Boko Haram and the Indelible West

In Taki’s Magazine Dalrymple recalls his time in Nigeria and responds to the Boko Haram outrages:

Boko Haram, so we were told and therefore implicitly believe, means “Western education is forbidden,” and it recalled what Gandhi replied when asked by a reporter what he thought of Western civilization. “It would be a good idea,” he said.

So would Western education be a good idea, at least in quite large parts of one of the countries, England, in which I happen to live…

Boko Haram itself, however, is not protesting against the abysmal academic standards in England and elsewhere in the Western world: it is protesting the very Westernization that it cannot expunge from its own hearts and lives. Its leader, after all, brandishes a weapon manufactured by Western technique (he is not going to defend himself against the authorities with a saber), and dresses in camouflage uniform to appear on video. A return to 7th century Arabia is not possible, but we are never more unreasonable or fanatical than in the pursuit of the impossible.

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