Thursday, November 26, 2015

The Mormon-like joy of ISIS

By Ross Douthat

I went to a matinee of “The Book of Mormon” over the weekend, and — As it happens, I’ve visited the Mormon missionary center where the musical opens, as part of a larger excursion to Salt Lake City and Provo a few years ago. Seen through Catholic eyes, not secular ones, it’s a place and a culture that’s at once extraordinarily impressive and somewhat strange and stifling; you can understand why so many Mormons commit to it absolutely and also why a certain percentage flee it with relief. Where the brighter joy of Mormons is invisible, in other words, the dark joy of ISIS will be entirely incomprehensible. That lack of comprehension isn’t Islamic radicalism’s only weapon. But it’s a useful one for the caliphate to have ready to its hand. [link]