Originally Posted by the shah
this is not an unreasonable position you have, but for something which is no fault of your own, there is little to no coverage of any activity, often public, against extremism. note that salafism itself isn't the cause of extremism, but can be correlated, just like emotion and anger are the path to the dark side. in fact, religiosity is higher among many salafists, whereas most extremists seem to be devoid of much scholarship (the ivory coast attackers were sitting around drinking beers; a german journalist who travelled to report on ISIS mentioned little to no religious activity; several foreign fighters who left the UK had just purchased "islam for dummies" books off Amazon before going -- maybe that should be a trigger to catch would-be foreign fighters). a major barrier to outspoken moderates is that there is no interest in magnifying their activities because it's much more exciting to find the nutjob weirdy beardy who sits at the pulpit and screams about divorcing oneself from the society (something for which there is an explicit and clear precedent against, but of course the guy shouting doesn't care or likely know?).Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
so when there is a movement, an effort, to speak out against what barbarity these folks seek, either the goal posts are moved or little attention is afforded. and in the US, many are not just sitting around with nothing to do. Around 10% of physicians are muslims while muslims make up just 1-3% of the population; the rate of higher education is much greater compared to the general population; most of these people want to get on with their lives and have to worry probably about the mortgage or their children doing well in school or what have you. but don't think that just because you see little coverage there is no effort going on to combat it. and all the while you have lunatics taking the pulpit to capitalize politically which further discourages anyone from doing anything.
to be honest, i probably wouldn't even be safe going somewhere like this, as arabs/muslims have told me these folks would just jump you no matter who or what you are.
Certainly, many of those who joined IS from the area did not come from particularly religious backgrounds.
Salah Abdeslam and his elder brother Brahim - who blew himself up in the Paris attacks - used to run a cafe in Molenbeek that sold alcohol and was closed down for drug offences. One friend of the brothers who used to hang out there told me he would regularly see Brahim Abdeslam "watching IS videos, with a joint in one hand, and a beer in another". He said Brahim would spout off radical statements but that no-one took him seriously.
Another friend showed me a video from a Brussels nightclub of the two Abdeslam brothers on a night out with girls, drinking and dancing - this was February 2015, just months before they started to plan the attacks in Paris.
this is a good read if you are actually interested in understanding rather than simplified political bullet point arguments
At least here, there is a VERY STRONG correlation between Salafist mosques and foreign fighters, it seems that they are very skilled at radicalizing and can do it at an astonishing pace. One mosque has ties to upwards of 90% of all foreign fighters coming from here. They even managed to radicalize a 16 yo girl in a month, she went from be atheist to being arrested with explosives ready for jihad in a month, she and her 24yo BF (former ISIS fighter) both have ties to the same mosque. To me at least most foreign fighters seem to have in common, they are all easily suggestible, not fully baked, former criminals, who meet someone who is able to sell them on becoming fighters.
Even what is regarded as moderate mosques have been caught with their hands down the cookie jar and having invited hate preachers. 31 mosques and islamic assertions were out after a documentary went out on national TV showing them preaching killing jews, gays, stoning etc. etc. and condemn the doc and not their own actions. Which is completely insane.
Completely get why moderate muslims try to hide, but if you identify as a muslim, you will automatically get put into the same basket as the bearded wonders, which will only bite you in the ass. As long as these mosques are able to get 1000+ to attend friday prayer, we have a problem which will end up blowing up in everyones face (no pun intended). If people take a stance once and for all and say, we won't have it, they will have to change practice, but we all know this won't happen, sadly.
The 10% of physicians are muslims to some degree just proves my point from a while back, about the immigrants, who go to the US vs. Europe.
There are plenty of areas in Europe, where it doesn't matter which religion you have and what you look like, what matters is that you are not from there Hackney "murder mile" in London is/was a good example of this.