Reading about the Muslim who knifed a number of people on a German train recently made me wonder what goes through the mind of a young Muslim man living in Europe.
Let's ignore the religious, jihadist aspect of it for a moment. (I'm not suggesting denying it, as Obama does, but merely setting it aside for a moment). There has to be a large component of social alienation and personal bitterness involved in these attacks.
Imagine you're a young Arab man in France. You're surrounded by lighter-complected people who all seem to be more successful than you. They don't pay any attention to you, and more or less treat you as if you're not there. You sense that they don't really want you there, and are suspicious of you. And you have the vague sense that they resent having to pay taxes to support your welfare.
Though you long to have sex with those beautiful light-skinned French women, they seem to have zero interest in you. And the indecent way they dress seems geared toward tempting you, which makes their denial of your advances even more frustrating. Every time you see a French man and a French woman enjoying each other's company, it fills you with jealousy.
And every time you see them drive by in their fancy cars, and see the elegant apartment buildings they live in, it fills you with bile. Why should they have all that, and not you?
Although you don't see the world through the prism of IQ, and the language barrier sort of mutes everything, you have the vague sense that the light-skinned people look down on you for not understanding everything they do.
This goes on and on, and your feelings of bitterness and frustration gradually harden. And it's almost inevitable that you would end up feeling this way.
You feel rootless, alien in the country you live in, and long for a group of winners to identify with. Then along comes ISIS, a seemingly worldwide movement of people who are Muslim, just like you, and are completely uninhibited about striking out at the West you resent so much.
You know you're not supposed to just go on a killing spree just for the hell of it, but when ISIS tells you that you can do it for a noble cause and that it would make you a warrior jihadist, the temptation is too much to resist.
You know you pretty much have nothing to live for, so why not kill yourself and take as many of those hated Westerners as you can with you while you're at it?
In a way, these suicidal killers have something in common with Seung-hui Cho and Adam Lanza and Elliot Rodgers. They all see themselves as having nothing to live for, and want nothing more than to lash out at the people who reject them and make them feel like losers.
Which is something that should be taken into account when debating whether to import more of them.