Mohammed Emwazi, the man we now know to be “Jihad John”, and who has been seen on video beheading several IS hostages, didn’t always seem like the cold-blooded killer that he is.
Mohammed Emwazi, during his younger years, was not necessarily a stand-out villain.
A former schoolmate from Mohammed Emwazi’s secondary school remembered that he smoked and “got into some fights”, but nothing out of the ordinary for a kid that age.
He added, “There was something peculiar about him in that he was violent but he wasn’t someone who was loud, who talked in a provocative way.”
Could it possibly be that Mohammed Emwazi wasn’t radicalized until his stint in college?
Mohammed Emwazi attended school at the University of Westminster in London from 2006-2009, earning a degree in computer programming.
A former student of the university, who remains unnamed, spoke out recently about the every day goings-on at the university where Mohammed Emwazi spent his formative college years.
The picture this former student paints is chilling, including rampant glorification of radical Islam and Holy war behind closed doors.
The former student said that several groups at the university “created a hostile environment towards non-Muslims, were anti-Israeli, and homophobic remarks were rampant at the campus.”.
He speculated, “If this toxic environment endured after I left I am not surprised a ‘normal’ young Muslim struggling to find identity became radicalized.”
He also added that the University of Westminster was an “excellent” school, but “their tolerance was abused by people who played a double game.”
The university responded in a statement that read, “We condemn the promotion of radicalization, terrorism, and violence or threats against any member of our community. We have strict policies to promote tolerance among our 20,000 student community who come to study from over 150 nations. Any student found to be engaging in radicalized activity or intimidating others would be subject to disciplinary procedures.”
Two sides of one story. If these accusations against the University of Westminster prove true, will the product of Mohammed Emwazi change the way colleges and universities handle tolerance?
It’s an interesting thought.