Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 6

Radicalization Related Abstracts

6 The Fight against Terrorist Radicalization: A French Perspective

Authors: Julia Burchett


After France became the target of an increasing number of terrorist attacks committed by people who have been declared ‘radicalized’, the issue of radicalization has become the main component of the national Action Plan for the Prevention of terrorism, thus stressing the need to address the roots causes of this peril. Therefore, the aim of this research paper is to provide a preliminary review of Frances’s strategy in the fight against terrorist radicalization in order to point out the challenges posed by this phenomenon while also highlighting its contemporary version and the understanding the results. In this regard, it should not be forgotten that the process of radicalization does not always lead to a terrorist act. To this end, the French legal framework that applies to radicalization coupled with the judicial response provided by the National Court will be analyzed in the light of the need for a balance between the concern for security and the protection of fundamental freedoms.

Keywords: Terrorism, Criminal Law, Radicalization, France, fundamental freedoms

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5 Religious Discourses and Their Impact on Regional and Global Geopolitics: A Study of Deobandi in India, Pakistan and Afghanistan

Authors: Soumya Awasthi


The spread of radical ideology is possible not merely through public meetings, protests, and mosques but even in schools, seminaries, and madrasas. The rhetoric created around the relationship between religion and conflict has been the primary factor for instigating global conflicts – when religion is used to achieve broader objectives. There have been numerous cases of religion-driven conflict around the world be it the Jewish revolt between 66 AD and 628 AD or the 1119 AD the Crusades revolt or during the Cold War period or the rise of right-wing politics in India. Some of the major developments which reiterate the significance of religion in the contemporary times include: (1) The emergence of theocracy in Iran in 1979 (2) Resurgence of world-wide religious beliefs in post-Soviet space. (3) Emergence of transnational terrorism shaped by twisted depiction of Islam by the self proclaimed protectors of the religion. Therefore this paper is premised in the argument that religion has always found itself on the periphery of the discipline of International Relations (IR), and has received less attention than it deserves. The focus of the topic is on the discourses of ‘Deobandi’ and its impact both on the geopolitics of the region- particularly in India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan- and also at the global level. Discourse is a mechanism in use since time immemorial and has been a key tool to mobilise masses against the ruling authority. With the help of field surveys, qualitative and analytical method of research in religion and international relations, it has been found that they are numerous madrassas that are running illegally and are unregistered. These seminaries are operating in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA). During the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, relation between religion and geopolitics was highlighted when there was a sudden spread of radical ideas, finding support from countries like Saudi Arabia (who funded the campaign) and Pakistan (which organised the Saudi funds and set up training camps, both educational and military). During this period there was a huge influence of Wahabi theology on the madrasas which started with Deoband philosophy and later became a mix of Wahabi (influenced by Ahmad Ibn Hannabal and Ibn Taimmiya) and Deobandi philosophy, tending towards fundamentalism. Later the impact of regional geopolitics had influence on the global geopolitics when the incidents like attack on the US in 2001, bomb blasts in U.K, Indonesia, Turkey, and Israel in 2000s. In the midst of all this, there were several scholars who pointed towards Deobandi Philosophy as one of the drivers in the creation of armed Islamic groups in Pakistan, Afghanistan. Hence this paper will make an attempt to understand the trend as to how Deobandi religious discourses originating from India have changed over the decades, and who the agents of such changes are. It will throw light on Deoband from pre-independence till date to create a narrative around the religious discourses and Deobandi philosophy and its spill over impact on the map of global and regional security.

Keywords: Radicalization, Deobandi School of Thought, regional and global geopolitics, religious discourses, Whabi movement

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4 Limiting Freedom of Expression to Fight Radicalization: The 'Silencing' of Terrorists Does Not Always Allow Rights to 'Speak Loudly'

Authors: Arianna Vedaschi


This paper addresses the relationship between freedom of expression, national security and radicalization. Is it still possible to talk about a balance between the first two elements? Or, due to the intrusion of the third, is it more appropriate to consider freedom of expression as “permanently disfigured” by securitarian concerns? In this study, both the legislative and the judicial level are taken into account and the comparative method is employed in order to provide the reader with a complete framework of relevant issues and a workable set of solutions. The analysis moves from the finding according to which the tension between free speech and national security has become a major issue in democratic countries, whose very essence is continuously endangered by the ever-changing and multi-faceted threat of international terrorism. In particular, a change in terrorist groups’ recruiting pattern, attracting more and more people by way of a cutting-edge communicative strategy, often employing sophisticated technology as a radicalization tool, has called on law-makers to modify their approach to dangerous speech. While traditional constitutional and criminal law used to punish speech only if it explicitly and directly incited the commission of a criminal action (“cause-effect” model), so-called glorification offences – punishing mere ideological support for terrorism, often on the web – are becoming commonplace in the comparative scenario. Although this is direct, and even somehow understandable, consequence of the impending terrorist menace, this research shows many problematic issues connected to such a preventive approach. First, from a predominantly theoretical point of view, this trend negatively impacts on the already blurred line between permissible and prohibited speech. Second, from a pragmatic point of view, such legislative tools are not always suitable to keep up with ongoing developments of both terrorist groups and their use of technology. In other words, there is a risk that such measures become outdated even before their application. Indeed, it seems hard to still talk about a proper balance: what was previously clearly perceived as a balancing of values (freedom of speech v. public security) has turned, in many cases, into a hierarchy with security at its apex. In light of these findings, this paper concludes that such a complex issue would perhaps be better dealt with through a combination of policies: not only criminalizing ‘terrorist speech,’ which should be relegated to a last resort tool, but acting at an even earlier stage, i.e., trying to prevent dangerous speech itself. This might be done by promoting social cohesion and the inclusion of minorities, so as to reduce the probability of people considering terrorist groups as a “viable option” to deal with the lack of identification within their social contexts.

