In a new piece at Taki’s Magazine, Dalrymple revisits the two years he spent living and traveling in Africa, an experience partially described in his book Zanzibar to Timbuktu. He noted at the time an absence of any anger or hatred directed his way, but in view of all that has happened in many West African countries since that time, especially the rise of fundamentalist Islam, he wonders: Was he just being obtuse? What could have caused these changes? He hazards a guess:
With the downfall of the Soviet Union there was an ideological vacuum for people seeking a total explanation of their discontents, people who—thanks to the spread of semi-education—were probably more numerous, and therefore more desperate, than ever. The only alternative on hand, and one with much deeper roots than Marxism, was fundamentalist Islam. Islam rushes in where Marxism can no longer tread.