For at least a decade the issue of young Muslims becoming radicalised towards violent extremism has been one of concern for academics and practitioners like me. While we work on a daily basis to find ways to prevent radicalisation or intervene in the radicalisation process, occasionally the issue grabs the attention of the international media: usually in the aftermath of attacks such as the Boston marathon bombings and last week’s shootings at the offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine and a kosher supermarket in Paris…
…The fact is that the role of religion in radicalisation (and deradicalisation) is grossly overestimated. There is actually no empirical evidence to support the claim that religion (any religion) and ideology are the primary motivators of violent extremism.
The revelation that wannabe foreign fighters prepared for battle by reading copies of Islam for Dummies and The Koran for Dummies, underscores this. The point has also been made by some of the world’s most renowned scholars of terrorism who agree that other factors play a much larger role.
Factors such as anger at injustice, moral superiority, a sense of identity and purpose, the promise of adventure, and becoming a hero have all been implicated in case studies of radicalisation. Religion and ideology serve as vehicles for an “us versus them” mentality and as the justification for violence against those who represent “the enemy”, but they are not the drivers of radicalization…
Odd that it is always Islam that the nut cases turn to, isn’t it? No “lone wolves” are converting to Buddhism and then driving into crowds.
The Guardian editors are idiots.
Sadly, they and their fellow-travellers are responsible for the disaster of mass Muslim immigration to the West.
The Guardian is also hysterical because “Nigel Farage tells Fox News there are no-go zones for non-Muslims in France.”
The Guardian editors might like to speak to these folks: Al Qaeda claims French attack, derides Paris rally