What Is the Driving Force behind Jihadist Terrorism? A Scientifi c Perspective on the Causes/Circumstances of Joining the Scene Cover Image
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Каква е движещата сила зад джихадисткия тероризъм? Научна перспектива върху причините за присъединяване към него
What Is the Driving Force behind Jihadist Terrorism? A Scientifi c Perspective on the Causes/Circumstances of Joining the Scene

Author(s): Oliver Roy
Subject(s): Politics / Political Sciences, Civil Society, Governance, Politics and law, Politics and communication, Politics and religion
Published by: Фондация за хуманитарни и социални изследвания - София
Keywords: Islam; jihad; terrorism; radicalization; revolt; youth culture; Salafism

Summary/Abstract: The paper explains the motivations behind radical Islamism and the recruitment to engage in jihadist terrorism. More precisely, it outlines the common patterns which define the process of Islamic radicalization in western European societies. The paper argues that Islamic radicalization must be understood as an individual phenomenon and not a problem affl icting Muslim communities more systemically. Moreover, the phenomenon is distinctly youthful in form. In sum, the paper demonstrates that radicalization is a youth revolt against society articulated on an Islamic religious narrative of jihad. It is not the uprising of a Muslim community victim of poverty and racism: only young people join, including converts who did not share the ‘sufferings’ of Muslims in Europe. These rebels without a cause fi nd in jihad a ‘noble’ and global cause, and are consequently instrumentalized by a radical organization (Al Qaeda, ISIS) that has a strategic agenda. The paper concludes by outlining a general strategy to counter radicalization and the recruitment for jihadi terrorism. The priority, beyond building a more sophisticated intelligence system, is to debunk the narrative of heroism, to break the ‘success story’ of ISIS as being invincible (including on the ground) and to let Islam in Europe appear as a ‘normal’ religion. The aim is to accentuate the estrangement of radicals from the Muslim population and to dry up the narrative of Islam as the religion of the oppressed.

  • Issue Year: 2016
  • Issue No: 45
  • Page Range: 211-219
  • Page Count: 9
  • Language: Bulgarian