Yesterday a meeting with a dear friend, Islamic scholar and historian who gives a very bleak picture of jihadist activity in his part of the world and others. Many joining ISIS. Not just young men but women, senior professors (generally of science). It is the dream of the caliphate that matters. It is not a moral crusade, it is not directly linked to specific religious texts. It is not Islam as such. It is not rational nor has it a focused sense of grievance, he says. It is a climate or current that sweeps people up. It would not be satisfied with regaining old Moorish parts of Spain.Now, who is going to tell me again about the minuscule minority?
'And they are such gentle, beautiful people,' he adds. He asked one with whom he had had an amiable conversation whether he would kill him if he didn't convert to what the other considered the correct form of Islam. The other smiled shyly and said, Yes.
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