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Those Poor, Beleaguered Muslims
In a New York Daily News piece by Tracy Connor, one of the terrorists gets whiny about how Muslims are seen versus the public image of the Jews -- then gets to bragging about the terrorism he's about to perpetrate:

That evidence, laid out in a 30-page criminal complaint detailed here, left no doubt that Defreitas, a graying 63-year-old from East New York, Brooklyn, was thirsty for the blood of Americans.

"Even the twin towers can't touch it," he is said to have boasted of his plan last month.

The Sept. 11, 2001, attacks appear to have been a benchmark for Defreitas from the start.

Last August, as the informant cozied up to him, Defreitas remarked during a chat about Lebanon that Muslims always incur the "wrath of the world" while Jews get a "pass."

Um...that's because Jews have been far too busy working to cure cancer and coming up with the Theory Of Relativity and stuff -- or just earning a living and giving a lot of it away to help people -- to blow a lot of other people up.

Muslim men, on the other hand, are ultra-focused on how they're not getting fucked -- because they're a polygamist society, my friend Satoshi Kanazawa pointed out at our dinner table Saturday night at the Human Behavior and Evolution Society conference. All they can do is think about those 72 virgins they've been promised. Sadly, it seems many are dumb enough to believe they'll actually get them if they off themselves while murdering non-Muslims. Of course, that's just as dumb as the primitive belief, sans evidence, that there's heaven or hell, but, unfortunately, it's a little more lethal to the rest of us.

Here are a few notes on this from a paper Satoshi wrote in 2005:

The one factor which unites all of our otherwise diverse enemies, from al Qaeda in the Middle East, to Jemaah Islamiyah in the South East Asia, to the Chechen rebels in Russia, is the Muslim religion, and Muslims, unlike members of other major religions in the world, are polygynous. From the evolutionary psychological perspective, it is no coincidence that the first major global civil war is declared, initiated and fought by a polygynous group. Many young resourceless Muslim men of low status are left mateless because young reproductive women are monopolized by wealthy polygynous men of high status. The prospect of an exclusive access to 72 virgins in heaven sounds quite appealing to such mateless men in comparison to the bleak reality on earth of being complete reproductive losers. The same prospect would not be so appealing if they had even one mate on earth, which monogamy guarantees.

There is one ethnic group in the world which is significantly more polygynous than Muslims, however, and that is the tribal societies in the sub-Saharan Africa. Accordingly, sub-Saharan Africa has the world's highest levels of violence, measured by interpersonal crimes such as murder and rape (Kanazawa and Still 2000), and the region suffers from a long history of interminable civil wars. Currently, however, the region is still too poor to mount a global civil war against western nations. Very few young men in sub-Saharan Africa have access to the internet, email, and cell phones which allow bin Laden and his allies to be so effective. It is my prediction, derived from the evolutionary psychological perspective on wars, that the first non-Muslim bin Laden will emerge from sub-Saharan Africa, when communication technology in the region reaches the level currently available in the Middle East.

P.S. On a trivia note, Satoshi taught Monica Lewinsky in one of his classes (he's a prof at the London School of Economics). Here he is at dinner on Saturday night. That's Satoshi on the left, and my friends Nando Pelusi, a clinical psychologist and a disciple of Albert Ellis, and Kaja Perina, the young editor of Psychology Today who's turned the magazine around.


Daily News link via Jihad Watch

UPDATE: That's an unpublished paper of Satoshi's that I linked to as I was running out to write. He just sent me a link to a published paper he's really proud of: "The evolutionary psychological imagination: Why you can't get a date on a Saturday night, and why most suicide bombers are Muslim," from The Journal of Social, Evolutionary & Cultural Psychology, 2007. It's a PDF, so I can't excerpt it, but the paper can be found here.

Posted by aalkon at June 4, 2007 11:49 AM


Well that's a very interesting analysis, but it doesn't answer the most important question: is Kaja Perina single?

Posted by: Paul Hrissikopoulos at June 4, 2007 7:41 AM

Answer: Sorry, she's happily married to Nando. She met Nando, Satoshi, and me on the same day, at a past HBES, and Nando snapped her up, pronto.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at June 4, 2007 7:46 AM

Maybe Howard Stern was right...instead of a military invasion, the Pentagon should air-drop thousands of XXX dvds there, along with live shows by Britney Spears (with a snake between her legs), Christina Aguilera (Drrrty), Jenna Jameson, Pam Anderson, Carmen Electra...etc. Maybe that'll get their minds off of killing each other. Or not.

