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Study Finds Militants Have Little Knowledge of Islam

Bangkok, Thailand – February 20, 2014 : Apple Iphone5s held in one hand showing its screen with Facebook and WhatsApp application icons.

Reports over the years have established that individuals who join militant organizations such as ISIS are either completely ignorant or have very little knowledge of Islam. Muslims have been pointing this out for ages. Now there is a study, this time out of Germany that confirms this fact once again.

via. Huffington Post

A group of German scholars at the Universities of Bielefeld and Osnabrück analyzed 5,757 WhatsApp messages found on a phone seized by police following a terrorist attack in the spring of 2016. The messages were exchanged among 12 young men involved in the attack. The attack itself was not identified in the report.

Deutsche Welle noted that the timeframe suggested it may have been a bombing at a Sikh temple in Essen carried out in April of that year by a group of German teens with reported links to Islamic extremism.

Researchers conducting the study said the young men’s conversations demonstrated little understanding of their professed faith and that the group constructed a “Lego Islam” to suit their purposes.

People don’t join these groups out of a commitment to Islam but usually because of a perceived or actual grievance, and the influence of a close circle of peers.

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  • cmyfe .

    Would be interesting to know what is the percentage of western fighters. I have a feeling vast majority is of poorer background with issues mentioned earlier.
    Some western ones ( including women) wanted to return later after being disillusioned. Seems they were after some adventure / glory rather than monetary reward.

  • Bill

    It seems to me that they don’t necessarily follow the news too closely either.

    Remember how Cherif and Said Kouachi, who shot up “Charlie Hebdo”, claimed to be working for Al Qaida while Amedy Coulibaly, who shot up the kosher supermarket, claimed to be working for ISIS? There was a brief flurry of press speculation about Al Qaida and ISIS uniting but basically the terrorists didn’t have enough knowledge of current affairs to get their story straight.

    Just before that, Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale stood over the body of Lee Rigby ranting to bystanders about sending David Cameron a message to withdraw British troops from “Arab lands”. There were no such British troops – they either thought that Afghanistan is an Arab land or else hadn’t noticed the withdrawal from Iraq. It’s Terrorism 101 that you don’t put pressure on a government to do something it’s already done.

    I’m not saying that such incidents are just “spree killings” that happen to have been committed by individuals who are Muslims. But. Most mass murderers have some kind of twisted justification, often something to do with how they (ignorantly) view religion and politics and the press is rightly reluctant to broadcast their bombast as a reward for having killed people. A Muslim commits mass murder and we don’t even have to see any evidence that they know what they’re talking about before blaming their whole religion.

  • Khizer

    If these guys wanted to jerk about their nihilism, they should have stuck to watching reruns of ‘Rick and Morty’.


  • George Carty

    “Radicals never refer explicitly to the colonial period. They reject or disregard all political and religious movements that have come before them. They do not align themselves with the struggles of their fathers; almost none of them go back to their parents’ countries of origin to wage jihad. It is noteworthy that none of the jihadis, whether born Muslim or converted, has to my knowledge campaigned as part of a pro-Palestinian movement or belonged to any sort of association to combat Islamophobia, or even an Islamic NGO. These radicalised youths read texts in French or English circulating over the internet, but not works in Arabic.”

    “Oddly enough, the defenders of the Islamic State never talk about sharia and almost never about the Islamic society that will be built under the auspices of Isis. Those who say that they went to Syria because they wanted ‘to live in a true Islamic society’ are typically returnees who deny having participated in violence while there – as if wanting to wage jihad and wanting to live according to Islamic law were incompatible. And they are, in a way, because living in an Islamic society does not interest jihadis: they do not go to the Middle East to live, but to die. That is the paradox: these young radicals are not utopians, they are nihilists.”

    – Olivier Roy, Who are the new jihadis?

  • George Carty

    Daesh soldiers from the region could be mercenaries, but their Western fighters certainly aren’t! IIRC their pay is roughly $400/month, which is pitiful by Western standards.

  • Khizer

    DAE PHD?!!!?!?!!!

  • cmyfe .

    Yes but;
    1. before he became the self proclaimed Caliph he was seen with U.S. representatives.
    2. The people who actually do the fighting don’t have a Phd
    3. The scholars who denounced ISIS also have Phd and no affiliations with dodgy characters

  • NotAMuslamic

    But… but… al baghdadi has a Phd!

  • Awesome

    The traumatized, disenfranchised, under-educated, angry young people – a lot of fire and passion in their hearts, but not enough knowledge and wisdom in their heads to regulate it with. The unfortunate results of such a recipe are now apparent to everyone.

  • Khizer

    Some reasons are grief and possibly revenge against the west for destroying their families, lives and futures because of the war on terror. The ones who join ISIS due to these reasons are angry men being manipulated by ISIS higher-ups.

  • mindy1

    The problem is that “leaders” can easily manipulate the uneducated for their own purpose. 🙁

  • cmyfe .

    I don’t think a study is required to establish this. Most of the militants are just mercenaries. All they know and care about is fight, kill and die. Reasons to do this include poverty, personal issues and ignorance.

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