Syrian-born Imam Tarfa Baghajati, who is active on such issues as immigration, racism, and human rights as chairman of the Austrian Muslims Initiative, spoke with RFE/RL's Radio Free Iraq about Islamic State's efforts to recruit youths in Europe following reports that hundreds of Europe-based Muslims have joined their ranks.
RFE/RL: What factors could lead European Muslims to join up with Islamic State militants?
Tarfa Baghajati: There are a number of factors: first and most noticeable is that the young people who go with these groups do not have a prior strong bond with Islam and Muslims. They have never visited mosques and some do not even know how to pray. That is why they are quickly taken down an emotional direction, then in a religious direction. They are told that "We hold the absolute reality and we will show you the path of truth, of martyrdom, and the way to paradise."