Array of radiotelescopes in front of a mountain

Extremists and universities

I found James Button's article discussing how educated young men could turn into Muslim extremists while at foreign universities quite interesting. I have seen it happen with Asian (in this case oriental) students who arrive here ambivalent about religion and emerge as devout Christians. In their home country the students usually have a place in their society surrounded by people with similar views. They are taught that whatever their parents, teachers or government says is correct and not to question them. 

After they arrive in Australia they suddenly find their place in society is uncertain and that they must supply their own opinions in classes surrounded by others of a different culture. They find it frightening.

Along come the church groups with their brand of strict religion."Follow our precepts and you will be saved!" These groups offer the certainty and companionship missing from their lives, a cookbook of instructions for them to follow. I'm sure there's a bit of "we are better than the non-believer locals" mixed in too.

It's a pity that a place of study intended to expand your thought and question everything can end up having the opposite effect.