A BBC story on the trial of four would-be mujahideen helps to back up what I always think about these projects: a lot of it is about adventure and spectacle and attention-seeking and thrills, more than it’s really about theocracy or sharia. The theocracy is a kind of excuse or shortcut-reason.
These four dudes went off to Pakistan for what they thought would be glam exciting dangerous training, and turned out to be a nightmare camping trip from hell. They lasted two days.
Conditions were, according to Ishaaq Hussain’s account, primitive. They slept on bare ground in sleeping bags, with a hole in the ground for a loo.
What little food they could get was a far cry from Mum’s home cooking or the tasty takeaways of Sparkhill and Sparkbrook.
Mosquitoes posed a more immediate threat than American drones, and if the insects weren’t going to get the Brits, the unbearable heat would.
As soon as the sun set, the men were in darkness. Ishaaq Hussain, 19, had left home two days earlier – where his mother made the beds. Now, with no bed at all, he was disillusioned.
Let’s face it – beds are nice. So is home cooking, so are tasty takeaways. They may all be the product of the demonic secular demons, but they’re nice. So are toilets, that flush.
So they left. Now they’ll be spending some time in prison, which won’t be as nice as Mum’s home cooking, but also won’t be as nasty as the mountain hideout in Pakistan.