2008 March 02 Sunday
Marc Sageman On Terrorism And Welfare

If you get a chance watch the C-SPAN segment of Marc Sageman speaking at the New America Foundation about terrorists. Sageman studies them as a social scientist and has made many useful observations about terrorists. His most recent work focuses on Muslims who live in the West. At one point he put up a slide showing that while 60 people have been arrested as Muslim terrorists in the United States by contrast 2400 have been arrested in Europe. He also says the 60 in the US were not hard core guys for the most part (can you say "entrapment"? sure). Why the difference? Europe has more Muslims. But also, and more importantly, the European welfare state gives young Muslims lots of time to sit around bored and grumbling. As my grandmother used to say "Idle hands are the devil's workshop".

Sageman says that the biggest state sponsors of terrorism are therefore the Western European welfare states. They pay most of the incomes for most of the terrorists active in the West.

There's an obvious conclusion here: We need to invade the European Union and overthrow all the welfare states. We could take over Europe and make it a colony. We could hire British former Hong Kong administrators and tell them to run Europe just as they ran Hong Kong: Low taxes and little in the way of welfare programs. Make everyone work like mad. That'll greatly reduce the terrorist threat.

Our occupation administration could also rid Europe of Muslim terrorists by deporting the Muslims. That would greatly reduce the terrorist threat from Western countries. We could even tell the Europeans that once we deported all the Muslims we'd allow them to restart their welfare states and then we'd withdraw.

If we did all that we'd still face one problem: Canada. What to do about Canada?

I'm thinking it might be time to force the break-up of Canada. In order to dilute the power of the Anglophone whites the French in Quebec have supported the multiculturalist claptrap that has made possible the large scale immigration of many Muslims to the Canadian welfare state. So the French north of our border are a root cause of the Muslim terrorist threat.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2008 March 02 07:56 PM  Terrorists Western Response

Matt@occidentalism.org said at March 2, 2008 9:51 PM:

My mother (who is probably as old as your grandmother) says "Idle hands make mischief", which is the same thing.

Anyway, I noticed the same thing as Marc Sageman a few years ago. I wrote "I dont think I have heard of a terrorist suspect that was not on welfare". I write about the welfare/terrorism angle here.

Snouck said at March 3, 2008 1:18 AM:

Nice theory, Mr. Parker. But we got very low unemployment in the Netherlands, especially under young people. In 2007 male unemployment was 3.6 percent. And we still got Jihadi terrorists. Who are all working or learning. The same goes for Denmark, which also has a lot of problems with Muslim unrest.

Its "criticial mass" that is essential. Many foreigners in the West live in communities in which all their social interaction is with other foreigners. If they are Muslims they will all agree that the ways of the infidels are offensive and have to be changed by Jihad. People who prepare for Jihad receive a lot of respect from the rest of the Muslim community. Which I can say from personal observation. Further, politically connected Muslims feel they are close to taking over politics in certain cities. So they feel they are this close to power.

Muslims are often not aware that they are a small minority in country, because they are so strongly concentrated in the cities. Opposition is still weak and peaceful. Western military power is seen as a joke, due to the West's inability to achieve domination in their wars. People want to join the Jihad before it is too late.

The situation in France is probably much closer to what you describe.



Bob Badour said at March 3, 2008 8:51 AM:


On this side of the Atlantic, people on welfare do not count as unemployed. Only people actively looking for work count as unemployed. Is that true in the Netherlands too?

Randall Parker said at March 3, 2008 5:51 PM:


I've read that in some European countries there's been a big increase in the number of people claiming a disability. They aren't listed as on welfare. But they do receive checks for not working.

I would be interested to see your labor market participation rate as a function of age. In the US for adult white males the labor market participation rate is over 70%. What is it in the Netherlands? That is far more telling than the unemployment rate as the unemployment rate in many countries (including the US) only includes those who are looking for jobs.

HellKaiserRyo said at March 3, 2008 6:35 PM:

You are wrong about Europe... it is not a place where lots of able bodied adults sit and home and collect welfare checks.


Randall Parker said at March 3, 2008 8:01 PM:

In 2000 some Euro countries had higher labor force participation rates than the United States (page down to find the 2000 column). But not all. Belgium was at 63.6% versus 67.1% for the United States.

That US figure hides a more complex pattern based on race and sex though. The white male labor market participation rate is far higher than the black male labor market participation rate. That difference has developed mostly since the 1960s and immigration plays a very large role in making it happen.

Also, the female labor market participation rate is much lower in the United States.

Luckily for the US, most blacks aren't Muslims.

What we need to know: What is the labor market participation for Muslims in Europe?

