31 May 2017

Olivier Roy, “One of France’s Top Experts On Islamic Terrorism” (Part I)

.... As it happens, Salman Abedi did not “lose his connection” to Libya; in Manchester he lived in what was in effect a Little Libya, one of the largest communities of Libyans outside of Libya itself, surrounded by fellow Libyans, as well as other Muslims. Nor did his family sever their own connection to Libya.

His parents moved back to Libya in 2011, but they, and at least two of his siblings, returned to Manchester often; his father, known as Abu Ismail, had been a member of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, an anti-Khaddafy force that had close links to Al-Qaeda. When he was in Manchester, he and Salman Abedi regularly attended the Didsbury Mosque.

Abedi himself made frequent trips to Libya and was there, in fact, just before he returned to carry out the Manchester attack. He remained a devout Muslim, and gave no sign of falling away from Islam. His only sign of “Western decadence” was his occasionally smoking marijuana. He was not affected by “deculturation.” He did not suffer from a “dangerous ‘identity vacuum,” as Olivier Roy would have us believe.

He memorized the entire Qur’an, earning the title of hafiz. He was perfectly secure in his Muslim identity. Yet Olivier Roy insists on a psychological explanation — an “identity vacuum” — for Abedi’s decision to become a shahid, despite all the evidence to the contrary.

But that is because he continues to refuse to take the ideology of Islam seriously, refuses even to discuss the possibility that the clear meaning of the Islamic texts and teachings might be sufficient to explain Muslim terrorism. [New English Review] Read more