by John J. O’Neill (full article)
”I vividly recall, just a few weeks after the 9/11 attacks, seeing a photograph of the Bin Laden family, or some of the younger members of the family, on holiday in London. The year, I believe, was 1971. Osama was there, as were about fifteen of his brothers (and half-brothers) and sisters. All of them were dressed in typical “gear” of the time, bell-bottomed jeans and tight pullovers. Some of the boys had long hair, as did the girls. None of these were veiled, or betrayed in her attire the slightest hint of Islamic influence. They could have been a group of youngsters from any western country.
Many if not all the newspapers published this photograph, and the question they were asking was: What could have turned Osama from the easy-going modern youth of the picture into the sworn and fanatical enemy of everything modern and everything western? In the opinion of the present writer however the newspapers were asking the wrong question. What they should have been pondering was: What could have transformed not an individual, but a large section of a civilization, into the sworn enemy of everything modern and western? For the journey taken by Bin Laden in the years between 1971 and 2001 was taken also by many millions of his co-religionists throughout the Islamic world; and the thirty to forty years that have elapsed since the 1970s have seen one Muslim society after another systematically reject the modern world and turn the clock back to the seventh century. Whilst by the late 60s, women all over the Islamic world had adopted western fashions and lifestyles, the tide was dramatically reversed by the late 70s, when traditional Islam, with its strict dress code and social outlook, again bestirred itself. One would now be hard-pressed to find any Islamic country where the easy-going attitudes of the 1950s and 60s still hold sway.”
Comment: John J. O’Neill has hit the nail on the head. I remember in the 1970’s hearing of Muslims shocked by Western TV. His thesis is correct, that the Islamic dominated world has turned back to the seventh century in reaction to the cultural revolution in the West.