Youth Become Jihadists to Do Something Important in the World

(p. 42) Maher, a 33-year-old historian of medium height and medium build with a neatly trimmed beard, is an expert on Salafi jihadism.
. . .
(p. 47) “If I had been 30 years older, I probably would have become a Communist,” Maher went on. “And even now, when I meet some of my friends who also used to be in Tahrir, we all agree that, yes, if we were 10 years younger, we’d probably be off fighting in Syria or Iraq. Can you imagine, a 20-year-old kid whose peers are getting drunk, obsessed with finding a girlfriend, as opposed to doing something in Syria or Iraq that, within an hour, gets a response from the president of the United States? Obama doesn’t know what a 25-year-old manager at Primark does, but if he goes to Syria and becomes involved with the Islamic State, he goes from being the manager of a second-rate clothing store to someone giving headaches to the president of the United States.”

For the full story, see:
MARY ANNE WEAVER. “Why Do They Go?” The New York Times Magazine (Sun., APRIL 19, 2015): 42-47 & 58-60.
(Note: ellipsis added.)
(Note: the date of the online version of the story is APRIL 14, 2015, and has the title “Her Majesty’s Jihadists” which was also the title used on the cover, but not at the start of the actual article on p. 42, which has the title “Why Do They Go?”)

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