The news is full about the horrendous acts of mass murder that occurred in Brussels on Tuesday.
Following the attacks, some commentators from the right or far right wing were quick to link the tragedy recent Syrian refugees which have recently arrived in Europe in large numbers. Some even suggested that those that supported a humanitarian response to the events in Syria had blood on their hands.
Today it has been confirmed that the bombers were Belgian citizens who had not travelled from Syria - one had attempted to travel but was arrested and then returned to Belgium by Turkey last summer. These individuals were delinquents already known by the Belgian Security Services for petty crime
These attackers are linked to Salah Abdeslam, the suspect linked to the Paris attacks that was arrested a few days ago.
One thing that links these new bombers is that like the attackers in Paris they were not known for their religious views. These were Petty criminals who did not have many religious affiliations will not known to be practicing Muslims are not known to be educated Muslims or no much about Islam
This seems to be a link between many indiivduals who are carrying out various attacks.
In a recent case, an arrested leader from the Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram even failed to read the Qur'an!
While such groups and individuals often claim to speak for Islam, they are often ignorant of the religion and most do not even have a basic education of Islamic values and rights. These are often petty criminals who wants marginalised by Society.
There have been reports of Hostages taken by ISIS in Syria asking for a copy of the Qur'an and being denied it, with their captors often having no interest in reading the Qur'an or preaching Islam.
While a common assumption may be to think that Islam needs to be reformed to avoid extremism the problem is these people that are often responsible are ignorant and often uneducated about Islam. The scholarship of any individuals associated with such groups is also questionable.
Those that have been educated but about Islam are unlikely to fall into the same traps for coming the same heinous crimes.
I also question whether the domestic politics and agendas of the governing parties in Paris and Belgium have created an atmosphere that is more open to extremism. Both countries have in the past decade or so enacted laws that have targeted Muslims, most obviously by targetting and criminalising various forms of Muslim dress.
These laws were presented as an effort to combat extremism, but more often seen as a way of trying to assimilate and force change on Muslim communities. Instead what it seems to have done is alienate them allowing criminals and other individuals who have who had little to no previous interest in Islam, pushing them into seeking identity inthe marketing presented by organisations such as ISIS and in the past Al-Qaeda.