Identity and Islamic Radicalization in Western Europe

MICROCON Research Working Paper No. 16

37 Pages Posted: 14 Oct 2009

See all articles by Syed Mansoob Murshed

Syed Mansoob Murshed

Institute of Social Studies (ISS)

Sara Pavan

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Institute of Social Studies (ISS)

Date Written: August 14, 2009

Abstract

This paper argues that both socio-economic disadvantage and political factors, such as the West’s foreign policy with regard to the Muslim world, along with historical grievances, play a part in the development of Islamic radicalized collective action in Western Europe. We emphasise the role of group identity based individual behaviour in organising collective action within radicalized Muslim groups. Inasmuch as culture plays any role at all in radicalization, it is because individuals feel an imperative to act on the basis of their Muslim identity, something to which different individuals will attach varying degrees of salience, depending on how they place their Muslim identity based actions in the scheme of their multiple identities. We also emphasize the role of the opportunistic politician, from the majority European community, in fomenting hatred for Muslims, which also produces a backlash from radicalized political Islam. We present comparative evidence on socio-economic, political and cultural disadvantage faced by Muslim minorities in five West European countries: Germany, the UK, France, Spain and the Netherlands.

Keywords: Identity, Radicalization, Clash of civilizations, Terrorism

Suggested Citation

Murshed, Syed Mansoob and Pavan, Sara, Identity and Islamic Radicalization in Western Europe (August 14, 2009). MICROCON Research Working Paper No. 16, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1488813 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1488813

Syed Mansoob Murshed (Contact Author)

Institute of Social Studies (ISS) ( email )

PO Box 29776
2502 LT The Hague, 2518 AX
Netherlands
+31 70 426 0591 (Phone)
+31 70 426 0799 (Fax)

Sara Pavan

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Institute of Social Studies (ISS) ( email )

PO Box 29776
2502 LT The Hague, 2518 AX
Netherlands

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