Radicalization puzzle

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Ngày đăng: 28/11/2018, 08:59

RADICALIZATION Hello my name is Muhammad Hafez I'm a professor at the Naval Postgraduate School In the past 15 years I've spent agreat deal of time studying political violence Recently I along with a student major Creighton Mullins published an article called the radicalization puzzle We live in an era where violent extremism is all too common Hardly a day passes without news of a terrorist outrage around the world: images of people being massacred, beheaded or blown up by suicide bombers fill our daily news in the past We drew comfort from the fact that many of these attacks take place in distant regions of the world far away from our peaceful and affluent societies but increasingly we know that violent extremism is not just a problem for conflict ridden societies it is also a challenge for us here at home Just think of the two most recent tragedies that are forever emblazoned in our memories: the Boston Marathon bombing of 2013 and the 2015 massacre of cartoonists working for the Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris These episodes remind us that an alarming number of young Muslims living in the West are attracted to radical ideas and are willing to act on them Most perplexing for many of us are the stories of young men and women normal or ordinary men and women who cast their lot with extremist groups abroad Tthousands have left their Western countries to join radical Islamist organizations as foreign fighters in Syria Iraq and Somalia Some are known to have engaged in gruesome violence including the beheading of Western hostages Some could return with the intent to us harm This is a simple question yet more than a decade following the 9/11 attacks on the United States governments and security professionals struggle to find a compelling answer to this simple question There are lots of competing explanations, theories and approaches to this vexing problem but there is little consensus on what drives ordinary men and women to become extraordinary extremists Today, we are mainly concerned with the threat of Islamist extremists like al Qaeda and the selfproclaimed Islamic state or Isis but the challenge of extremism has a long and sordid history that predates the present threat No single group, ideology, nationality or faith has a monopoly on extremism All societies, all ideologies, all nationalities and all religions have some version of al Qaeda and Isis The recent massacre of African American worshippers in Charleston South Carolina is a reminder that violent extremism knows no boundaries and can motivate evil in people from all walks of life As a matter of fact, since 9/11 more than twice as many Americans have been killed by racist and anti-government extremists than by Muslim jihadis In our research we focus on Islamist extremists but we draw many of our theoretical insights from the study of contemporary and historical extremist organizations that hail from outside of the Muslim world These include ethno nationalists in Ireland and Spain, leftists in Germany and racists in the United States All of these movements including the Islamists we focus on undergo a radicalization process What is radicalization ? (Việc làm thứ cực đoan hơn) Thuyết cấp tiến Radicalization involves adopting an extremist worldview one that is rejected by mainstream society and one that deems legitimate the use of violence as a method to affect societal or political change There are three elements to our definition of radicalization Radicalization is usually a gradual process of socialization It doesn't happen overnight Secondly radicalization entails adopting (dẫn đến hình thành) an extreme belief system One that mainstream society rejects as beyond the pale Thirdly radicalization makes possible that turn to violence but it does not make it inevitable Radicalization is not the same as terrorism In our research we conceive of radicalization as a puzzle that comes in four big pieces these pieces are grievances, networks, ideologies and enabling support structures These four pieces are present in the vast majority of cases we have studied over the years – Radicals usually refers some grievance be political, cultural, – economic or personal Radicals usually develop ties to extremist networks through family or – friendship connections Radicals usually embrace ideological narratives that give their – radicalism coherence and meaning And radicals usually deepen their commitment to an extremist cause through access to support structures such as social media and training camps How these pieces come together ? One of the most robust findings in the research on radicalization is that not all violent extremists are produced in the same way There are many pathways to radicalization that is why we call it the radicalization puzzle The radicalization puzzle does not come to us in a neat package with a preformed image telling us how to connect the pieces together Often times we can piece together the elements of radicalization after individuals have acted on their extremist worldview Once we connect the pieces, the four factors grievances, networks, ideologies and enabling structures reveal themselves vividly Let's talk about