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September 11, 2001 Attacks

Islamic State's badass path to paradise

Islamic State's badass path to paradise

In his 1988 book “Seductions of Crime,” UCLA sociologist Jack Katz devotes an entire chapter to what he calls the “ways of the badass.” “In many youthful circles,” he writes, “to be ‘bad,' to be a ‘badass' or otherwise overtly to embrace symbols of deviance is regarded as a good thing.” According to Katz, there are three elements to being a badass. First, he is cold, “not easily influenced,” indifferent to others, unmoved by emotion. Second, he is alien, embracing “ways of living that appear hostile to any form of civilization.” And third, he is mean, engaging in violence “without the...