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  1. #1
    12 and a half weeks BerberElla's Avatar
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    Default Can university subjects reveal terrorists in the making?

    Or personality traits/types?

    We found that engineers are three to four times as likely as other graduates to be present among the members of violent Islamic groups in the Muslim world since the 1970s
    The over-representation of engineers applies to all 13 militant groups in the sample and to all 17 nationalities, with the exception of Saudi Arabia.
    Our finding holds up quite well in another sample of 259 Islamic extremists who are citizens or residents of 14 western, mostly European, countries, and who have recently come to the attention of the authorities for carrying out or plotting a terrorist attack in the west. Although this sample contains far fewer people with higher education than the older members of the first group, nearly 6 out of 10 of those with higher education are engineers.
    We also collected data on non-Muslim extremists. We found that engineers are almost completely absent from violent left-wing groups, while they are present among violent right-wing groups in different countries.
    Why engineers? Everybody's first reaction is that they are recruited for their technical proficiency in bomb-making and communications technology, but there is no evidence for this. A tiny elite tends to do the technical work in these groups, and jihadist recruitment manuals focus on a personality profile rather than technical skills.

    So we are left with two hypotheses: either certain social conditions impinge more on engineers than on other graduates, or engineers are more likely to have certain personality traits that make radical Islamism more attractive to them. Our best guess is that the phenomenon derives from a combination of these two factors.
    We reckon that something else is going on, something at the individual level, that is, relating to cognitive traits. According to polling data, engineering professors in the US are seven times as likely to be right-wing and religious as other academics, and similar biases apply to students. In 16 other countries we investigated, engineers seem to be no more right-wing or religious than the rest of the population, but the number of engineers combining both traits is unusually high. A lot of piecemeal evidence suggests that characteristics such as greater intolerance of ambiguity, a belief that society can be made to work like clockwork, and dislike of democratic politics which involves compromise, are more common among engineers.
    Full article

    This thread is not about islamic terrorism, it's about all terrorism and whether or not certain personality types would be more inclined to be one.

    So what are your impressions from this article?
    Echo - "So are you trying to say she is Evil"

    DeWitt - "Something far worse, she's an Idealist"

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  2. #2
    DoubleplusUngoodNonperson
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    it's not surprising and I don't think it means a whole lot. Muslims don't have a lot of the foolish notions certain western theists seem to have regarding science and things like engineering (sometimes these are even labeled "the Devil's work" by christian extremists).

    For a muslim, learning engineering is a spiritual, even divine act because you are learning about God's creation DIRECTLY, and seek mastery over the laws of physics God has placed for us. OF COURSE a significant portion of the terrorists out there are going to study engineering - they'll make great money, learn an extremely powerful discipline, and please God all at the same time.

    What types are compelled to learn Engineering in the arab world? Just about any, if you ask me.

  3. #3
    Just a statistic rhinosaur's Avatar
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    I always knew engineers were trouble.

  4. #4
    Nips away your dignity Fluffywolf's Avatar
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    Engineers are the source of all destruction.

    If there wouldn't ever have been engineers, there wouldn't be anything to destroy.

    By the way, I agree with Noz, don't think it's type related. Faith and divine right overshadows personality traits by miles.
    ~Self-depricating Megalomaniacal Superwolf

  5. #5
    S Saiyan God Mace's Avatar
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    Nobody really 'painstakingly' studies hard during a degree course without a cause worth going on for - a lot of my fellow 'students' happened to go about their degrees solely because they prioritized it as a kind of 'atonement' for their religious practices. It's quite weird, because here we're seeing some potential minds motivating themselves to a cause they 'think' is important to them. It's why we have Islamic societies.

    ... Whether my former 'friends' (particularly the ones into the engineering department) turn out to become terrorists, or not, I wouldn't believe it's to do with Islam. None the less, it is true that terrorists ALWAYS tend to be pre-planned in an action, in which case they can be very educated, and smart.

  6. #6
    Away with the fairies Southern Kross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nozflubber View Post
    For a muslim, learning engineering is a spiritual, even divine act because you are learning about God's creation DIRECTLY, and seek mastery over the laws of physics God has placed for us. OF COURSE a significant portion of the terrorists out there are going to study engineering - they'll make great money, learn an extremely powerful discipline, and please God all at the same time.

    What types are compelled to learn Engineering in the arab world? Just about any, if you ask me.
    I agree. Engineering, from what I've gathered, seems to be a highly respected profession in the Muslim world - even more so than in western countries. I got the impression from my time in the Middle East, that young Muslims are encouraged to become engineers.

    I don't think the statistics necessarily mean anything.
    Quote Originally Posted by rhinosaur View Post
    I always knew engineers were trouble.
    I could tell that from the way they drink!

  7. #7
    12 and a half weeks BerberElla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Kross View Post
    I agree. Engineering, from what I've gathered, seems to be a highly respected profession in the Muslim world - even more so than in western countries. I got the impression from my time in the Middle East, that young Muslims are encouraged to become engineers.
    The article says that the country where engineers are most sought after is saudi arabia which is the exception in this case, most possibly because they are very well financially compensated for their qualifications since they are in high demand.

    Also, I wasn't ever under the impression that engineering was the most desirable career path for a young muslim man, but then maybe it's different in morocco.
    Echo - "So are you trying to say she is Evil"

    DeWitt - "Something far worse, she's an Idealist"

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  8. #8
    Pronounced eye-ee-dee Eiddy's Avatar
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    I find this to be very interesting. I have been living in Egypt and have noticed that most of the highly educated engineers have a very strong religious base. Al-Ahzar university is/was known for leading the world throughout history in education. Education is highly desired and respected here in Egypt as is their religion.

    The religion enforces their followers to acquire knowledge, language, sciences, and to study culture, history and such things. People of knowledge are the most highly respected in society and are not known for emotional outbursts.

    I guess what we should be looking for is the reasoning behind their acts, since they seem to be a highly educated.
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  9. #9

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    Is it not possible that those who are already radical Muslims chose engineering against their personal inclinations to be of "service" to the cause?
    "The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things." - Rainer Maria Rilke

  10. #10
    Pronounced eye-ee-dee Eiddy's Avatar
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    Actually I plan for my son to go into Electrical Engineering, to make a decent living.

    I can understand where those people come from as I used to be deeply involved with studying and learning, taking up those other types of study only came naturally, since I was trying to learn everything perfectly for a number of years. Perfection in all that we do.

    Thankfully now I feel like I can live, breathe, and be free to make mistakes. So unlike an ISFj huh? lol
    Johari / Nohari

    Enneagram 1w2/Lifepath 1/first zodiac sign Aries/first Chinese zodiac sign RAT/first born in my siblings of 3. Did I forget to mention first?

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