Roger L. Simon

Man of Science, Man of (Some?) God

It’s not surprising in our world, but scary and depressing nevertheless, that individuals like the just arrested Magdy el-Nashar are being trained in our and British universities:

An Egyptian scientist who police want to speak to as part of the London bombing inquiry has been arrested in Cairo, it has been reported.

Magdy el-Nashar, who studied for a PhD at Leeds University, is thought to have links to a Leeds flat being searched by anti-terrorist officers.

He was detained in a suburb of Cairo, Egyptian and Western intelligence sources told the US TV network ABC News.

The FBI had been called in to help search for el-Nashar because he attended North Carolina State University in 2000, ABC News said.

I’m still naive, I guess, since I have difficulty wrapping my mind around the idea that individuals like this use their modern scientific education in the service of a bizarre fantasy that a person blowing themselves up will instantly pass through a door into “Paradise.” Pure terror for political ends I could understand, but that is cognitive dissonance of an order I cannot comprehend. And from educated people. The rage and shame must be extraordinary.

UPDATE: More on related matters from Clive Davis’ blog (always a must-read for me).