grievances There are many grievances that animate Muslim radicals These include a sense of economic discrimination and cultural alienation This is especially the case in Europe where Muslims feel a palpable sense of xenophobia and Islamophobia Muslims constitute a large segment of Europe's contemporary and historical immigrant communities Immigrants in Europe are sometimes seen as an economic threat while Muslim immigrants are seen as a cultural threat on top of the economic one Since 9/11 European Muslims are increasingly seen as a security menace in addition to being an economic and cultural threat The Madrid bombings in 2004 and the London bombings in 2005 have deepened Europe's suspicion of their Muslim citizens Beyond Europe, a common grievance that inspires Muslim radicals is a deep sense of humiliation and victimization at the hands of Western powers Western foreign policies are viewed as biased against Muslim causes and interests Common grievances include Western support for Israel in the Middle East, support for India against Pakistan or the invasion of Iraq Muslims suffering at the hands of Western occupying forces is a salient theme in radical propaganda This theme is often represented through vivid imagery that could enrage coreligionists Grievances can be personal as well Many of today's radicals are youthful Muslims or converts to Islam who seem to be seeking a path out of petty criminality, economic marginality or a life in a less trafficking These individuals are seeking to anchor themselves in mlu that could provide them a sense of purpose and meaning They want to turn their mundane existence on the margins of society into an empowered life where they could be heroic forging a new world where they are leaders and martyrs, not criminals and losers Grievances are not enough to produce radicalization however it takes more than that Millions of people around the world Harbor deep-seated grievances yet, we don't have millions of violent extremists or roaming around the world that's where networks and ideologies come in Networks Aggrieved individuals must be able to connect with extremist networks to turn their grievances into an ideology of militant action Individuals usually connect to radical networks through kinship and friendship ties Proximity to radicals is an important facilitator of radicalization and recruitment Unfortunately since the 1970s radical Islamist networks have spread around the globe due to repression in their home countries Many of these radicals establish themselves across Europe due to Europe's liberal asylum policies At first these networks were focused on fighting governments that expelled them from their home countries through exclusion and repression However, the rise of al-qaeda and the security environment after 9/11 led some of these networks to view the West as a legitimate target Why would some Muslims residing in the West finds these networks appealing??? Recruitment into these networks is done through kinship and friendship ties Human beings desire and derive psychological benefits from close associations If your brother or friend associates with radicals you may begin to associate with them too in order to maintain your values relations with brother and friend Once in that milieu, some become receptive to the ideological narratives that are promoted by radical networks Ideology is more likely to resonate with individuals when that ideology is expressed by valued associations such as a father, a brother or a friend Beyond kinship and friendship ties, networks also appeal to young idealist who are seeking visions that promise to radically change an unjust world Networks also appeal to restless youth seeking excitement and a sense of adventure and a promise of heroic redemption Radical networks not only facilitate recruitment of individuals through kinship and friendship ties they also deepen radicalism through spirals of encapsulation What does that mean exactly? Spirals of encapsulation involved disconnecting individuals from their normal world by demanding greater commitments to the radical world Individuals for example are told not to inform their parents about their radical associations Radical networks dissuade potential recruits from relying on ordinary media sources but instead turn to pre-selected radical websites, forums and publications for information Radical networks encourage intra-group bonding by creating opportunities for camaraderie with other members of the group while simultaneously pushing individuals to sever social ties to those not committed to their cause Intra group bonding can take place through exclusive gatherings or through activities such as camping and sports Ideology In a highly ideological setting this agreement is discouraged and conformity to dogma is praised All these developments combine to produce psychological dynamics of groupthink and cognitive enclosures They also lead to intense wings of anxiety and guilt if individuals begin to contemplating severing ties with the group As intergroup bonds mature, the costs of exiting the group increase What is the radical ideology that inspires extremism? The radical ideology is complex and has evolved over the years but it could be stated simply as a master narrative and three acts: – Act 