Establishment counterterror analyst Max Abrahms once agreed to debate me on the question of whether or not the Islamic State is Islamic, but then lost his nerve and backed out, leaving behind a smokescreen of ad hominem attacks to mask his cowardice. And here we see how he would have fared if that debate had happened: in a review of Abrahms’ new book, Diana Darke inadvertently reveals that Abrahms is abjectly ignorant of Islam, and of the jihad terrorists about whom he professes to have expert knowledge.
Darke writes: “Up to 80 per cent of jihadists, Abrahms tells us, have been assessed by scholars as being ‘largely ignorant about Islam’. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi himself only turned to Islamic theology when he failed to get the grades to study law. An analysis on al-Qaeda operatives in the West found that ‘they went to bars and frequented prostitutes more often than they went to the mosque.’”
All three of these points are absolutely worthless to establish the point that the jihadis are ignorant of Islam. Taking the last one first, both Abrahms and Darke are clearly ignorant of the fact that jihadis often go to bars and frequent prostitutes — the 9/11 hijackers went to a strip club — because they know that their act of jihad will outweigh any sins they commit. “We shall set up scales of justice for the Day of Judgment,” says the Qur’an (21:47): if one’s good deeds outweigh one’s evil deeds, one will go to Paradise, but if one’s evil deeds outweigh one’s good deeds, one will go to hell. And what good deed weighs the most? A hadith has a Muslim asking Muhammad: “Instruct me as to such a deed as equals Jihad (in reward).” Muhammad replied, “I do not find such a deed.” (Bukhari 4.52.44)