In the nineties, the survey of Heitmeyer and others already put their emphasis on the meaning of Islamic organizations and associations. Nearly half of the Islamic youths showed attitudes which can be identified as Islam-centered claims of superiority. Moreover there were tendencies analyzed which were based on a religiously motivated will to use violence. About one third of the youths showed this kind of thinking which is closely connected to the Islam-centered claims of superiority on the one hand and traditional conservative views on the other hand.
Counter-argument to the claim that radicalism stems from a lack of education: Lately Gallup was reporting that – taking into consideration the results of nationally representative surveys – amongst Muslims of 10 mostly Muslim countries, about 7% are to be called radicalized. The criterion for this definition as being a “radical” was that the attacks of 9/11 were completely justified, in combination with a negative or highly negative attitude towards the USA. Remarkably, this group of politically radicalized Muslims was on average higher educated and also richer than Muslims not having this kind of belief (vgl. Mogahed, 2006c, S. 2; Esposito & Mogahed, 2007).
Victoroff (2005), summarizing the results of various international surveys to this topic, was also studying the social and economic backgrounds of Islamic assassins. The result of these surveys was that the terrorists, motivated by their Islamic ideology, had mostly a high level of education.