I have a theory that the rise in Islamic terror is all about sex. The young men who are attracted by jihad are the generation that has grown up with internet pornography. Anywhere in the world they are only a few clicks away from a deluge of images and videos showing every sexual practice. Commentators often use the term “consuming pornography” but let’s be frank that means masturbation and masturbation (for both men and women) is haraam (forbidden) in Islam.
It is likely that many young Islamists consume pornography, porn was found on the laptops of the 7/7 London bombers and it is clearly impossible for a young Muslim man to reconcile the constant titillation in this highly sexualised world with the strict religious observance demanded by his mosque and family.
Repressed sexual urges can often find other outlets, aggression towards others or self harm but also as Freud claimed sexual sublimation can be responsible creativity and great art. The Abrahamic religions: Orthodox Judaism, Evangelical Christianity and Islam are all obsessed with sex or rather limiting sex to within certain religiously acceptable confines. These attitudes are of course generated from a male perspective since their god was a man and take no regard of a female opinion.
Although many sexual practices are condemned by these religions homosexuality is regarded as one of the most sinful. The Christian Old Testament (Leviticus 20:13) decrees that “they should be put to death for their abominable deed” but it is Islam that is the most ferocious in its condemnation with countless grotesque punishments.
One theory for this loathing is that the authors of the most hostile texts were latent homosexuals themselves and there is evidence that unrealised homosexual desire can motivate extreme anti-homosexual views. In the USA numerous gay hating pastors and politicians have subsequently turned out to be gay themselves.
The Orlando murderer Omar Mateen had visited the Pulse Gay nightclub on several occasions before the massacre. Whether he was a latent homosexual is not yet clear but what is beyond dispute is that he was a Muslim and the teachings of the Koran mandate the killing of homosexuals. The religious and homophobic motivation for this attack are inextricably linked and we should recognise this fact. The solution in the medium term is to hope that Islam can be reformed as parts of Christianity and Judaism have been but in the long term let’s wish for a world without belief in religious fantasy.