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Study Shows Islamic Terrorism is Islamic
Although the internet evidently did play a role in the radicalization process, the study showed that face-to-face encounters were more important, and that dawa, the proselytizing of Islam, played a central role in this process, as the men themselves became missionaries for Islam.
The third factor was the establishment of a "them and us" distinction between the radicalized men and the rest of the world, especially the belief that the West is an enemy of the Muslim world. The distinction also involved a rejection of democracy and a commitment to the establishment of a caliphate governed by sharia law, which the men want to bring about either through dawa(proselytizing) or violence (jihad).
"The Islamic State is a byproduct of Al Azhar's programs. So can Al Azhar denounce itself as un-Islamic? Al Azhar says there must be a caliphate and that it is an obligation for the Muslim world. Al Azhar teaches the law of apostasy and killing the apostate. Al Azhar is hostile towards religious minorities, and teaches things like not building churches, etc. Al Azhar upholds the institution of jizya [extracting tribute from non-Muslims]. Al Azhar teaches stoning people. So can Al Azhar denounce itself as un-Islamic?" — Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah Nasr, scholar of Islamic law, graduate of Egypt's Al Azhar University, explaining why it refused to denounce ISIS as un-Islamic, 2015.