Slippery Slope to Terrorism

Previous posts in this series looking at Friction: How Radicalization Happens to Them and Us by Clark McCauley and Sophia Moskalenko: How Terrorists Are Made: 1 – Personal Grievance How Terrorists Are Made: 2 — Group Grievance Starting at the Top: Rejecting Violence Place: Russia Year: 1875 Adrian Mikhailov was a talented Russian orphan who … Continue reading “Slippery Slope to Terrorism”


Sam Harris modifies his views on Islam — Encouraging step forward

I have just finished watching both Sam Harris and Maajid Nawaz discuss their book Islam and the Future of Tolerance and was pleasantly surprised. I don’t recall reading anything by Maajid Nawaz but my introduction to Sam Harris was his 2005 book The End of Faith, a book that disturbed me for reasons I explained … Continue reading “Sam Harris modifies his views on Islam — Encouraging step forward”


How Terrorists Are Made: 2 — Group Grievance

Continuing the series on Friction: How Radicalization Happens to Them and Us by Clark McCauley and Sophia Moskalenko. Previous post: How Terrorists… 1 – Personal Grievance. This post looks at the psychological mechanisms at work among those who are radicalized and turn to terrorist acts in response to threats or harm inflicted on a group of cause they care about. Readiness … Continue reading “How Terrorists Are Made: 2 — Group Grievance”


How Terrorists Are Made: 1 – Personal Grievance

Not every book I discuss here I would recommend but I am about to post on chapters in Friction: How Radicalization Happens to Them and Us by Clark McCauley and Sophia Moskalenko and this one I do recommend. It is a quick yet grounded introduction to a range of factors that turn people towards radical action against state … Continue reading “How Terrorists Are Made: 1 – Personal Grievance”


Exploring the Links between Beliefs and Behaviour

Recent discussions here arising from responses to Dan Jones’ article, “On how to be completely wrong about radicalisation: the curious case of Jerry Coyne” and another post Who are the true Muslims in these scenarios? I have been spurred into fast tracking and updating reading on the psychology of religious belief, extremism, ISIS in particular, terrorism more generally, and … Continue reading “Exploring the Links between Beliefs and Behaviour”


How Religious Cults and Terrorist Groups Attract Members

There are interesting parallels between the processes that lead some people to join both religious cults and terrorist groups. If you once joined a cult you will very likely recognize some of the pathway others have walked to become members of a group responsible for violent terror attacks. If you joined a religious cult you knew that others thought you were … Continue reading “How Religious Cults and Terrorist Groups Attract Members”


“On how to be completely wrong about radicalisation: the curious case of Jerry Coyne”

“If every time we mentioned women to a friend he started talking about their breasts, we’d be entitled to think that this was all he was interested in when it comes to women. The same goes for Coyne (and Harris’s) almost exclusive focus on religious beliefs in the context of Islamist terrorism.“ Dan Jones on … Continue reading“On how to be completely wrong about radicalisation: the curious case of Jerry Coyne”