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The Military Education

Jihadis Twice As Likely To Be Students of Science Than Of Sharia (telegraph.co.uk) 201

Bruce66423 writes: Time to cancel all the encouragement of studying STEM subjects, obviously...
The Telegraph is reporting that prominent jihadists "are twice as likely to have studied science at university than subjects related to Islam," citing a new report by the Centre on Religion and Geopolitics. "The report, which analyzed the histories of 100 of the most prominent jihadist leaders of the last three decades, said that despite claiming to be the sole interpreters of Islamic theology, they often had little or no training in the subject." Osama bin Laden went to a secular school and studied economics at college with little formal Islamic training, while the "underpants bomber," who tried to detonate a bomb in a plane over Detroit in 2009, got his degree in mechanical engineering. Of the 100 cases examined, "Around half had attended university, with 57 per cent of them studying science subjects, compared to only 28 per cent studying Islamic subjects."
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Jihadis Twice As Likely To Be Students of Science Than Of Sharia

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  • News at 11 (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    This just in: some completely random and useless data. Coming up next on this slow news day, our anchorman will stand on his head for your amusement.

    • "that despite claiming to be the sole interpreters of Islamic theology, they often had little or no training in the subject."

      Same with all the wack-job Christian cults across the US [with Christian instead of Islamic theology].

  • by ilsaloving ( 1534307 ) on Saturday April 23, 2016 @03:45PM (#51973661)

    People of science are far more likely to be using computers, and have far less patience for nonsense. Add a forced Win10 upgrade into the mix and... well...

  • by sciengin ( 4278027 ) on Saturday April 23, 2016 @03:46PM (#51973663)

    This will be the sixth time we have submitted the same story over the years and by now we have become very good at it:

    https://slashdot.org/index2.pl... [slashdot.org]

    My opinion to this was and still is that Engineers make the better terrorists because they are the only ones with the necessary skills to excel at it.
    Art, Literature, Law and even Sharia students simply do not have the know-how nor the analytical mindset to take apart a problem (building standing, people living) and formulate an efficient solution (bomb) to archive the desired end result (panic, destruction and mayhem).

    • by WoOS ( 28173 ) on Saturday April 23, 2016 @04:31PM (#51973897)

      Plus, what I am missing is a comparison with the ratio in the overall populace. I.e. if four times as many arabian/muslim people were studing STEMM (last "M" for medicine) than Islamic Studies, then actually people studying Islam would be twice as likely to become terrorist.

      It is OK if the Tony Blair Faith Foundation [tonyblairf...dation.org] wants to defend faith. But they should at least include basic statistical facts before writing articles.

    • by trenien ( 974611 )
      There is one basic mistake in your assertion, one that stems directly from the article: equating subjects like economics with science.

      Science is topics such as maths, physics biology and the like. Don't be fooled by the use of statistics: economics is anything but a real science (despite the continued propaganda about that). If it were a real science, you couldn't analyse events with theories based on exactly opposite axioms, and it could predict future events accurately (as opposed to only accurately pre

    • by dywolf ( 2673597 )

      engineers also have to deal with both managers and customers.

      if that isn't a recipe, I don't know what is.

  • by Ostrich25 ( 544788 ) on Saturday April 23, 2016 @03:47PM (#51973665)
    Perhaps if they studied Islam a little more, they'd realize blowing shit up does not constitute religious devotion.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Go on, read the books.

    • by Moridineas ( 213502 ) on Saturday April 23, 2016 @05:02PM (#51974059) Journal

      I love it when people (and President Obama is guilty of this too) white knight (and I hate that term) for other people's religions. Guess what, your opinion on what is real Islam is no more reputable or accurate than bin Laden's--both are merely opinions. You do not get to be the arbiter of whether other people are accurately following their religions or not. That's more or less how the Inquisition (and many similar movements across history and across the world) got started, and the end results are nasty.

