The Coming Popularity of al Qaeda

I have argued before that because of the Left’s fascination with “other voices,” al Qaeda will become a hip movement on college campuses (in the sense that Che is now or the Viet Cong once was) . This will happen in a generation after 9/11.

We’re already seeing signs of this. Among those 18 to 29 (who were about 11 to 21 at 9/11/01), twice as many people believe the U.S. government Let It Happen On Purpose — that is, the US government used al Qaeda as a patsy to achieve its own goals.

Gene Expression: Who carried out 9/11? Views Differ….
Question: “There are three main schools of thought regarding the 9/11 attacks. The first theory is the official story, and maintains that 19 Arab fundamentalists executed a surprise attack which caught US intelligence and military forces off guard. The second theory known as Let It Happen argues that certain elements in the US government knew the attacks were coming but consciously let them proceed for various political, military and economic motives; and the third theory Made It Happen contends that certain US government elements actively planned or assisted some aspects of the attacks. Based upon your knowledge of 9/11 events and their aftermath, which theory are you more likely to agree with?”

How long before we see an American presidential campaign worker wear an Osama bin Laden t-shirt? We’ve already seen love of the Communist terrorist Che among campaign workers.

Update: Purpleslog agrees.

7 thoughts on “The Coming Popularity of al Qaeda”

  1. I think you’re confusing two concepts here. The weirdos who claim “9-11 was inside job,” seem to come from many political persuasions. From all I’ve read about these people, it doesn’t appear that they support Al-Qaeda. In fact, many of these people believe that AQ was a total invention of the US government.

    On the other hand, you have college “revolutionaries” who pretend that they’re Communists and wear Che t-shirts. These people are usually upper middle class whites, who have their tuition paid for by their parents. Or, they’re working class non-whites, who have their tuition paid for by the federal government. While it is possible that they believe “9-11 was inside job,” I think you’re mistaken to equate the two.

    This doesn’t mean that the “revolutionaries” wouldn’t support AQ. But the reason for it is not the same as supporting Che, Lenin, or Trotsky. They support Communists as ideological allies. If they did support AQ, it wouldn’t be becuase they all of a sudden became radical Muslims. Instead, they would support AQ becuase they see AQ as “fighters against the oppressive system.”

    However, if I were a bettin’ man, I would be willing to bet lots of money that if AQ could vote in US elections, they would vote for “change.”

  2. College students are sort of dumb.

    I went to a top 20 university [1] – a public one though, not a private.

    My fellow young students were all mostly smart.

    There were also naive.

    They were surrounded by “career” students who were for the most part committed leftists/Marxists of various flavors or factions. Many of the professors and academic staff were as well (especially in the Liberal Arts College). They were still working for the revolution (whatever that meant exactly, you didn’t want to ask to many questions, less they try to recruit you or put you on an enemies list).

    While many students could avoid the overt politicing, the default position was Left. You had to struggle mentally to break free of that.

    If it was anti-american, anti-western, anti-christian heck even anti-white it could be accepted.

    If Al-Qada and its sympathizers can position themselves in the minds of the Leftist as an anti-us/anti-west force, the Left – especially on campuses – will pick up on that – much as they did with the PLO by turning the Keffiyeh from a political statement [2] to a fashion/political statement [3].

    Al-Qada supporters in the west just have to find that symbol or item that they can turn into a fashion accessory, a sort of ideological flair. I suggest that they have OBL et al try out certain gloves, wrist bands, or sunglasses.

    Heck as an entrepreneur and US citizen if I could figure it out, I would market it myself to fund my book and cd buying habits while at the same time turning over the purchase records to my local JTTF contact.


  3. Looks a little more complicated than that. The likelihood of believing the conspiracy theories goes down as education goes up, and hispanics are more likely to believe them than whites. Depending on how correlated the income figures are with the other measures, poverty fits in as well.

  4. The central idea of Leftism, I think, is that Other Voices should be Heard. Over and over again, from diversity education to postmodern theory to quotas to gender theory, that central idea is present.

    al Qaeda is Another Voice from the western-global-imperialist line.
    al Qaeda is being Silenced. It is being physically Oppressed.

    Razib has given us a preview of what we will be hearing down the road [1,2].


  5. I always liked this Dr. Sanity post of The Left and Islam:

    “Multiculturalism and political correctness are two of the fundamental pseudo-intellectual, quasi-religious tenets– along with a third: radical environmentalism–that have been widely disseminated by intellectuals unable to abandon socialism even after its crushing failures in the 20th century. These tenets have been slowly, but relentlessly absorbed at all levels of Western culture in the last decade or so–but primarily since the end of the Cold War.”

    There is a great chart in the article too.

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