Following the May 22, 2017 Manchester bombing, which has been claimed by ISIS, Fahd Al-Khitan, a senior columnist for the Jordanian daily Al-Ghad, wrote an article in which he placed responsibility for the crime on the bomber’s family and on the immigrant society in which he grew up, which adhere to a culture of hate instead of assimilating in British society and adopting its values. Rejecting the claim often heard in the Arab and Muslim world, that the West is to blame for the emergence of ISIS, Al-Khitan stressed that this organization is the product of the culture of rejecting the other that permeates the Arab and Muslim society and which will continue to produce terrorists even when ISIS itself is eliminated.
“It was the natural outcome of the culture of hate. That is the only explanation for the heinous deed committed by the terrorist Salman Al-‘Abedi in the city of Manchester. The terrorist’s family fled the tyranny of [former Libyan ruler Mu’ammar] Al-Qadhafi and sought asylum in Britain, and Al-‘Abedi was born and grew up there, in a civilized and pluralist society that respected his right to live in dignity. But hatred for the other, which he absorbed in his closed-off environment, overcame the humanistic values he learned in British society.
“He [came to] support the most benighted stream in history and quenched his thirst by going back to the roots of his former culture, [the culture] of his country of origin. He left Britain for Libya, but then returned there to commit his heinous crime. He had no particular target; all he wanted to do was kill those who differed from him in their culture and beliefs, otherwise why would he choose [to bomb] a concert attended by teenaged girls and boys? [He chose it] just because it was a possible target for practicing his hobby of murder. Had [this target] been unavailable, he would have run people over in the street or spilled their guts in museums or restaurants.
“Loyalty to ISIS is not enough to explain what happened. [The bomber] had deeper motivations. The culture in which he was raised allowed him to automatically find his place in an organizational framework that has become the authentic tool of expression for a wide stream in our societies, [a stream] that negates the other, defends [the act of] murdering him and is overjoyed whenever there is breaking news about a terror attack”