This is the reason why most kids nowadays are going towards terrorism. People with political agendas warp what little grasp of meaning they have of Islam, and snare these kids in to do their bidding.
I’m gonna have to disagree with that analysis. Yes, clearly the quality (and relative quantity) of Muslim scholars has deteriorated over time, but that’s not the reason kids are getting into terrorism. They’re turning to the dark side primarily because of desperation.
Let’s face it, some of the Muslim world lives in abject poverty and someone who’s got nothing to lose is more prone to sacrifice his/her life for what they think is heaven (by my interpretation, they’re going straight to hell for killing innocents and commiting suicide, but that’s besides the point).
Another reason would be the change Muslims societies have gone thru (endured?) due to globalisation. When a chick in Cairo or Algiers dresses up like a slut, that’s bound to attract attention and get exploited by some doomsday charlatan who will claim the world has is close to its end.
Impressionable kids are then drawn to what they view as salvation and join a so-called “Jihad”. Add to that the fact that the majority of Arab country got their independence in the last half of century to find themselves economically neo-colonized.
Those countries are governed by some ruthless dictator backed by the West, and that adds to the perceived notion that Judeo-Christian societies are trying to destroy Islam. Of course, Israel and more recently Bush add to the sentiment that a crusade is taking place. It’s actually pretty easy to see how Bush’s “war on terror” exacerbated the problem.
Just look at the frequency of terrorist attacks prior to the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq and after. The correlation is almost perfect. Now, one must not overlook another major component of “Islamic” terrorism today, and that is, as you correctly point out, the lack of education of 2nd, 3rd generation Muslims born in the West.
Most don’t speak Arabic and have a really hard time reconciliating their origins with their surroundings. Those fall prey to evil-doers who portray themselves as erudite in Islam, when in fact, they got it all backwards.
I got a little carried out. The point I was trying to make is that, while a non-Arabic speaker should not try to interpret the texts, Islam highly encourages everyone to learn as much as they can on different domains then interpret the Quran for themselves.
Al-Qaeda wasn’t born out of a guy who knew nothing about Arabic or the Quran. On the contrary. Al-Zawahiri is quite knowlegeable on both. He just happens to be a zealot who thinks he’s executing the will of God by blowing up innocents. His interpretation of the Islamic message is so wrong I can’t even think about where to start.
Anyway, back to the point. It’s not the lack of scholars that’s the problem. It’s rather a combination of economical, sociological and the hijack of some legitimate causes that’s at the root of terrorism. A kid trying to interpret the Quran from an english translation is not the problem.
It’s rather the existence of some radicals that brainwash them. In fact, most terrorists today speak perfect Arabic and memorized the Quran. But they probably never sat down to give their master’s interpretation a second thought. That’s where it gets dangerous. And that’s why Islam insists on not having central authorities to avoid such abuses.[/quote]
Trust me bro, ask a sheikh or someone who is amazing at their Arabic and you will realise how easy it is to misunderstand a verse due to omitting just one or two words or altering their meaning in some way.
But still, you are correct in saying that some kids do it out of desperation due to societal values changing and political issues. It’s probably a contribution of both (My point and yours). However you must realise that if the faith and Islam of the kids is good then the desperation is put to productive, Islamically allowed use.
Additionally, I may be wrong on the number of good scholars declining, but I didn’t say that was the main reason. It is certain that the majority of Muslims prefer to live by their own standards of Islam nowadays, what they hear or what they want to understand or their parents’ standards, instead of following the example of the Prophet Muhammad and the Companions.
Plus nationalism is a terrible thing, because you blow up people for your country, while justifying it as being a religious cause. Nationalism is a very iffy issue in Islam.