Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The truth about suicide bombers

This is the title of a recent article from the “Ideas” section of Boston Globe. It describes the work of Israeli and American researchers who have founds a simple explanation for the seemingly puzzling phenomenon: many suicide bombers are merely troubled individuals looking for an excuse to commit suicide (as an outright taking of one’s own life is forbidden by the Quran). This strikes me as a lame attempt by academics to explain away and discredit a detestable practice - one of the very few left in the age of cultural sensitivity and tolerance. But it may also reflect the genuine inability of most number-crunchers to fathom any search for self-transcendence, no matter how misguided it can be. This is a deficit which may also underlie recent attacks on religion by a dream team of beautiful minds (including Richard Dawkins, Stephen Hawking, and the like).