The quick version: a 26 yr old American named Mohammed Kweis traveled from Virginia to London to Amsterdam and then to Turkey. Met a girl in Istanbul who arranged to travel into Syria. Once in Syria, he headed to Raqqa. From there he ended his journey in Mosul.
He spent about a month undergoing rigorous religious instruction.
…his life under the Islamic State in Mosul was a “very strict” regimen of prayer, eating and eight hours of daily instruction in religion and sharia law.
It was apparently at this point that he decided that all this religious stuff wasn’t for him. I mean, they wouldn’t even let you smoke!! Who expects that from radical Muslims???
“It was pretty hard to live in Mosul,” he said. “It’s not like the Western countries, you know, it’s very strict. There’s no smoking. I found it hard for everyone there.”
He eventually fled Mosul and was picked up by the peshmerga around 80 miles to the west of the city.
I would just chalk this up as extreme idiocy (and, of course, treason), except for one thing. And that one thing was noted perfectly by a friend of mine when we were talking about this story.
It makes me wonder why he, as a now-and-then practicing Muslim who went to mosques only on occasion, thought the group that beheads, crucifies, rapes and plunders IS real Islam, while the group he joined that inculcates its new members with a rigid control structure built around an utter devotion to and rote memorization of the Koran is NOT real Islam. – MWR