Friday, May 07, 2010

Depraved or deprived?

Roger Cohen finds reasons to be optimistic about the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Let's hope he's right.

When you encounter cosmopolitan Muslims, our experience has been that they want to reach out and offer a positive image of their religion.  When you mention terrorists, they shake their heads and explain that these are the ignorant and poor who are easily brainwashed.

Trouble is that this is not exactly correct.  We now know that the Times Square bomber was enrolled in a graduate degree program in the U.S. (not that this denotes an unignorant state).  More to the point, economist Alan Krueger has studied a long list of terrorist attacks and finds that the perps all tend to be middle class and educated.  We need a better theory than the standard one ("I'm depraved 'cause I'm deprived.")