    • by zapadnik ( 2965889 ) on Saturday April 23, 2016 @05:17PM (#51974119)


      There is only one version of Islam, and that is the Islam of Mohammed. Everything that ISIS is doing is based *exactly* on what Mohammed did. Killing non-Muslims is condoned in the Koran and practiced by Mohammed. The quest to conquer the World was commanded by Mohammed (Koran 9:29 and 9:5). Beheadings were practiced by Mohammed. Pedophilia was practiced by Mohammed with Aisa bint Abu Bakr and Hussan and Hussein bin Ali according to the hadith. Sex slavery follows the Koran (Koran 4:3) and the example of Mohammed with Maria the Copt, Safiyya and others. etc etc etc.

      This is why Al Azhaar University in Cairo (the highest source of Sunni and Shia jurisprudence) refuses to declare ISIS as un-Islamic, because it cannot! The Islamic State (Caliphate) is following *exactly* what Mohammed did.

      Critical in the study of Islam is understanding the Doctrine of Abrogation. If you don't know this then you do not understand Islam at all. Fortunately for the Free World many Muslims are good human beings that don't understand Islam at all. Unfortunately for the Free World the pious Muslims that do understand Islam are very, very bad human beings.

      What I don't understand is how so many Slashdotters make strong statements about what they assume Islam to be, without ever studying the life of Mohammed or the actual teachings of Islam (not the propaganda version intended to neutralize the Free World).

      Bonus: the best news about Islam is that recent archeological scholarship shows that Islam is completely fictional and man-made (this should be obvious, but in this day and age to many these facts are not). The archeology and Koranic scholarship show that the claims of Islam about its origins CANNOT be true. Thus, since Islam is a totalitarian theocratic political ideology (with some superstition sprinkled on top) and not a "personal faith" it is morally just to oppose the Islamic World (Dar al-Islam) fighting to impose Sharia (Islamic Law) by force on Muslims and all non-Muslims alike. Check out the evidence against Islam based on archeology (sorry, this is presented by a Christian apologist as they're the ones paying attention - we atheists have been asleep at the wheel when it comes to Islam, and even some atheists bend over forwards to make excuses for jihadis !!!):
      "An Historical Critique of Islam's Beginnings"
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

      The archeological evidence now shows Islam was created by Caliph (Arab Emperor) Abd al-Malik in order to advance Arab Imperialism. And thanks to the incompetent "leadership" of the Free World this imperialism is advancing rapidly again (for the third and possibly final time as the 57 member Organization of Islamic Cooperation seeks to fulfill their Islamic mandate to conquer the whole World and subjugate all non-Muslims into the Islamic political order).

      If you don't understand the meanings of the following words then you are not qualified to talk about Islam: taqiyya/muruna/tawriya/kitman; abrogation (nasik wal mansouk), al jihad al asgher versus al jihad al akhbar; the Sunna; the Sira;Reliance of the Traveller; ijtihad; Al Mahdi; takfir and fitna.

      • by digitig ( 1056110 ) on Saturday April 23, 2016 @05:37PM (#51974237)

        I'm more interested in how people who call themselves Muslim actually live their lives than whether that conforms to someone else's understanding of what true Islam is. And none of the Muslims I know seem remotely interested in killing me - some of them have had plenty of opportunity, but clearly can't be bothered. Maybe I've been lucky in the Muslims I've met, but there does seem to be quite a divergence between (your) theory and practice.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by zapadnik ( 2965889 )

          You do understand that there is a difference between Muslims (people) and Islam (the totalitarian ideology), right? It is the same difference between Germans and National Socialism (Naziism). It doesn't matter what any Muslim does or does not do, the only authority in Islam is Mohammed, and he most assuredly wants to kill or enslave you (its up to him, whatever benefits the "emir" according to Sharia).

          What I don't get is why anyone would apologize for this evil ideology? Islam is pretty much the same

          • The religion of Muslims is Islam, simple as that. The totalitarian ideology you describe does exist, but is usually described as "Islamism" to distinguish it from the non-evil (though arguably incorrect) religion that many millions follow.

          • by Xyrus ( 755017 ) on Sunday April 24, 2016 @09:01AM (#51977093) Journal

            Islam is the Scientology of the Dark Ages - created by evil men to control other men and (especially) women. Don't make excises to defend this lie !

            Ever read the old testament? There isn't a hell of a lot a difference between the atrocities there and those found in the Koran. Same theme's too.