Posted by: The Mad Hungarian at June 4, 2007 8:15 AM

Ooops...forgot The Black Eyed Peas: My Humps!!

Posted by: The Mad Hungarian at June 4, 2007 8:20 AM

That's why I think globalization and the ensuing exposure to western culture -- or at least, leakage of western culture into Muslim cultures -- is probably our only hope.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at June 4, 2007 8:57 AM

TMH - That's precisely why they hate us! We are a constant reminder that they can't get any.

Posted by: brian at June 4, 2007 8:58 AM

Amy - this research also bolsters one of my theories about war: wars are fought for only three things: money, land, and pussy.

Here I thought it was about Allah, but it's actually all about the ol' bone dance.

Posted by: brian at June 4, 2007 9:00 AM

Here's some pretty creepy stuff about what's okay sexually in Islam:

And they're criticizing our culture?!

Posted by: Amy Alkon at June 4, 2007 9:15 AM

Heigh-ho, alas and also lackaday.

Posted by: Paul Hrissikopoulos at June 4, 2007 9:52 AM

They're sick bastards, no matter which way you slice it.

Posted by: Flynne at June 4, 2007 10:21 AM

On a more elevated note, it is over the threat of losing their in group status for the last 1,400 years, Brian.

The trend of more M.E. women obtaining an education, but openly obeying Islamic law forbidding single women to work alongside single men is going to cause major social problems. All these women with their degrees, but not allowed to utilize their knowledge based solely on their gender. Right now the Egyptian parliament is discussing the amending future laws that will expand the roles of women in the workforce. Of course we can guess who are the harshest critics of such measures... the rigid clerics. Surprise, surprise.

Posted by: Joe at June 4, 2007 10:56 AM

TMH - That's precisely why they hate us! We are a constant reminder that they can't get any.

Perhaps, but instead of going out for an afternoon of jihad, maybe they'd be more interested in watching wheter Pam will bust out of her bra, or is it true, that Jenna is *really* an Anal Addict??

Posted by: The Mad Hung at June 4, 2007 1:11 PM

Here's some pretty creepy stuff about what's okay sexually in Islam: [URL deleted]
And they're criticizing our culture?!

No matter how backwards or stuck in the Middle Ages their culture is, it will never get the deserved rebuking from the rest of the world.

Posted by: Trickish Knave at June 4, 2007 2:42 PM

Too few people understand the direness of the threat.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at June 4, 2007 3:43 PM

I slightly disagree, Amy.

Most people are aware of the problem, but do not want to get their hands 'dirty' and deal with it. The dangers of wishful thinking that the problem will solve itself on its own time.

If it were not for that black sludge and some worthless 'holy' relics. No civilized nation would have absolutely any business in that region at all.

Posted by: Joe at June 4, 2007 4:24 PM

I don' t know, Joe. I think maybe people are vaguely aware of it, but in general, aren't that aware. I think it's easy to forget, if you hang around with very intelligent people who keep up with what's happening in the world, and have knowledge of history, that most people aren't that interested or educated.

I rail against Islam here as much as I do because I think people need to be awakened.

And as for the holy relics, the irrational belief in god is such a death express. Imagine if the Israelis said, "Fuck the old pottery, let's move the state to Baja!" (Ken Layne's idea.)

Posted by: Amy Alkon at June 4, 2007 4:57 PM

"Satoshi taught Monica Lewinsky in one of his classes"

Ahem. What was the subject?

Posted by: Radwaste at June 4, 2007 5:36 PM

> Heigh-ho, alas...

I got that.

Posted by: Crid at June 4, 2007 7:31 PM

> but do not want to get their
> hands 'dirty' and deal

I think there's a little more to it than that. Every weekday morning America's new channels are choked with word of tiny, incidental slights requiring expensive compensation... A man makes $200/month more in executive pay than a woman, and there's a huge settlement. Blacks don't appear in sufficient numbers in this venture or that one, and vast scrolls of law are composed to tweak the percentages. We have a brutal, exquisite, inane sense of egalitarianism.

