the 100-mile path if there’s a 100-yard shortcut at hand. Oh, and you can stick it to the establishment while you’re at it.
MONTREAL — Shocked to learn that two of their own attacked a desert gas plant in Algeria, Canadians are struggling to understand how young men from a quiet, middle-class neighborhood ended up as jihadists.
It was announced by Algerian officials almost immediately after the days-long siege of the In Amenas plant by the Algerian army in January that the pair were among the dead. One intelligence source said they were Arabs with dual citizenship and were among the 29 Islamists killed in the bloodbath, alongside 38 hostages. But it was only this week [that] Canadian media revealed that they were actually former schoolmates who grew up in sleepy London, Ontario.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation named the jihadis-next-door as
Xristos Katsiroubas, 22 from a Greek Orthodox family
(in Greek, Xristos mean Christ, no less!),
and Ali Medlej, 24. They died during the siege, possibly by blowing themselves up. Both apparently had become angry and alienated at home, and eventually ruptured ties with their families, reports said. After high school, they also reportedly struggled to keep menial jobs as employers refused to allow them time to pray.
A former friend told the CBC that Medlej had once told him he did not want to give up women and drinking. “There’re things that I just can’t give up in my lifestyle, and it’s hard for me to be a practicing Muslim, so why don’t I just be a shaheed (martyr) and go straight to heaven instead of all the effort that I can’t seem to do,” Medlej was quoted as saying by his former friend.