The young men who attacked London last week are pitiable – profoundly lost to humanity. Theirs isn’t a religion, nor a cause. It’s a sacrifice cult, a bloody creed designed to glorify not God but a millionaire demagogue called Osama Bin Laden and a bankrupt, history-less ideology from the fringes of world culture. Five hundred years ago, the sophisticated and decadent Aztecs killed children to appease Gods they feared. The sad gang that killed 55 people in London nine days ago has as much in common with the complicated, enlightened tradition that produces big, resilient cities like London as those Aztec priests.
It’s a vicious ideology and it’s sustained by violence and by the pitiless conversion of its own adherents into dumb weapons. The logic of a fighting force dependent on the deliberate death of its soldiers for its success is so perfectly inverted as to defy rational thought. Suicidal Terror’s only possible victory lies in the pointless self-murder of its last happy martyr. Only then will it be possible for those who lead these young men and women to their deaths – convince them of their destiny – to calculate the magnitude of their victory. The question is: what will they do if they conclude that they didn’t win yet? That they need more martyrs?