A group of professed Muslim radicals “had no basic knowledge about Islam,” according to a new study. Reblogged from Huffington Post
Extremists and Islamophobes alike have attempted to paint violent factions within Islam as the true expression of the faith. But a new study gives credence to what countless Muslim leaders, activists and scholars have argued: that groups like the self-proclaimed Islamic State are Muslim in name alone.
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.
Bacem Dziri, a researcher at the University of Osnabrück and co-author on the report, examined the messages from an Islamic studies perspective and concluded: “The group had no basic knowledge about Islam.”