The mainstream media and establishment counter-terror analysts are indefatigably determined to obscure the connection between Islam and terrorism, and to support their sagging claims that jihad terrorists are not devout and knowledgeable Muslims, and that jihad terror has nothing to do with Islam. And so here we learn that “the one area of education that was noticeably lacking” among Islamic State jihadis was “in Islamic law, or Sharia.” The Independent draws this conclusion from the fact that “of those who answered a question on the level of their religious knowledge, 70 per cent described it as ‘basic’, while those citing greater expertise were mainly Saudis, Egyptians, Tunisians and Indonesians.”
How much Islamic knowledge is “basic”? The Independent doesn’t tell us. But I would expect that these jihadis with a “basic” knowledge of Islamic law know far more about it than, say, the editors of the Independent, or David Cameron, or John Kerry, or Pope Francis, or any of the other non-Muslim imams who constantly assure us that Islam teaches peace. The Independent, however, has decided that a “basic” knowledge of Islam is equivalent to no knowledge at all, or worse, to misunderstanding the true, peaceful teachings of the Religion of Peace, as it goes on to claim that “the finding supports analysts’ assertions that Isis has twisted the Quran to serve its purposes, introducing brutal and ‘un-Islamic’ punishments in its territories.” So apparently as far as the Independent is concerned, a child with a basic understanding of the alphabet will mistake numbers for letters and take Z for the first letter of the series.
Then the Independent informs us that “an open letter signed by more than 100 Muslim scholars accused Isis of deliberately misinterpreting the holy book in 2014.” So apparently now a “basic” knowledge of Islam is equivalent to “deliberately misinterpreting” it, as if our hypothetical elementary schoolchild with a basic knowledge of the alphabet placed Z first out of sheer malice. The Independent continues: “‘It is forbidden in Islam to oversimplify Sharia matters and ignore established Islamic sciences,’ said the missive directed at the group’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. ‘One cannot “cherry-pick” Quranic verses for legal arguments without considering the entire Quran and Hadith.'” In reality, as I demonstrated in detail here and here, that “missive” was guilty of quite a bit of cherry-picking itself, and in the course of building a case against the Islamic State for Western non-Muslim consumption, ended up endorsing the concepts of jihad, the caliphate, dhimmitude, Sharia supremacism, and more. Hardly as “moderate” as the Independent would have you believe.
The reality is this: the Islamic State isn’t ignorant of the Qur’an at all. It quotes it frequently: in threats to blow up the White House and conquer Rome and Spain; in explaining its priorities in the nations it is targeting in jihad; in preaching to Christians after collecting the jizya (a Qur’an-based tax, cf. Qur’an 9:29); in justifying the execution of accused spies; and in its various videos. It has also awarded $10,000 prizes and sex slaves in Qur’an memorization contests. One of its underground lairs was found littered with weapons and copies of the Qur’an. Children in the Islamic State study the Qur’an and get weapons training. One Malaysian Muslim said that the Qur’an led him to join the Islamic State. A Muslima in the U.S. promoted the Islamic State by quoting the Qur’an. An Islamic State propagandist’s parents said of him: “Our son is a devout Muslim. He had learnt the Quran by heart.” A Muslim politician from Jordan said that the Islamic State’s “doctrine stems from the Qur’an and Sunnah.”
“Isis documents leak reveals profile of average militant as young, well-educated but with only ‘basic’ knowledge of Islamic law,” by Lizzie Dearden, Independent, April 21, 2016 (thanks to Max Abrahms):
Male, 26, single, quite well-educated but not an expert on the Quran – this is the profile of an average fighter joining Isis.
Analysis of thousands of entry documents leaked from the terrorist group has provided vital new insight into the background and expertise of its international jihadists.
The US military’s Combating Terrorism Center (CTC) said all evidence pointed to the cache being genuine, exposing personal details of 4,188 militants who joined Isis in 2013 and 2014.
“The importance of this data for understanding the Islamic State and, in particular, the foreign fighter flow, cannot be overstated,” analysts said, hailing an important step in fathoming the group’s motivations and techniques.
A unique personnel form exists for each individual, containing their real and “war” names, ages, education level, “jihad experience”, nationalities and numerous other details.
Each recruit was also asked whether they wanted to be a fighter, istishhadi (suicide bomber), or inghimasi (suicide fighter), with the overwhelming majority choosing the former.
Analysis by the CTC, an academic institution at the United States Military Academy, revealed citizens of 77 countries in Isis ranks, with the highest number identifying themselves as Saudi Arabian.
There were 26 British fighters on the list, far below the numbers from Germany and France in the files, which included names of known UK militants and three of the Paris attackers.
But the figure doubled to 57 for those saying they had been resident in the UK before travelling to Isis territories in Syria, suggesting that many of the men may have had foreign or dual nationalities.
The average year of birth was 1987, making the typical recruit between 26 and 27 years old at the time of signing up.
Ages varied hugely by country, with the younger fighters tending to be from Western nations including the UK, Denmark, Germany, Belgium, Canada and Australia, compared to older militants from the Middle East, North Africa, Russia and China with experience fighting in other conflicts.
“The average age of Western fighters is lower than that of non-Westerners,” the CTC noted.
“This suggests the need for tailored and nuanced prevention, intervention, and reintegration programmes.”
Another startling finding was the level of education listed, with most of the recruits saying they had completed secondary school and many listing higher education and university degrees.
The report described the group as “generally well educated” and said that although some of the fighters recorded no formal education, a roughly equal number held advanced degrees.
PhDs in economics, computer science, English, physiology and teaching were among those listed, with Western fighters being more highly educated on average.
The one area of education that was noticeably lacking, however, was that in Islamic law, or Sharia.
Of those who answered a question on the level of their religious knowledge, 70 per cent described it as “basic”, while those citing greater expertise were mainly Saudis, Egyptians, Tunisians and Indonesians.
The finding supports analysts’ assertions that Isis has twisted the Quran to serve its purposes, introducing brutal and “un-Islamic” punishments in its territories.
An open letter signed by more than 100 Muslim scholars accused Isis of deliberately misinterpreting the holy book in 2014.
“It is forbidden in Islam to oversimplify Sharia matters and ignore established Islamic sciences,” said the missive directed at the group’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
“One cannot ‘cherry-pick’ Quranic verses for legal arguments without considering the entire Quran and Hadith.”…