“They are good people, religious. When someone gets to memorise the Koran, it’s unlikely for them to do wrong. But this is what happened to the brothers.”
In reality, San Bernardino jihad mass murderer Syed Rizwan Farook had memorized the Qur’an. Manchester jihad mass murderer Salman Abedi was also a “devout” Muslim who learned Qur’an by heart. In Germany, a teen Muslima who stabbed a police officer went to mosque every Friday and had memorized Qur’an.
A savvy analyst might get the idea that there was some connection between the Qur’an and terrorism. But that would be “Islamophobic.”
Marawi City, Philippines: On his Facebook profile page Omarkhayam Romato Maute describes himself as a “Walking Time-Bomb”.
When a band of militants led by Omarkhayam and one of his brothers over-ran a town in the southern Philippines on May 23, festooning its alleyways with the black banners of Islamic State, the Facebook description seemed appropriate.
Officials say the video, obtained exclusively by Associated Press, shows one of the world’s most-wanted Islamic militant leaders plotting an assault in the southern Philippines….
Omarkhayam and Abdullah Maute grew up with several other brothers and sisters in Marawi, a Muslim-majority town in a country where over 90 percent of the population is Christian.
Marawi is, historically, the centre of Islam on Mindanao, a sprawling island where violent resistance to authority has been a tradition since the era of Spanish colonialism, spurred in recent decades by poverty and the neglect of successive governments.
As teenagers in the 1990s, the brothers seemed like ordinary young men, said a neighbour of the Maute family: they studied English and the Koran, and played basketball in the streets.
“We still wonder why they fell to the Islamic State,” said the neighbour, who was once an Islamist militant himself and surrendered to the government. “They are good people, religious. When someone gets to memorise the Koran, it’s unlikely for them to do wrong. But this is what happened to the brothers.”
In the early 2000s, Omarkhayam and Abdullah studied in Egypt and Jordan, respectively, where they became fluent in Arabic.
Omarkhayam went to Al-Azhar University in Cairo, where he met the daughter of a conservative Indonesian Islamic cleric. After they married, the couple returned to Indonesia. There, Omarkhayam taught at his father-in-law’s school, and in 2011 he settled back in Mindanao….