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Session Chair: N.N. | Monday, August 25, 3:30-5:30 p.m. | Venue

Douglas Pratt

Reactive Co-Radicalization: Religious Extremism as Mutual Discontent

An increasing and widespread atmosphere of mutual discontent and antipathy in respect to a religious ‘other’ is arguably found today expressed by, or from within, various religious communities, as well as wider society whether officially secular or not. For instance, Islamic extremism provokes a reactionary extremism from parts, at least, of the non-Muslim world whilst, at the same time, Muslim extremism is frequently advocated in response to the perception of an aggressive and impositional non-Muslim world. A vicious circle of mutual extremism is at play. ‘Reactive Co-Radicalization’, I suggest, appropriately names this mutual rejection and exclusionary response that is currently evident in many parts of the globe. In this paper I focus on two European cases – the 2009 Swiss ban on the building of minarets, and the 2011 Norwegian massacre carried out by Anders Breivik – to explore and illustrate reactive co-radicalization as a hermeneutical perspective on religious extremism.

Attila Kovács

Islamism and the "visual turn"

It might seem paradoxical to look for parallels and connections between the Islam and the visual representation and it is well known that the position of images – especially figurative ones – in Islam is a very controversial issue. But on the other hand many of the Islamist movements has relied on every possible medium to get its message across: political speeches and communiqués, print and electronic media, books and pamphlets, songs and poems, slogans, graffiti, murals, posters, movies and videos. In this correlation between the texts and images we can even say that the visual representations of the Islamist movements have a central position equal to the textual narratives. The description an analysis of this controversial new but important relationship with other words "the visual turn" in Islamism will be in the center of my paper.

Innocent Oyibo

International Fraternity? Interrogating the Ideological Nexus between Adherents of Boko Haram, Salafis and Wahhabis

Is there any rationale to assume any inherent nexus between Boko Haram, Salafi-Jihadists and Wahhabis? This question is at the centre of this research paper. The subject matter of Boko Haram has been discussed variously in many academic publications. Some have argued that Boko Haram is politically motivated; others adduce religious expansionism of Islam, while other scholars suggest socio-political reasons for its emergence. This paper argues that all three factors must be considered holistically when discussing Boko Haram and its impact on Nigeria. However, it strongly supports the view that Boko Haram has a religious agenda, which consists in the Islamisation of Nigeria and the establishment of the Islamic umma all over Nigeria or a section of it. This agenda had hitherto been nursed by Othman Dan Fodio. This paper argues therefore that the religious ideology of Boko Haram is strongly aligned with the ideologies of Salafis and Wahhabis, who in their struggle strive for the restoration of puritan Islam and the establishment of an Islamic State. Hence, Boko Haram is part and parcel of an international fraternity. Thus, in order to put an end to this insurgency, the ideology must be identified and tackled; its spread among the youths must be countered by requisite education and concerted effort of all and sundry.


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