Raban Alou, according to the Daily Mail Australia, “had been in trouble with the law as a teenager, for drug use, robbery and armed robbery.” But then he turned to Islam, and Australian officials were pleased: “a January 2015 report by the Department of Juvenile Justice” actually “praised Alou for ‘getting more involved in his religion, stopping his cannabis use and disassociating himself from his negative peer group.’” Unfortunately, Alou’s involvement in Islam turned out not to be as salutary as the Department of Juvenile Justice assumed it would be: in October 2015, Alou “helped 15-year-old Farhad Jabar shoot police accountant Mr Cheng outside the New South Wales Police Headquarters in Parramatta.”
But that is unlikely to stop the Department of Juvenile Justice from assuming that Islam that Islam is an unalloyed force for good in the next young Muslim juvenile offender’s life. Australia’s Department of Juvenile Justice, like authorities all over the West, universally assume this, and so figured that Raban Alou’s growing more observant in Islam would mean that he would become a good, solid citizen.
Authorities all over the West consistently ignore the fact that jihadis are virtually all deeply observant Muslims. There has been a good deal of misinformation about this, with Islamic apologists claiming that they’re actually ignorant of Islam or non-observant, but there is little, if any, evidence to back this claim. A few years ago some Islamic State jihadis ordered some basic books on Islam from Amazon, and that is just about the sole evidence adduced to show that jihadis are not knowledgeable and devout Muslims. On the other side is a mountain of evidence, that the Islamic State mandated hours of Qur’an study every day, and that numerous jihadis became more observant in Islam before they turned to jihad violence.
Take, for example, the Islamic State (ISIS). In its heyday (and down to the present day, whenever it issues new threats to non-Muslims), it quoted the Qur’an frequently: in threats to blow up the White House and conquer Rome and Spain; in explaining its priorities in the nations it is targeting in jihad; in preaching to Christians after collecting the jizya (a Qur’an-based tax, cf. Qur’an 9:29); in justifying the execution of accused spies; and in its various videos.
The Islamic State also awarded $10,000 prizes and sex slaves in Qur’an memorization contests. One of its underground lairs was found littered with weapons and copies of the Qur’an. Children in the Islamic State studied the Qur’an and get weapons training.
But surely this is all for show, no? They may praise study of the Qur’an, but they don’t actually read it, right? Unfortunately, Muslims who do read it also have joined the Islamic State. One Malaysian Muslim said just that, that the Qur’an led him to join the Islamic State. A Muslima in the U.S. promoted the Islamic State by quoting the Qur’an. An Islamic State propagandist’s parents said of him: “Our son is a devout Muslim. He had learnt the Quran by heart.” A Muslim politician from Jordan said that the Islamic State’s “doctrine stems from the Qur’an and Sunnah.”
Despite all this evidence, however, the willful ignorance among non-Muslim authorities is nearly universal. And so when the next wayward Muslim youth comes before them, it is virtually certain that Australia’s Department of Juvenile Justice will demonstrate that it has learned nothing from the case of Raban Alou, and will once again praise the young man’s newfound interest in his faith. It seems as if no matter how explosive the consequences of this refusal to face reality become, the fog of false assumptions will not be dispelled.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His new book is Confessions of an Islamophobe. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.
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