            If you think the Jewish and Christian religions are based on rainbows and kittens then you really haven't read the Torah/Bible/etc.

            • I see this meme all the time. What I don't get is why you want to deflect from a discussion about Islam into a discussion about other superstitions? is this because you agree with the Muslim Brotherhood and ISIS (the Islamic Empire/Caliphate)? why else would you do this?

              Furthermore you demonstrate a complete lack of perspective with regard to the material. While the Old Testament is vicious the New Testament is a change to a more tolerance theme - hence tolerance is a virtue in Judeo-Christian derived

        • If we're going to abuse statistics, it's worth pointing out that if only 1% of Muslims support Jihadists, that's still a good 10 million people. Ten million. The results are clear enough [wikipedia.org]. In fact support for these ideas when polled (by Pew, for example) are far higher than 1%.
          • If we're going to abuse statistics, it's worth pointing out that if only 1% of Muslims support Jihadists, that's still a good 10 million people.

            And if just 1% of white people are nutjob violent white supremacists, that's 10 million of them. Are those of us in the USA and Europe as suspicious of white people as we are of Muslims?

            • And if just 1% of white people are nutjob violent white supremacists, that's 10 million of them

              Do you see the issue with your argument? [wikipedia.org] Here's the thing: There's a supply and demand problem with nutjob violent white supremacists. They're always brought up in debates like this but the supply of them is just not big enough to satisfy it. Your response is typical of course, as is being in denial about the problem in general.

              • Here's the thing: There's a supply and demand problem with nutjob violent white supremacists. They're always brought up in debates like this but the supply of them is just not big enough to satisfy it. Your response is typical of course, as is being in denial about the problem in general.

                Well, let's see. Here in the UK there have been two terrorist killings in the last 10 years. One was an Islamist killing and one was a white supremacist killing. In the USA there's been the Wisconsin Sikh Temple shooting, the Charleston church shooting, and if you count antisemitism with white supremacism you also have the US Holocaust Memorial Museum shooting and the Overland Park Jewish Community Centre shooting.

                Yep, there's a supply and demand problem sure enough -- there's a massive oversupply.

                • I'm not sure I agree with your examples here. Our security services aren't too bad and have uncovered and thwarted quite a few attempted terrorist attacks. I put this down to our long experience of terrorism in Northern Ireland (and Irish Republican terrorism on the mainland). But again you need to look at the list of Islamist terrorist attacks that grows longer month by month. You can throw out some examples but if you want to look at numbers worldwide, the story is completely different [wikipedia.org]. It's quite di
        • by jez9999 ( 618189 )

          And none of the Muslims I know seem remotely interested in killing me

          I'm guessing you're living in the US. Muslims are a tiny minority in the US. As their numbers increase, they get bolder and bolder. Below 2%, Muslims generally act peacefully because they know they couldn't fucking well get away with anything else. Try living as a non-Muslim in Pakistan for a while and report back.

          • No, I'm not living in the US, I'm living in London, England, which is about 12% Muslim. And my last workplace was in a predominantly Muslim part of the city, too.

            • by jez9999 ( 618189 )

              OK, same as me. As far as I'm concerned, Muslim areas are mostly shitholes. If you want to live in Luton or Tower Hamlets, whatever. I don't.

      • by sjames ( 1099 )

        My favorite neighbors are Muslim and they are nothing like your description. People read holy books and draw strange conclusions all the time. I think you've been talking to some of those people.

      • by cyn1c77 ( 928549 )

        If you don't understand the meanings of the following words then you are not qualified to talk about Islam: taqiyya/muruna/tawriya/kitman; abrogation (nasik wal mansouk), al jihad al asgher versus al jihad al akhbar; the Sunna; the Sira;Reliance of the Traveller; ijtihad; Al Mahdi; takfir and fitna.

        See, this is where we differ.

        I only need to spend 30 seconds studying a religion to work out if it is inherently sexist.

        At that point, I can immediately conclude that it is archaic and intended to be controlling of some subset of the human population.

        And then I don't need to spend hours of my life delving into it's silly history and jargon.

      • by dywolf ( 2673597 )

        oh FFS, not this BS again.

