Jamie Bartlett discusses the Foreign Office's suspension of an anti-Al Qaeda film in the Guardian.
Since 9/11, we face a new type of security challenge - violent radicalism associated with Islam. The al-Qaeda (inspired) network has challenged received wisdom: it is a global terror network with the unswerving aim to deliver maximum destruction to the West, one that understands the importance of symbolism and ideas.
The dynamics of al-Qaeda and inspired groups make it especially challenging; authorities must move seamlessly from the global to the local, must fill large gaps in their knowledge about Islam and the Islamic world, and maintain a delicate balance between operational interventions and long-term relationship-building.
The task is difficult because al-Qaeda's growth coincides with a wider but very diverse movement of Muslim mobilisation in Europe, some highly radical (some violent, some non-violent), and anxiety has been heightened by unease about the growing visibility of Islam in Europe
Some commentators welcome the emergence of radical mobilisation as a positive sign of Muslim integration. Others view it as a danger to the stability of Europe or a trend towards separatism. Most agree that factors including socio-economic, crises of identity, international travel and communication, integration, immigration, foreign policy, and media portrayal are key to this phenomenon.
It is critical that counter-terrorism strategies address these broader concerns, as well as the specific challenges posed by the terrorists. Despite European experience of terrorism, there is insufficient understanding of how different factions and types of mobilisations relate to one another.
The project will consider these issues primarily in the context of Canada, but also in the UK, France, the Netherlands, and Denmark. The project will:
This report compares violent and non-violent radicals looking at their behaviour, the appeal of the al-Qaeda narrative and the role of governments and communities in responding.
This report makes recommendations for the forthcoming review of the Government's 'Preventing Violent Extremism' programme.
The Power of Unreason, the first in a series of reports by Demos on emerging themes in extremism and terrorism, examines the role played by conspiracy theories in extremist groups.
This pamphlet is a summary of two years of research examining the difference between violent and non-violent radicals in Europe and Canada.
Jamie Bartlett says the axed FCO anti-terrorism film is anything but trivial.
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