Please note: The answers on Hawramani.com constitute friendly advice rather than fatwas. Where relevant, we translate the opinions and fatwas of respected scholars and present them in our answers.

How do Azhar-educated Muslims end up as terrorists?

I'm just wondering how come some people who graduated from Al-Azhar ended up terrorists? Many of them have founded organisations such as Islamic brotherhood. I thought terrorism breeds as result of ignorance and incorrect knowledge, but since they receive proper ilm, on a scholarly level , then why this result? I can't find neutral books on the topic, either its by an islamophobe or a Muslim who gives one perspective

It is similar to the way that people brought up in Western universities ended up as Marxist terrorists. People who look at the problems suffered by their societies (such as Americans constantly killing good leaders and replacing them with US-approved dictators) end up having intense hatred and resentment for these injustices. In this way they may end up justifying terrorist acts in the name of justice.

The State of Israel was created through various acts of terrorism, such as the massacre of Deir-Yassinthe ethnic cleansing of 700,000 Palestinians, and the King David Hotel bombing.

The terrorism carried out by certain Muslims belongs to the same genre of violent political activism. They believe that the end justifies the means, similar to the way millions of Israelis today believe that having turned Gaza into an open-air concentration camp is justified as long as they themselves stay safe. When it comes to educated Muslims, it does not take any stretch of the imagination to understand that when they see all the injustice and oppression around them, one out of a million may be hot-headed and unhinged enough to end up having a desire for violence in order to put things right. Anyone who blames this on Islam has to explain why the remaining 999,999 Muslims are not terrorists. For more on this see The Missing Martyrs: Why There Are So Few Muslim Terrorists.

Humans have free will, regardless of our knowledge and education, we can always act in ways that go against our background. Just because you know something is wrong or sinful does not necessarily prevent you from doing it, if you desire it enough, or if you are possessed with enough passion (such as anger and hatred against an oppressor), you can do things that go against your education and conscience and that you may later regret.

Most of today’s terrorism does not belong to the above. It is, rather, funded by foreign powers. The United States funneled hundreds of millions of dollars to the Taliban and al-Qaeda in the 1980′s in order to weaken the Soviet Union, and for all we know they may continue to do so since their terrorist acts justifies the American presence on Russia’s and China’s borders, very useful from a geopolitical perspective. See America’s Wars for the Greater Middle East by Andrew Bacevich, a professor of international relations. The same applies to the Philippines, the only Southeast Asian country that has a major terrorism problem (due to a terrorist organization founded by, unsurprisingly, a former CIA recruit). The Philippines has a major US military presence, as the US considers it crucial to have its bases in that area to threaten China, and terrorism helps justify their presence, as the US military act as helpers and trainers for the Philippines army.

Also see Overthrow: America’s Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq by Stephen Kinzer.

The enlightened Americans have a fine old tradition of supporting terrorists and mass-murderers when it suits their interests. Islamic terrorism therefore falls into two categories. There is organized terrorism, which is invariably associated with foreign intelligence agencies to get funding, arms and training, and there is the much rarer individual terrorists who justify violence to themselves by thinking that they are fighting against oppression.

The Middle East’s murder rates are much lower than those of Latin America, so anyone who thinks Islam promotes violence has to explain why Egypt’s homicide rate is 1.4 per 100,000, while Brazil’s is 27 and Mexico’s 18. If we compare Muslim countries to non-Muslim countries of equal affluence and development, the Muslim countries are always more peaceful. The exceptions, which are given all the attention, are cases like Afghanistan and Syria where the peaceful people of the West have poured billions of dollars funding, arming and training terrorists who are called “freedom fighters” while they serve Western interests (as the Taliban was called in the 1980’s, and as various al-Qaeda-affiliated but US and Saudi-funded groups in Syria are called today).

And God knows best.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.