    • by jopsen ( 885607 )

      Perhaps if they studied Islam a little more, they'd realize blowing shit up does not constitute religious devotion.

      Yeah I would like to think that too... But the summary probably does stats wrong...
      Compare the number of people who study science to the number of people who study religion. There are probably a lot fewer people who study religion at an accredited institution.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by hairyfeet ( 841228 )

      Quran 4:89: They (infidels) desire that you should disbelieve as they have disbelieved, so that you might be (all) alike; therefore take not from among them friends until they fly (their homes) in Allah's way; but if they turn back, then seize them and kill them wherever you find them, and take not from among them a friend or a helper.

      Quran 8:12: Instill terror into the hearts of the unbelievers;

      Quran 2:191: kill the disbelievers wherever we find them

      Quran 22:19-22: for them (the unbelievers) garments of fi

      • by Kjella ( 173770 )

        You are taking a culture that is living like its 1216 and trying to accept them into 2016 and its never gonna work, all you will get is more terror attacks. Oh and don't bother with the tired "the majority is peaceful" because a silent majority DOES NOT MATTER. The Germans were mostly peaceful, the NSDAP killed 60 million plus. The majority of Russians are really nice, the USSR still racked up nearly 100 million dead. North Korea, Cambodia, we have literally thousands of years of history showing that the majority DOES NOT MATTER if they are not willing to put their asses on the line and actively turn on a dangerous minority.

        The silently majority is still more likely to silently side with those that don't give them grief. After WWI the Germans were treated like shit, long before NSDAP and Hitler. The economy was in ruins by war debts, one side promised to bring them to a new glorious future and the other still saw no other choice but to take the piss. And the Russian tzar they had before communism, well he wasn't exactly a man of the people either. No, I don't think the silenty majority of muslims will stop the fucked up radica

      • by sjames ( 1099 ) on Saturday April 23, 2016 @11:25PM (#51975849) Homepage Journal

        Let's look at the first passage you quoted. You do know that the 'they' referred to is people who have lapsed from their faith, right? And that the surrounding text says that they should be allowed to leave in peace if they will go. It even states that there is no point in trying to convert them back.

        Funny how a little context totally changes a thing. Throughout the history of religion, various nutjobs have taken bits and pieces of their preferred holy writing out of context and bent them for their own purposes. You should probably look those passages up yourself and read the surrounding passages.

        You should also know that Jews and Christians are explicitly NOT infidels according to the Quran.

        Of course, there are a lot of nutjobs in the Middle East taking a lot of things out of context but it is a mistake to paint all Muslims everywhere with the same brush.

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          The thing is, even though you are correct it still says that people who give up Islam must leave their homes or face death. So while it does perhaps have important ramifications for non-Muslims' dealings with followers of Islam, it's still terrible.

          • by sjames ( 1099 )

            It seems harsh to me as well, but I see it as none of my business since it will never apply to me. It certainly puts a damper on the fear mongers who would have us believe all Muslims want to kill all non-Muslims.

            It's also not entirely from left field. Many people in the U.S. have historically shown a preference to live in somewhat homogeneous communities. It's why so many cities have the various ethnic neighborhoods. That includes most (in)famously white flight (but only after making it clear "they" weren'

      • Yeah the Brussels attacks killed more than Christian extremists have killed in the west in THIRTY YEARS. One single attack racked up a bigger bodycount than jesus freaks could get in 30 years. the simple fact of the matter is the other religions? Grew the fuck up, Islam didn't. When was the last time you saw a stoning outside a Jewish temple? Seen any thieves hands chopped off outside your local baptists church?

        Just the Real IRA _alone_ have killed more than the Brussels attacks, and more with a single bomb, and that is _since_ the "peace" deals in Northern Ireland. The total deaths from that conflict are in the thousands since the 60s/70s, and more before that. All over a conflict over who should control divorces in the christian church.

        In that area of the world they tend to use kneecapping for thieves rather than hand-chopping - http://www.stuffyoushouldknow.... [stuffyoushouldknow.com] - not sure which is worse, not sure I care, both

      • "Oh and don't bother with the tired "the majority is peaceful" because a silent majority DOES NOT MATTER."

        Actually, the majority are sympathetic to many things ISIS believes.