Keywords: National Security, Free Speech, International Terrorism, Radicalization

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3 Youth and Radicalization: Main Causes Who Lead Young People to Radicalize in a Context with Background of Radicalization

Authors: Zineb Emrane


This abstract addresses the issue of radicalization of young people in a context with background of radicalization, in North of Morocco, 5 terrorist of Madrid's Attacts on 11th March, were coming from this context. It were developed a study pilot that describing young people perception about the main causes that lead and motivate for radicalization. Whenever we talk about this topic, we obtain information from studies and investigations by specialists in field, but we don’t give voice to the protagonists who in many cases are victims, specifically, young people at social risk because of social factors. Extremist radicalization is an expanding phenomenon, that affect young people, in north of Morocco. They live in a context with radical background and at risk of social exclusion, their social, economic and familiar needs make them vulnerable. The extremist groups take advantage of this vulnerability to involve them in a process of radicalization, offering them an alternative environment where they can found all they are looking for. This study pilot approaches the main causes that lead and motivates young people to become radicals, analyzing their context with emphasis on influencing factors, and bearing in mind the analysis of young people about how the radical background affect them and their opinion this phenomenon. The pilot study was carried out through the following actions: - Group dynamics with young people to analyze the process of violent radicalization of young people. -A participatory workshop with members of organizations that work directly with young people at risk of radicalization. -Interviews with institutional managers -Participant observation. The implementation of actions has led to the conclusion that young people define violent radicalization as a sequential process, depending on the stage, it can be deconstructed. Young people recognize that they stop feeling belonging to their family, school and neighborhood when they see behavior contrary to what they consider good and evil. The emotional rupture and the search for references outside their circle, push them to sympathize with groups that have an extremist ideology and that offer them what they need. The radicalization is a process with different stages, the main causes and the factors which lead young people to use extremist violence are related their low level of belonging feeling to their context, and lack of critical thinking about important issues. The young people are in a vulnerable stage, searching their identity, a space in which they can be accepted, and when they don't find it they are easily manipulated and susceptible to being attracted by extremist groups.

Keywords: Youth, Vulnerability, Radicalization, Exclusion

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2 Islamic Extremist Groups' Usage of Populism in Social Media to Radicalize Muslim Migrants in Europe

Authors: Muhammad Irfan


The rise of radicalization within Islam has spawned a new era of global terror. The battlefield Successes of ISIS and the Taliban are fuelled by an ideological war waged, largely and successfully, in the media arena. This research will examine how Islamic extremist groups are using media modalities and populist narratives to influence migrant Muslim populations in Europe towards extremism. In 2014, ISIS shocked the world in exporting horrifically graphic forms of violence on social media. Their Muslim support base was largely disgusted and reviled. In response, they reconfigured their narrative by introducing populist 'hooks', astutely portraying the Muslim populous as oppressed and exploited by unjust, corrupt autocratic regimes and Western power structures. Within this crucible of real and perceived oppression, hundreds of thousands of the most desperate, vulnerable and abused migrants left their homelands, risking their lives in the hope of finding peace, justice, and prosperity in Europe. Instead, many encountered social stigmatization, detention and/or discrimination for being illegal migrants, for lacking resources and for simply being Muslim. This research will examine how Islamic extremist groups are exploiting the disenfranchisement of these migrant populations and using populist messaging on social media to influence them towards violent extremism. ISIS, in particular, formulates specific encoded messages for newly-arriving Muslims in Europe, preying upon their vulnerability. Violence is posited, as a populist response, to the tyranny of European oppression. This research will analyze the factors and indicators which propel Muslim migrants along the spectrum from resilience to violence extremism. Expected outcomes are identification of factors which influence vulnerability towards violent extremism; an early-warning detection framework; predictive analysis models; and de-radicalization frameworks. This research will provide valuable tools (practical and policy level) for European governments, security stakeholders, communities, policy-makers, and educators; it is anticipated to contribute to a de-escalation of Islamic extremism globally.

Keywords: Social Media, Islam, Terrorism, Political Communication, Refugees, Models, Europe, Extremism, migrants, Jihad, Radicalization, Islamic Extremism, Strategic Communication, Populism, predictive analysis, Taliban, Shariah, ISIS, de-radicalization, global terror, early warning detection, populist narratives

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1 The Appeal of Vocal Islamism in the West: The Case of Hizb ut-Tahrir vis-à-vis Its Competitors

Authors: Elisa Orofino


Islamism is a very debated topic in the West but almost exclusively explored in its violent forms. Nevertheless, a number of “vocal radical Islamist” groups exist in the West and legally operate because of their non-violent nature. Vocal radicals continually inspire individuals and lead them towards specific goals and priorities, sometimes even towards violence. This paper uses the long-living group Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT) to explore the elements that make the organization appealing to segments of Muslim community in the West. This paper uses three agency variables - reflexive monitoring, the rationalization of action and the motivations for actions – to analyze HT’s appeal vis-à-vis two other Islamist groups, Ikhwan al-Muslimun and Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI), having similar goals and the same high international profile. This paper concludes that HT’s uniqueness is given by its method, detailed vision of the caliphate, consistency over time and the emphasis placed on the caliphate as the leading force of HT’s unchanged motivation for action.

Keywords: Caliphate, Radicalization, Agency, Islamist groups, vocal radicals

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