The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

A Tipping Point

Is it possible that Malcolm Gladwell’s epidemiological view of change can be applied to the apparent rush to radical Islam by tens of thousands (millions?) of otherwise westernized Islamic youth? Is that why middle class Moslem young men (and women) in the UK plot to blow up airplanes and are convinced that mass murder of infidels is justified "in defense” of Islam. Has the Moslem world reached a “tipping point” which will result in an avalanche of converts to Islamofascism?

Malcolm Gladwell’s bestselling book, The Tipping Point suggests that ideas and the changes they precipitate spread like viruses, beginning slowly and then spreading rapidly across large populations. He describes this phenomenon:

One of the things I explore in the book is that ideas can be contagious in exactly the same way that a virus is. One chapter, for example, deals with the very strange epidemic of teenage suicide in the South Pacific islands of Micronesia. In the 1970's and 1980's, Micronesia had teen suicide rates ten times higher than anywhere else in the world. Teenagers were literally being infected with the suicide bug, and one after another they were killing themselves in exactly the same way under exactly the same circumstances.

Is this what is happening when teenage suicide bombers murder innocent men, women and children? The left wrings its hands and looks for underlying “reasons” that would cause these murderous children to perform such heinous acts. But maybe it has nothing to do with reason. Maybe it’s more like Bird Flu.

Gladwell continues:
We like to use words like contagiousness and infectiousness just to apply to the medical realm. But I assure you that after you read about what happened in Micronesia you'll be convinced that behavior can be transmitted from one person to another as easily as the flu or the measles can. In fact, I don't think you have to go to Micronesia to see this pattern in action. Isn't this the explanation for the current epidemic of teen smoking in this country? And what about the rash of mass shootings we're facing at the moment--from Columbine through the Atlanta stockbroker through the neo-Nazi in Los Angeles?

I can only surmise that this is what is happening within Islam, aided by infectious agents (Immans) and mass media drivers (worshipful stories of “martyrs” on Al Jezera).

If this is the case, I’m not sure we can stop it. There is no vaccine. We can only hope that like many other deadly viruses, it ultimately kills its host.