        The Myth of Moderate Muslims
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

        83 percent of Palestinian Muslims, 62 percent of Jordanians and 61 percent of Egyptians approve of jihadist attacks on Americans. World Public Opinion Poll (2009).
        1.5 Million British Muslims support the Islamic State, about half their total population. ICM (Mirror
    • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

      More likely they would be the religious gits in the background talking other people into terrorists activities in order to empower those ignorant religious gits. They are smart enough to know they are not smart enough to earn a living from a real profession, hence the pursuit of a religious profession (not all, just the ones that demand donations for private jets and scream about fundamentalism, after all who has the most power in fundamentalist religious states). So the ones getting the religious educatio

  • Autistic worldview (Score:5, Insightful)

    by benjfowler ( 239527 ) on Saturday April 23, 2016 @03:51PM (#51973681)

    I would wager it's exactly the same reason why so many nerds I went to university with turned into raving, foam-at-the-mouth libertarians:

    Wahhabism/Qutbism is yet another simple, crude world view, which makes sense to smart minority kids who have to deal with adversity and petty racism that most Slashdotters don't have to deal with. Never mind the fact that it's wrong.... seeing yourself as a king who is being held down by people you see as culturally and religiously inferior to yourself (and then getting a license to rape and murder at will) has a lot of appeal to impressionable young minds.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by x0ra ( 1249540 )
      From personal experience, xenophobia and bullying comes from first from "liberals" who can't stand difference. It just turn out that I now make more money than these asshole, and can afford to buy guns and ammo, something that "liberals" bullies sure don't want.
    • Is that like how my neighbor's parents from NYC complained endlessly about the racism of Arizona when they passed their immigration law that made half the state move out (I don't remember what it was) but then disowned he when she married a guy from Mexico?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 23, 2016 @03:54PM (#51973699)

    And it's not xenophobia to question it (it's definitely not racism, either, as Islamic isn't a race). It's that most people think of Jihadis as being some cave-dwelling illiterate camel-herders halfway across the world, then call me names when I question the vetting process of the people we're letting into our modern, western, civilized nations. We've seen what's happened in Europe, yet it's still cliche amongst the liberals and elites to question an open border policy.

    You see, it appears that many fundamentalist Islamics are highly educated, in many cases (as referenced here) in the sciences, and many come from wealthy families. Combine that type of training and means with someone motivated to cause harm and you've got a perfect storm. At least here in the states, people like to compare fundamental Islam with Christian fundamentalists. Forgetting for the moment that Christianity's holy book doesn't call for the extermination of non-believers and infidels, most Christian fundamentalists are poor, very uneducated, and without the means (and in most cases, motivation) to cause any real harm.

    This being said, I don't for a second believe that every Muslim wants to blow something up or cause anyone harm. They probably just want to come here to get an education so they can better themselves. I've met them, and most seem like normal people. But it only takes a few suggestible people to cause one hell of a shit-storm. This is why I didn't understand the outrage towards Trump when he simply said we should take the time to make sure the Islamic people we are letting into our countries are not of the "kill-the-non-believer" persuasion. To me, it would be common sense to vet members of a religion that has sworn the destruction of western society into our western countries, but that makes me a "racist" xenophobe. Especially when the majority of Muslims that enter the U.S. in particular are military-age men here to attend our universities and earn advanced STEM degrees.

    But I digress, my point is when you live in country where it is illegal to NOT swear allegiance to Allah, even the rich, educated, jetsetting types that we in the western world equate with liberalism and atheism/agnoticism have the potential to be fundamentalist nutcases. And this is something that concerns me, whether it's fashionable or politically correct to do so.

    • most Christian fundamentalists are poor, very uneducated, and without the means (and in most cases, motivation) to cause any real harm.

      Or they are
      - rich (old money),
      - educated (or at least mum and dad gave enough $ to get a bit of paper from prestigious school)
      - well connected
      - and perhaps get involved in state or federal politics and so have the means to cause a lot of real harm to the populace in the name of their religion.

  • by gavron ( 1300111 ) on Saturday April 23, 2016 @03:54PM (#51973703)

    As shown in V, an allegorical drama about aliens on Earth...

