The Daily Mail knows ‘Why suicide bombers are Muslim’

I haven’t had time to post much recently as I’ve been busy with a project that should be finished at some point this week/end. I’m perhaps also running out of patience with a media that will repeat any rubbish as long as it pushes a few buttons or causes a bit of controversy. If it’s about Muslims then any kind of conjecture will happily be published, case in point this article currently on the Mail website:


Seriously. That is the headline: ‘Why suicide bombers are Muslim (lack of sex)’.

How can anyone explain how a newspaper in a supposedly regulated, responsible industry could publish that?

The controversial psychologist in question is Satoshi Kanazawa who – from what I have read – seems to exist to talk absolute shit simply to sell books. His theory is explained by the Daily Mail as follows:

The linking of suicide bombers with sex made this one of his most controversial theories.

But while suicide missions are not always religiously motivated, when religion is involved, it is always Muslim, says Kanazawa.

Kanazawa states that in societies where polygyny is allowed – taking more than one wife, such as in Islam – there is a necessary number of men who are unable to mate because of the simple mathematics involved.

He says this is what makes men more violent or aggressive – they are competing for a mate.

According to his theory, his increased competitive pressure on men ‘increases the likelihood that young men resort to violent means to gain access to mates because they have little to lose and much to gain by doing so, compared to men who already have wives.’

This is why, across all societies, polygyny increases violent crimes, such as murder and rape, even after controlling for such obvious factors like economic development, economic inequality, population density, the level of democracy and world regions.’

He goes on to say that the idea that 72 virgins await a martyr can inspire young men in this situation to go on to become suicide bombers.

He writes: ‘For young, low-status Muslim men who are excluded from any mating opportunities because of polygyny among older, higher-status men, even such a vague promise in the afterlife begins to be appealing in light of their bleak reproductive prospect on earth.’

I’ll be honest I haven’t the patience to even begin to pick through this rubbish, I’ll simply cheat by nicking a comment from the Independent website that also covers the claims (without the Daily Mail headline about Muslims):

Note to Dr K, and any other ‘evolutionary psychologists’.

There’s this thing called scientific method. It goes something like this:

1. Make observation
2. Formulate hypothesis to explain observation
3. Design experiment to test hypothesis

Take careful note of stage 3. It really doesn’t work nearly so well if we go:

1. Make observation
2. Formulate hypothesis to explain observation
3. Sell book touting untested hypothesis as ‘science’.

Well ok, I guess it works for you and Gillian McKeith if by ‘works’ you mean ‘generates cash for very little effort’. But it’s still cheating.

13 thoughts on “The Daily Mail knows ‘Why suicide bombers are Muslim’”

  1. Surprised the DM went with the ‘liberals are more intelligent’ than his other theory; ‘beautiful people have more daughters’ illustrated with a picture of Suri Cruise, of course.

  2. so, according to his theory, mormon communities must be hot beds of planned suicide bombers no?

    not that i agree with polygamy but for goodness sakes, this ‘science’ is bullshit!

  3. This isn’t science, this is a “Just-so” story. Suicide bombers are (largely but not exclusively) Muslims at the moment for various reasons to do with current global politics, the history of Islamic countries and the way war was tied theologically to religion, the one-sidedness of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the tensions in Israel and a myriad other reasons. Boiling all that down into “suicide bombers don’t have sex” is just stupid; it’s something you’d expect of Freud, not a respected 21st psychologist.

    Also, Polygyny in Islam is relatively rare (1-3% of Muslim marriages of polygynous)

    To put it simply, if suicide bombing is caused by chastity and competition for wives, why isn’t America overrun with Mormon suicide bombers?

  4. Literally can’t believe how many ‘serious’ news agencies this guys managed to get coverage from, but it’s disgusting the way it’s been talked up particularly in the Mail.

    You ever heard of Adam Kadir-Buxton? Dr Kanazawa bears more than a passing resemblance.

    I think what really gets me is that the DM have put that Liberal bit in there (which is actually from quite a few months back) as if when this bullshit gets derided by anyone, the spouter of said crap can then go “Ahah! so you Liberal’s must not be more intelligent either then!?!?” At which point, the only reasonable course of action is to punch said spouter in the face.

  5. So…the nineteenth century Russian Nihilists, the Vietminh, Japanese kamikaze pilots were all just blokes who couldn’t pull a bird?

    And the Tamil Tigers have no religious motivation?

  6. I believe his name’s Andy Kadir-Buxton (not to be confused with Adam Buxton from The Adam and Joe Show), but yes, the man’s a certifiable fruit-loop. I fully expect the DM to pick up ‘schizophrenia can be cure by what is essentially a good hard slap’ next week

  7. And after no.3 you then get:
    4. publicise your findings amongst your peers.
    5. read what your peers say about it. If the majority of them think it’s correct; you can then publish it in a scientific paper.
    6. Then and only then it can go further; to main media for example.

  8. I would have thought any research into what motivates suicide bombers would be flawed by the fact that most of them are actually dead before we know that they are suicide bombers.
    Does this bloke use some kind of medium to help him with his research?

  9. By the same argument, surely monks should be subject to summary arrest. A lifetime of chastity clearly designates them as among the greatest threat to national security. Henry VIII thought they were a menace, so clearly we have history on our side.

  10. At first I was curious about about why they included the bit about liberals being intelligent.

    Then it dawned on me – intelligent sounds a bit like intellectual, so in Daily Mail land calling someone intelligent is meant as an insult, and will be taken as such implicitly if not consiously by much of their core readership.

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