The Radicalization Puzzle

Lecture/presentation – video.
Mohammad Hafez

This 20 minute lecture, by Dr. Mohammad Hafez of the Naval Postgraduate School examines the driving factors behind the process of radicalization, turning seemingly ordinary men and women into potential terrorists.

The lecture is based on the following 2015 article:

Mohammed M. Hafez and Creighton Mullins, “The Radicalization Puzzle: A Theoretical Synthesis of Empirical Approaches to Homegrown Extremism,” Studies in Conflict and Terrorism 38, 11 (November) 2015.

From the abstract:

“Why and how do individuals residing in relatively peaceful and affluent Western societies come to embrace extremist ideologies that emanate from distant places? We summarize the most recent empirical literature on the causes and dynamics of radicalization, and evaluate the state of the art in the study of Islamist homegrown extremism in the West. We propose a theoretical synthesis based on four factors that come together to produce violent radicalization: personal and collective grievances, networks and interpersonal ties, political and religious ideologies, and enabling environments and support structures. We propose adopting a “puzzle” metaphor that represents a multifactor and contextualized approach to understanding how ordinary individuals transform into violent extremists. We concluded with three recommendations to strengthen the empirical foundations of radicalization studies.”

7 Responses

  1. David Claborn says:

    I am puzzled by your statement that all religions have their Al Qaida equivalents. I can see that such a statement can be made for major religions, though it is a bit of a stretch. However, is such a statement accurate for the Baha’i, or Taoism, or various shamanistic religions? Has the research actually been done to make such a statement?

  2. phil says:

    It is called ,multiculturalism ,or Volk Community thinking,this cpmmunity ,verses that community resurrecting ancient and maintaining recent divisions ,between ,religious ,ethnic and national ,identities social wrapping it all up and setting it loose under the racialist ,ideology called “MULTI CULTURALISM “

    • phil says:

      Oh and the answer ,for the youth ,reject the crap “VOLK COMMUNITY “think ,which was first started by a political movement ,called “NAZI”,hey dont believe me google “VOLK COMMUNITY”

  3. Luc van der taelen says:

    Could you please provide me with the text of this video in order to translate and subtitle? Very very interesting and clear
    Luc
    Project manager coppra

  4. Simon Smith says:

    A very interesting article however as a practitioner in this field, I do think there are some assumptions made with regard the process. There are examples of ‘high speed’ radicalisation within weeks towards a violent intent. The article certainly adds to the extensive debate on processes if there is indeed a process. I am also not convinced that membership all of the ‘terrorist organisations’ mentioned have gone through a radicalisation process when you consider the motivations and ideologies of some of these.

  5. Abdoul Aziz Gaye says:

    Very interesting lecture. According to my researches, ideology is the first stage for radicalized Muslims. Other puzzles are used to apply or the justify their deadly wahhabi ideology. Unfortunatly, there are few researches on jihadist ideology!

  6. Frank Calamia says:

    The lecture fails to recognize the impact of years of Wahhabism on Muslim children. Wahhabism is the root cause of extremist thinking by Muslims everywhere. One notes that Western Muslims joining ISIS are middle class and well educated.

    The vast majority Western Mosques are directly linked to Saudi Arabia and its Wahhabi oriented trained Imams. These Imams promote Shariah as the sanctified law of Allah. Recognizing that Shariah Law violates the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights would be a first step in the right direction to disenfranchising Wahhabi oriented Mosques.

    Dr. Hafez states that governments struggle to find compelling answers to why young Muslim men and women turn to extremism. Perhaps the answer is no further away than a Koran and Hadith.

    Finally, to compare armies of extremist Muslims to American racist and anti-government groups is disingenuous. The rise of Muslim Armies is in keeping with the commands of their Prophet who said for them to wage war throughout the world until only the believers remain. Consequently, Muslims are building out a Caliphate to unite the Umma. The West will not wage an effective war against extremist Muslims until it recognizes that the problem originates with the teachings at the Mosques!

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