    First they came for the scientists, removing those who would show the world the horrors it was facing.

    Now "they" are saying that studying science is linked to (one day they will say "causes" but not yet) terrorism.

    That's right. Look on all science students with suspicion. They may be closet terrorists. Turn them into your government leaders.


    • That's right. Look on all science students with suspicion. They may be closet terrorists. Turn them into your government leaders.

      If we could turn science students into our government leaders, some of them might be better than some of the government leaders we have now.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 23, 2016 @03:57PM (#51973725)

    If you're hellbent on blowing shit up, studying religion in college is useless. That's why you go for the scientific stuff instead. They don't teach you chemistry or offensive network penetration in a class about the Koran.

    Seems like this is being posed as a counter-intuitive idea, but it really makes perfect sense.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You are assuming they are starting with the intent of becoming a jihadi. Alternatively, if you start with next to no knowledge of Islam, it is going to be easier to be easier to be persuaded by other Islamists that becoming a jihadi is the proper Muslim thing to do.

    • TFA says prominent jihadis. If that means C*O and VP level, we're more likely looking at MBAs.

  • If it was, it would offer some theories that, you know, predict stuff reliably, and we wouldn't have one crisis after another.

    • Likewise, medical students aren't scientists either. Otherwise there wouldn't have been so many creationists among them.
  • How many of them had training from the CIA at Camp Peary? ref [greenleft.org.au]
  • by m00sh ( 2538182 ) on Saturday April 23, 2016 @04:12PM (#51973801)

    How many people go to university to study subjects related to Islam and how many go to study science (and obviously subjects related to science since STEM has more than science). I don't remember a religion department in my university but maybe that's different elsewhere.

    Also, US presidents don't study subjects related to political science.

    Maybe this is a perfect fear mongering platform. STEM is an immigration term. It was originally created to implement immigration policies that favored immigrants who studied science and engineering. So, a large portion of recent immigrants are educated in science, precisely what the immigration policy set out to do. Perhaps you meet an immigrant who has studied science, they he's likely a terrorist? Seems something perfect for Trump's America.

    • It would surely be nice to at the same time hear statistics going the other way: what percentage of science students versus what percentage of Islamic studies students are jihadis.
  • I keep hearing this canard from the Regressive Left. I've heard nobody claim that the more one studies Islam the more Radical one becomes. What is a true however is that the belief that violence is a legitimate response to perceived injustices towards Islam has a *mountain* of support from the Quran and Hadith, and unlike the Old Testament the Islamic texts haven't been "defanged" by modernity yet.
    • by gtall ( 79522 )

      And Wahhabism is spreading peace and love throughout the world? The dirty fat boys in the robes running Saudi Arabia did the deal with their religious nutjobs, go forth and waste everyone else but leave the Saudis alone. The revolution got away from them and they don't like it that it is now biting them in the ass.

      Shi'ism is no better. The muffin tops in Iran would be very happy wiping the last Jew off the face of the earth.

      In my opinion, what animates the followers on the ground is that by "striking a blow

  • Many of the posts here are either giving (a type of) science nerds crap for believing in overly simplistic ideologies or using this fact (which is hardly news) to support the terrorists are unislamic shtick (I have no problem defining terrorists out of "true" islam and emphasizing that anti-terrorist doesn't mean anti-islam but let's not pretend this has anything to do with one interpretation being right as a matter of historical interpretation and another wrong...no one really follows any historically correct interpretation,)

    A more generous take on the matter is that people who go into engineering and the sciences are more likely to take belief systems at face value and follow out their logical consequences. I mean even take a fairly mainstream belief like belief in the correct god is essential to salvation and that salvation means the difference between an eternity of bliss and an eternity of suffering. If you *really* believe that then any decent person should be willing to bring about any amount of earthly suffering to convince just one more person to believe correctly since that earthly harm is surely outweighed by the difference between an eternity of bliss and an eternity of suffering.

    The moral I take is that most people don't really whole heartedly believe what they profess. Instead they put social cues from their community over the implications of the faith they claim to believe. On the other hand even supposedly mainstream religious beliefs can encourage people who take these things seriously to search for a more coherent solution.

