Saturday, October 28, 2017

Convicted Virginia Jihadi reveals what ISIS has in common with Orthodox Christian Monasticism

This revealing quote from Virginia Muslim and convicted jihadi Mohamad Jamal Khweis tells us something very important about the Islamic State (ISIS):

“Our daily life was basically prayer, eating, and learning about the religion for about eight hours.”

ISIS believes and practices Islam. They teach it, follow its prescribed cycle of prayers — religiously — and act upon it. Religiously.

This story reminds me of an article I posted here a few years ago — The Religious Equivalency Fallacy, Pt. I: On Zeal and Struggle — in which I discussed the difference between what happens to Orthodox Christians when they become more zealous (they typically become peaceful monastics) and Muslims (alarming numbers feel compelled to become violent and murderous jihadis).

In this account of life with ISIS, we learn that their "rule" (their "typicon", if you will), consumes about the same amount of time dedicated to religious and spiritual pursuits as that of Orthodox Christian monastics, who may be in church services, in prayer, and reading spiritual books for several hours each day, twice as much during Great Lent. 

With this in mind, it is especially significant how many Muslims, both in the Islamic world and in the West, support ISIS and its brand of Islam:

ISIS is popular among Muslims because it promotes and practices pure Islam. There is no denying this.

Virginia man Mohamad Jamal Khweis sentenced to 20 years in prison for joining ISIS

by Justin Carissimo, CBS News, October 27, 2017 (thanks to Jihad Watch):

A 28-year-old man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison after he was convicted of providing material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the Justice Department said Friday.

Mohamad Jamal Khweis from Alexandria, Virginia, was convicted by a federal jury in June. The Justice Department said Khweis left the U.S. in 2015 and eventually crossed into Syria through Turkey late that year.

Khweis spent 2.5 months as a member of ISIS in northern Syria. In 2016, he surrendered to Kurdish forces in northern Iraq and was eventually turned over to U.S. authorities, the department said. …

The department said Khweis used encrypted devices and mobile applications to hide his activity. After joining the militant group, he agreed to be a suicide bomber, prosecutors said….

“I didn’t agree with their ideology,” Khweis said in an interview with Kurdistan24 in 2016. “Our daily life was basically prayer, eating, and learning about the religion for about eight hours.”

Kweis graduated from Alexandria’s Thomas Edison High School in 2007, where friends described him as “one of the guys.”

“He wasn’t someone who was an outcast or something like that — he was one of the guys,” Harrison Weinhold told CBS News in March 2016. “There wasn’t anything that would lead me to believe that this was, like, on the radar, that he was just going to go join ISIS.”