Born in Kuwait and raised in Britain from the age of six, he benefited from all the advantages our liberal democracy bestows on its citizens – free education, free healthcare, free expression, and freedom of worship.
He had a comfortable home in a decent neighbourhood not far from the Notting Hill house of the Prime Minister, went to a Church of England primary school and, as a boy, is said to have been polite and studious – achieving a degree in computer science at Westminster University.
So how did an ordinary British Muslim boy – real name Mohammed Emwazi – mutate into a swaggering monster capable of hacking off the heads of innocent hostages in the name of religion?
Did his friends, family and fellow worshippers at his south London mosque realise how dangerously radicalised he was becoming, and if so, did they do anything to try to stop it?
And what of Westminster University, which has been repeatedly accused of giving a platform to preachers of hate?
A recent students’ union president was linked to the radical group Hizb-ut-Tahrir and just last night the university was forced to cancel a planned talk by a Muslim cleric who has previously described homosexuality as ‘a scourge’ and Jews as being descended from ‘apes and pigs’.Here comes the wrong question:
Was he radicalised there? And if so, do we need to rethink liberal assumptions about free speech that have been the basis of so much of our culture for so long?
No, what we need to rethink are (fundamentally flawed) liberal assumptions about "diversity" and "multiculturalism." And maybe take a look at who you've been letting into your country, and what's being preached online and at the local mosque.
Why would we "rethink" free speech when it's the sparkplug that keeps free societies free?