Snouck said at March 4, 2008 3:14 AM:

Mr. Badour,

Yes, that is the same in The Netherlands.

According to the CBS, the Dutch Central Statistics Office, the definition of people who are the unemployed is: "persons without work, or those who work less then 12 hours per week, who are actively looking for paid work and directly available" (my translation).

Unemployment as a percentage is the number of those able to work between the ages of 15-64 divided by those in the abovementioned definition of unemployment.

EuroStat, the EU counterpart of Dutch CBS uses a definition used by ILO, the International Labour Organisation. Their definition deviates in one respect from the CBS definition, namely that they count one hour per week as the treshold, whereas CBS uses a treshold of 12 hours per for counting someone as unemployed.

According to CBS there are 353 000 unemployed and according to ILO and EuroStat 294 000 unemployed in The Netherlands. According to CBS the size of the labor force is 7.5 million and according to ILO and EuroStat its 8.6 million.

Anyone still awake?



Anon said at March 4, 2008 1:58 PM:

I would be wary of citing Krugman.

Bob Badour said at March 4, 2008 5:10 PM:

Yes, Snouck, I am still awake.

So, the unemployed rate basically does not include anyone one welfare. The labour force participation rates Randall gave above paint a better picture.

My question is: Why is the US labor force participation so low? It's 10% below Canada and on par with the Netherlands.

Randall Parker said at March 4, 2008 5:46 PM:


My guess is white Canadians and white Americans have similar labor force participation rates. We really need a racial breakdown of labor force participation to understand what is going on in the US. Feel free to google on it and report back. :>

Snouck said at March 5, 2008 2:24 AM:

Mr. Parker:
"What is the labor market participation for Muslims in Europe?"

This is a question that is very difficult to answer. I have wondered about th same question, when I started blogging. But EuroStat does not publish such data. One has to go on the data which is gathered and published nationally, by national statistical bureaus. They all have different metadata. The data is published in many different languages, because we have so many languages in Europe.

It is beyond my capabilities to compile such a report, even if I had the time. I know only 3 languages.

Finally there is a country where such data is not even gathered for ideological reasons. France.

Perhaps there is a private institute that gathers such data for all of Europe. But I do not know of any.

Americans very easily talk of "Europe" as if it is an entity like the USA. I have noticed this too when I was working with Americans in Amsterdam on ERP related issues. Despite the EU and all every country over here is still very different from the next country in it laws and institutions. Not to mention national identity. It is very impractical, but it is the way it is.

But I would really like to start such a project. But how to get the funding? It would require some duplicity to obtain such funds without raising eyebrows. There must be a way.



Randall Parker said at March 5, 2008 9:51 PM:


Europeans (and Americans) make the same mistake in talking about the US as a single place. But its regions and cities are hugely different. For example, the murder rate in Louisiana is about 10 times higher than the murder rate in North Dakota. Another example: Connecticut has about twice the per capita GDP of Mississippi.

If we get down below the level of states and look at counties the differences are even greater. But that data is harder to search for on the web.

As for Europe and idle Muslims: Yes, the French hide the truth. But the US does this to a lesser extent. For example, the FBI Uniform Crime Report does not break out the crime data for Hispanics. They are included with whites even though Amerinds are not whites and neither are the blacks from Spanish-speaking Dominican Republic. By combining whites and Hispanics together the FBI reduces size of the difference of criminality of blacks versus whites while at the same time hiding Hispanic criminality.

Randall Parker said at March 5, 2008 10:00 PM:

Also see Wikipedia for highest income countries in the United States and also lowest income counties in the United States. The difference between the highest and lowest per capita income counties is almost an order of magnitude.

Curiously, a larger area of Kentucky looks extremely poor than of West Virginia. I would not have expected that. Some of the very poor Dakota counties probably have very few people. The poor lower Mississippi River counties are heavily black.

Proofreader said at March 7, 2008 2:13 PM:

Actually, in 20 years, Americans will be begging for Europeans to invade their once great country to save them from a grim Third World future.

If I were to take bets on the prospects of France and the USA in 20 years, I wouldn't hesitate to pick the former. The economy is in a shambles; the Republic is long dead and the place will look worse than Brazil in no time.

People overestimate the Muslim threat: simply put, Muslims are backward and largely powerless. Totally powerless were it not for Pakistani nukes. Muslims immigrants in Europe aren't precisely the cream of the crop and their birth- rates are already declining. They wouldn't be a problem in a sane political environment. Once liberalism is defeated, we won't have anything to fear from turbaned goat-herders and shop-keepers.
We could crush them like bugs or deport them at will if they misbehave.

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