1(Muslim suffering by domestic secular regimes): portrays Muslims as suffering at the hands of domestic secular regimes that are beholden to Western powers These Muslims are victimized and humiliated daily through – repression occupation and war Act (Existing Muslim governments powerless): portrays existing Muslim governments as impotent in the face of Western aggression too weak and feckless to defend Muslims Even worse they often collude with hegemonic powers to perpetuate Muslim suffering in order to stay in power and enrich – themselves Act (Heroic redemption): is one of heroic Redemption it is where ordinary Muslims with no country to back them up or an arsenal with which to fight step forward to fulfill their obligation to God to fight for those who cannot fight for themselves filled only with faith and a desire for martyrdom They redeemed the honor of the Muslim nation by avenging the suffering of Muslims and deterring future aggression by terrorizing their adversaries with extreme violence The last piece of the radicalization puzzle is enabling support structures These include physical spaces such as training camps in Yemen Pakistan or Syria and virtual spaces such as the internet and more recently social media These physical and virtual spaces provide susceptible individuals with opportunities to deepen their radicalism and give potency to their actions One of the key findings in the study of major terrorist plots in the West since 9/11 is this: Those who had access to terrorist training camps abroad were the most dangerous and effective terrorists Local networks in the West are the primary and secondary schools for terrorists but training camps abroad are the universities where they acquire advanced education in the ways and means of terrorism That is why the phenomena of Western foreign fighters is such a daunting challenge today One that we have yet to fully comprehend What about social media? Today there is growing alarm at the use of social media such as Facebook, Twitter and various other new technologies by groups like Isis Is this that real or mere hype? The evidence so far does not suggest that social media has displaced traditional social networks in the radicalization and mobilization of violent extremists However, it could be just a matter of time that terrorists will fully exploit these new media for nefarious purposes Social media has an allure that surpasses the original Internet The traditional internet is generally speaking vertical and asynchronous whereby formation is shared top down by those who post content whether it's online videos magazines or manifestos Social media is horizontal and synchronous whereby information is shared as it happens and enables for instant feedback and continuous communication The relational nature of social media adds a new dimension to radicalism: – – – – it is user-generated it is interactive it is mobile and instantaneous and it is highly personal These new dimensions of social media could enable extremists to forge a sense of communal belonging among some alienated youth in the West enhancing their ability to recruit What can we about radicalization ? That is the million-dollar question First we have to be modest in our objectives We have a better understanding of the radicalization puzzle today but generally speaking we cannot yet predict who will be a radical, much more effort is needed on that front Secondly, we have to be careful that in our search for radicals we avoid antagonizing communities by stigmatizing their faith or their countries of origin Violent extremism is a scourge on all societies and no single community has a monopoly on radicalism Lastly, the study of radicalism has made appreciable progress over the past decade but we are still in the early stages of serious empirical research concerning the phenomenon The single most important recommendation we can make is to advance the serious empirical research of radicalization by promoting closer collaboration between academia and the security establishment Academics have analytical tools that can be leveraged to study radicalization and the security sector has a treasure trove of classified data that is untapped for in-depth analysis We must find ways to bring the two communities together for closer collaboration The problem of radicalization will be with us for years to come The problem is growing not shrinking, the challenge ahead for academics, homeland security professionals and the policymaking community as a whole is to advance workable interventions and solutions to the four factors that constitute the radicalization puzzle ... on radicalization is that not all violent extremists are produced in the same way There are many pathways to radicalization that is why we call it the radicalization puzzle The radicalization puzzle. .. Thirdly radicalization makes possible that turn to violence but it does not make it inevitable Radicalization is not the same as terrorism In our research we conceive of radicalization as a puzzle. .. movements including the Islamists we focus on undergo a radicalization process What is radicalization ? (Việc làm thứ cực đoan hơn) Thuyết cấp tiến Radicalization involves adopting an extremist worldview
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