A couple of days ago I posted a brief thought about the apparently universal reaction of individual muslims to the terrorist organizations and the individual terrorists who do their actions of terror under the banner of islam.
That reaction, I pointed out, is “they aren’t muslims”.
Since that is a rather bland assertion and since it is totally contrary to the “we are muslims” assertions of those about whom they are making it, I have been puzzled.
That puzzlement led to the post about the phenomenon.
To unpuzzle it – so I could do my post – I needed to cast around for some intellectual scaffolding upon which I could hang an apparent dichotomy: on the one hand there are a lot of koran quoting individuals who claim to be muslims and indulge in acts of horror; on the other hand there are a lot of other koran quoting individuals who claim to be muslims but don’t indulge in acts of horror; the latter claim that the former are not muslims.
I couldn’t see any religious affiliation difference between the terrorists and the non terrorists.
Thus I was puzzled.
Then I found the necessary scaffolding and was able to hang the dichotomy on it and thus unscramble the puzzle.
And so the post of a few days ago.
And so the comment, “neat trick”.
The key to the trick is: the horror group are “radicalized”; the “they aren’t muslims” group are “non radicalized”.
So “being radicalized” is the difference.
Maybe that would point to “they are radicalized” as being a more accurate statement than “they aren’t muslims”, but what the heck. A neat trick is a neat trick.
That perception had the beguiling characteristic of allowing me to accept that ‘neat trick” as a valid sort of verbal and intellectual gymnastics.
Since posting that personal revelation something about it has been goading my subconscious to do a little more thinking.
I have had the feeling that I have left something out.
This morning I figured it out.
I definitely have left something out.
Two words need to be added to “non radicalized”.
Those words are “not yet”.
Given the vagaries involved with becoming “radicalized” (does this phenomenon occur only to muslims?) and given the fact that the French have six or seven million “not yets” in their midst, I can see how the average non muslim French person might have to stifle an occasional bout of paranoia.