    When atheism is a serious option things probably turn out pretty well but in a society where the only coherent narrative is being offered by extremists a small fraction of those looking for serious coherent answers will turn to them.

  • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Saturday April 23, 2016 @04:57PM (#51974043)
    and the religion is just a front for it. Really, the US did (and does) a _lot_ of nasty things in the Middle East to secure enough oil to drive it's economy at the prices needed. It wouldn't be the first time religion was just a pretext, and it's in everybody's interests to keep the pretext up. For the Jihadi leaderss they get a supply of the really faithful ready to die and for the United States they don't have to discuss the very real grievances these countries have (like how we disposed Iran's democratically elected gov't and how we did the same in Afghanistan to get an oil pipeline they didn't want).
  • by Atmchicago ( 555403 ) on Saturday April 23, 2016 @05:33PM (#51974225)
    What fraction of the student population in general studies science vs. religion? If 57% of jihadis study science, but 90% of non-jihadis study science, then this would actually show that scientists are less likely to turn to jihad (and vice-versa). We need more numbers.
  • Telling us that prominent Jihadis are twice as likely to have studied STEM is informative, but doesn't really give us any extra insight.

    Here's the full quote:
    Prominent jihadis are often well educated. Forty-six per cent of our sample went to university. Of these, 57 per cent graduated with STEMM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine) degrees. This was double the number of jihadis taking Islamic studies.

    That they're well educated isn't surprising, prominent people often are.

    But does som

  • One hell of a lot more about Islam and Jihad than all the fucking idiot lawyers (and former lawyers) in the US government who keep claiming ISIS and terrorism have nothing to do with Islam.

  • The message of the article could easily be turned 180 by pointing out the ratio of % of Jihadis who studied Islamic subjects to the % of non-Jihadis who did. Unfortunately I couldn't easily find the total % of those who study engineering disciplines to do a comparison on that point. Please do your part to prevent clickbait like this in the future.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Donald Trump has announced that if elected he plans to build a wall around MIT.

  • Repeat after me: correlation does not imply causation. It could simply be because smart people prefer to study science, and you have also to be somewhat smart to become "prominent leaders" in any group of people, including jihadists.

  • Get one.

    That's something that engineers and STEM students in general eschew. Worse yet, look at all the coders out there that claim not to need even a CS education, let alone broader studies in social sciences, humanities, history, etc. So what we end up with is a bunch of idiot savants. Now throw in a pinch of the Dunning-Kruger effect [wikipedia.org] and people think that because they are educated in one area, that carries over to other topics.

  • The more people studied about theology and the bible, the more they actually could reflect on the relative value of any short-lived interpretation of their religious values in terms of a possible absolute law.

    If you actually know and understand how religion is transferred into laws, then you wont make up your rules just to justify raping, killing and stealing.

  • OK /. editors, listen up: economics and engineering are NOT science. Osama was an economist, underpants was an engineer, and stats show that many fewer scientists go jihadi. Please stop trying to give scientists a bad name.
  • ...than reading comments from those who are loud and proud in their support for 12 carrier groups, 2300 fighter jets, bases in a hundred countries, guns in every home, safety through armament, gigantic standing army their founders were terrified of...all sounding off on how inherently, congenitally violent another culture is.

    As to the STEM jihadis, not remotely surprising. We're taught to think our way logically and critically through technical problems, but that doesn't automatically transfer to how you t

  • Whenever I sit next to a scientist or scholar at a banquet I always take the opportunity to pick their brains. For example I once sat next to an aero-astro professor so I tried to get him to explain the Bernoulli effect in plain language -- and he almost succeeded. If I don't know anything about the person's field I'll ask him what the one thing he'd like his introductory level students to take away from his class.

    So I was sitting next to a sociologists, and since I knew literally nothing about sociology s

  • There's probably a simpler explanation. People in general are vastly more likely to be science students than "sharia" students. The ratio of science students to "sharia" students being 2:1 is actually incredibly low compared to the population in general. The percentage of Islamic scholars is still abnormally high among the jihadi group, which is pretty much what common sense would lead one to expect.

The last thing one knows in constructing a work is what to put first. -- Blaise Pascal