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Islamic Religious Curricula and Terrorism

Islamic Religious Curricula and Terrorism

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This study examines the connection between Islamic religious education and terrorism. It looks at the curricula of the Azherite religious schools in Egypt. It examines how the curricula view the three themes of Jihad which are offensive Jihad, defensive Jihad, and Jihad for the purification of the soul besides the relations of Muslims with non-Muslims. Books which are used by violent Jihadist groups for membership acquisition and cadre training are also studied for Jihad themes and relations with non-Muslims. The analysis shows that the curricula are, generally speaking, a peaceful one in its principal direction, since it obviously calls for defensive Jihad and not offensive Jihad. Often, it deals with important concepts of Jihad within the confines of such subjects as the Jihad for the purification of the soul [the Greater Jihad]. Some textbooks included lessons on “Peace in Islam” and advocated the fact that peace is the origin in Islamic Shari’a and war is the exception and it is fought only for defensive reasons.