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It is Jihad silly, not unemployment which drew 62 per cent educated Muslims towards terrorism

By Vicky Nanjappa
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    New Delhi, Aug 23: Abu Bakr al-Bhagdadi has resurfaced, there is a raging debate on whether terrorism is connected to unemployment. There has been a debate for long if terrorism is in fact connected to unemployment.

    If we look at specifically in the Indian context, then there is not much evidence to suggest that terrorism and unemployment are linked. Be it the Deendar Anjuman bombings in Karnataka, the Mumbai serial blasts or the bombings that took place under the Indian Mujahideen or Students Islamic Movement of India. All these bombings were undertaken with a specific purpose. It was either revenge or a clear attempt to propagate a jihadi ideology. Not one terrorist interrogated, be it Yasin Bhatkal or a Safdar Nagori has said that the bombings took place to avenge unemployment or they were out of job.

    It is Jihad silly, not unemployment which drew 62 per cent educated Muslims towards terrorism

    Which brings us to the main question and that is data available shows 62 per cent of today's terrorists are educated, highly radicalised and are fighting only towards achieving larger causes such as religious supremacy, establishment of Caliphate or jihad.

    Also Read | Presumed dead, Baghdadi resurfaces, calls on Muslims to attack the West

    Not employment, it is jihad silly:

    The Dhaka attackers were all from well to do families and had a decent education. Two thirds of the 9/11 attackers were educated. Kafeel Ahmed, the Glasgow bomber of Indian origin was an engineer.

    Meanwhile take a look at the four youth from Kalyan Maharashtra, who joined the ISIS;
    Areeb Majeed: Civil Engineering student, Fahad Shaikh: Mechanical engineer, Aman Tandel: Mechanical engineering student and Shaheen Tanki:HSC drop out.

    A recent plot to kill British people led to investigators finding that the module comprised a majority of doctors. Several surveys have shown that 62 per cent of today's terrorists have had a decent education and brought up in well to do homes.

    Terrorist groups while recruiting give the first preference to the Engineers. This is due to the fact that Engineers have technical expertise and would help in high profile operations. While this is a technicality, why would a well educated person who has no dearth of money enter into the world of terror?

    Also Read | ISIS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's son died in Syria

    The case in Kashmir is no different today. As per a report of Criminal Investigation Department (CID), an Intelligence wing of J&K Police, 32 per cent of youths who joined militancy had passed Class X and 19 per cent were undergraduates or graduates. While post-graduates constitute 7 per cent, the remaining 7 per cent who joined militancy were without any education.

    Over 65 per cent showed religious inclination before joining militancy while 10 per cent were academically inclined. While 3 per cent were drug addicts and the rest 22 per cent were vagabonds, the report submitted by CID to MHA said.

    Asserting social media had an impact on them, the CID report said 25 per cent of youths had access to social media in 2010 and 2011 respectively which rose to 30 per cent by 2014 and 70 per cent in 2015. The report says that opting for guns "is a youth phenomena" and youngsters "join militancy because of thrill seeker attitude".

    Radicalisation of Muslims:

    A document titled Radicalisation of Muslims in the United Kingdom states that the age at which a Muslims becomes radical is at 21 years. Further the document states that a Muslim is vulnerable to radicalisation between the ages of 16 and 34.

    It makes it clear that poverty or lack of education are not the reasons for terrorism. It is the thinking mind which takes up to terrorism as they are in a position to analyse and interpret things. The report states that there are a couple of reasons for radicalisation. The educated youth feel that it is the Western Policy that has led to Islam being under siege. Further the death of a loved one is one of the causes.

    Also Read | ISIS chief Baghdadi may not command daily operations: Here is why

    Ten per cent have taken to terror after a life trauma. Criminal records is one more reason. It has been found that 2/3rds of the Muslim prisoners who are not religious get radicalised while in jail.

    A video put out by a medical student, Naseer Muthana from Syria sees him speaking about Jihad. A highly brainwashed and radical youth, he says there is no life without Jihad. However his father had said after watching the video that his son was a well educated and quiet person.

    Difference between an educated and uneducated terrorist:

    The difference between an educated terrorist and an uneducated one are their priorities. The well educated terrorist has an understanding of wider political issues. However the uneducated terrorist commits himself to materialistic gains over ideology. Moreover, terrorist groups while screening for possible recruits prefer the educated ones.

    They are aware that the educated terrorist is more likely to end his life citing a political grievance.This however, would not be the case of an uneducated terrorist who looks only for materialistic gains. Moreover, in the case of an educated the chances of him being screened is less as the profile is less recognizable. 

    Many have termed educated terrorists as misguided youth. Experts say that this is today a myth and the educated terrorist is fully aware of what he is doing. In many cases it has been found that the terrorist has been brought up in a good background and imparted education. Further, it has also been found that the terrorist was not a loner and was even sociable and happily married.

    There is however a major concern when it comes to the sermons that are delivered by the radicals.Most Mosques are not under the control of the state. There is no regulatory authority overseeing the preachings or sermons that are delivered in some of the Mosques which urges the youth to take to terror. 

    Experts say that no Mosques should be allowed to function outside of a regulatory authority. There are a few Mosques which do preach hate and this has also been found as one of the primary concern.

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