Most of us aren't too happy about the result. Well, actually, most of us just aren't too happy about anything, and seeing headlines like these give most of us moments where we think that Western Civ is not the best solution. These doubts are always shallow. We'd never want our kids raised anywhere else, but it casts a pall on our mood when we think about it... Which is about as often as we think about what's best for the Middle East anyway.

So as a result, your average fool gets a Michelob in his belly at a cocktail party and says we have no right to tell the Ay-Rabs how to conduct their lives. Despite his tone, he means this as a prayer that there's a better way path for civilization than the one that's left him so miserable. And he gets the bonus of appearing pre-emptively humble, which means a lot to liberals who want to throw their weight around.

But the difference in social freedoms is exactly the cause of the 9/11 attacks. Remember that almost to a man, the hijackers were middle class or wealthier. Osama himself was made fantastically wealthy through western interests. As we continue to pursue and achieve righteousness in our own society, we'll be an ever more attractive target to those without it. We can't just walk away and pretend it's their problem.

I subscribe to the Pamela Anderson Lee theory. Those people need to lighten up, have a wine cooler, and watch a busty blonde on TV.

Posted by: Crid at June 4, 2007 7:51 PM

America's NEWS channels....

Posted by: Crid at June 4, 2007 7:53 PM

from a friend who lurks, but doesn't comment, except by e-mail to me:

My periodic visit to your blog landed me on the discussion about the 72 virgins. Pitiful, really, isn’t it?

Anyway, do you know the comic Billy Connolly? He’s a crazy old Scottish coot, but he’s got some really funny material, and I saw him live at the Brentwood Theatre a couple months ago.

He was talking about the 72 virgins and said, “Listen, lad, you don’t need 72 virgins. You need two fire-breathin’ whores!”

He's right. The first time is, at best, overrated.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at June 4, 2007 8:16 PM

Sorry, about being a bit bleak a few hours ago.

Let's not forget the 72 mother-in-laws that will be accompanying the virgins.

Posted by: Joe at June 4, 2007 9:39 PM

On a similar note, I wonder if anyone has considered the consequences of some 20 million (and still increasing) Chinese males growing up without any hope of ever finding a female partner due to the one-child policy and resulting infanticide of girls. For my part I hope they can somehow be conscripted to fight the "war on terror" because if they direct their anger and frustration at the West as well, we're doomed from every angle.

Posted by: GMan at June 4, 2007 10:23 PM

Let's not forget the 72 mother-in-laws that will be accompanying the virgins.

Funny. Yes, they are WAAAY short in the reality dept.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at June 4, 2007 10:31 PM


Isn't there a significant amount of female infanticide or abortion in India?

I really hate the devaluation of women in all its forms.

Posted by: Norman at June 5, 2007 1:58 AM


You are correct. India is just as bad as China.

The reasoning in India is that girls cost more money because you have to provide them with a dowry. The more girls you have, the more money you shell out to marry them off. Boys bring in the money becuase their family recives the dowry of their future wives. IT's really a sad system all around. What's going to happen in 10-20 years, if not sooner, when there are no girls to marry?

Posted by: Amy at June 5, 2007 8:31 AM

Very neat paper, Amy. It's rare that a simple idea - polygyny correlates with male violence - can resonate so well. Stuff like this is why I love to read your blog.

Posted by: Andrew at June 5, 2007 10:58 AM

In China & India, I guess there will only be 2 solutions:
1 - the excess men kill each other off to even out the male/female numbers
2 - their society must adapt to polyandry (women having 2 or more husbands)

Knowing how territorial men are, I think Option 1 is more likely to happen.

A third option just occurred to me-they could go on raiding expeditions to other countries and steal their women! Very medieval.

Posted by: Chrissy at June 7, 2007 8:41 AM

Chrissy -

China's done that before. And it certainly something we ought to concern ourselves with. Given how easy it is to smuggle people into the US, it ought to be equally easy to smuggle them OUT.

Posted by: brian at June 7, 2007 9:50 AM

Kaja Perina is the most interesting part of this ?? Blog

Posted by: Coatesmoe at November 26, 2007 5:41 AM

Your ax to grind is?

Posted by: Amy Alkon at November 26, 2007 6:36 AM

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