London’s mayor had some choice words Friday for Muslims who turn to radicalism, calling them sexually frustrated losers who turn to terrorism out of a deep-seated lack of self-confidence.
“If you look at all the psychological profiling about bombers, they typically will look at porn. They are literally wankers (masturbators). Severe onanists,” Boris Johnson told UK tabloid The Sun, citing an MI5 report.
“They are tortured. They will be very badly adjusted in their relations with women, and that is a symptom of their feeling of being failures and that the world is against them,” said the Conservative Party member, adding that they sought others forms of spiritual comfort because they were not “making it with girls.”
Johnson further contended that turning to radical Islam was a form of compensation for men with deflated egos and a lack of purpose: “They are just young men in desperate need of self-esteem who do not have a particular mission in life, who feel that they are losers and this thing makes them feel strong — like winners.”
The Sun conducted the interview with Johnson a week after his trip to Irbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan. While there Johnson met with members of the Kurdish peshmerga currently at war with the Islamic State.
The 50-year-old politician, who reportedly has his eyes on the premiership, went on to criticize elements of the Islamic community for not doing enough to convince young men to turn away from extremism: “I often hear voices from the Muslim intelligentsia who are very quick to accuse people of Islamophobia… But they are not explaining how it can be that this one religion seems to be leading people astray in so many cases.”
“They are not being persuasive in the right way with these people,” Johnson added.
According to Labour MP Khalid Mahmood, there are an estimated 2,000 Britons currently fighting with jihadist groups in Syria and Iraq — the majority of which are associated with the Islamic State.
Johnson, who later insisted that his comments were not “remotely controversial” while speaking with the UK’s Sky News channel, came under fire for his blunt statements.
“Somebody in a position of responsibility should be making responsible comments,” Mohammed Khaliel, director of the community cohesion organisation Islamix, told the Guardian on Friday. “For somebody allegedly aspiring to be prime minister of the country, is this really the style and level of comments that he should be making?
“He thinks any publicity is good publicity, but he doesn’t care about the discord that it causes in the community,” Khaliel charged.
Charlie Winter from the Quilliam Foundation, an organization set up by ex-Islamists to challenge and counter extremism, called the mayor’s analysis “ludicrous,” stating that many defy the caricature painted by Johnson.
“To imply that they don’t have social skills is again a generalization… that has no evidence behind it. They are integrated, many of them are very well educated,” Winter said.
In August 2014 Johnson wrote in his column in the Daily Telegraph about “Jihadi John” — the Islamic State spokesman believed to be from east London who has featured in several of the group’s execution videos.
“I suspect most of us don’t give a monkey’s what happens to this prat in heaven, whether he meets virgins or raisins — we just want someone to come along with a bunker buster and effect an introduction as fast as possible,” the mayor wrote.
“We are going to have to make up our minds very quickly about this ‘caliphate’: how we will respond to the irruption of a new and hellish country on the map, and how we deal with these Brits who go off and fight in its name.
“Do nothing now, and the tide of terror will eventually lap at our own front door,” warned Johnson.