Understanding White Nationalism and Its Terrorism

Arie Perliger, Director of Security Studies and Professor, University of Massachusetts Lowell, had the article From across the globe to El Paso, changes in the language of the far-right explain its current violence published in The Conversation a couple of days ago. In case you missed it, he writes . . . . What’s New … Continue reading “Understanding White Nationalism and Its Terrorism”

The Mainstreaming of White Nationalist Discourse Spawning Terrorism, and the new threat of Eco-Fascism

Speaking of the murderer of 50 Muslims in Christchurch, NZ, last week, Guardian columnist Jason Wilson commented during an ABC interview: While he’s responsible for his actions the reasons for those actions go beyond him. Someone recently expressed some surprise that an Australian terrorist in New Zealand would be focussed on Europe in his “manifesto”. … Continue reading “The Mainstreaming of White Nationalist Discourse Spawning Terrorism, and the new threat of Eco-Fascism”

Rightwing Terrorism in Context

We have posted on Jason Burke’s books on Islamist terrorism (The New Threat: The Past, Present and Future of Islamic Militancy and Al-Qaeda: Casting a Shadow of Terror) so I was interested in read what Jason had to say about the recent terrorist attack in The Guardian, “What does Christchurch attack tell us about rightwing … Continue reading “Rightwing Terrorism in Context”

Why Blaming Islam for Terrorism is Misguided

Yes, we know that suicide terrorists regularly announce that they are killing in the name of Allah and they quote the Koran to justify what they are doing. And, of course we should, must, listen to what they say and take it seriously. Far from denying any of that, I think it is all necessary … Continue reading “Why Blaming Islam for Terrorism is Misguided”

The changed profile of terrorism

[W]e are increasingly seeing a shift away from networks of individuals linked by shared ethnicity to parts of the world where dangerous groups gather, and towards jihadist ideas acting as beacons which draw in both disenfranchised young Muslims but also estranged individuals who were not born into Islam. The continuing presence of relatively recent converts … Continue reading “The changed profile of terrorism”

Radicalisation — whether extreme sports, cults or terrorism

Yes, time for me to finish blogging on what the research has shown about how radicalisation works, how people are recruited into terrorist organisations, religious cults, . . . even extreme sports . . .  As Jason Burke (whose works I have blogged about here, most recently on “the new threat“) points out: it’s all the … Continue reading “Radicalisation — whether extreme sports, cults or terrorism”

The Founder of Islamist Extremism and Terrorism

Nazi ideology was set out by Adolf Hitler in Mein Kampf, Communism was explained for all by Karl Marx in The Communist Manifesto, and radical Islamism was planted with Sayyid Qutb‘s Milestones. Qutb was hanged in 1966 for involvement in a plot to assassinate Egypt’s President Gamal Abdul Nasser. Qutb’s ideas appear to have been … Continue reading “The Founder of Islamist Extremism and Terrorism”

From Heather Hastie’s blog: What Causes Terrorism

It’s only eleven minutes long. Professor Martha Crenshaw looks at the “macro” (e.g. poverty) and “micro” (e.g. psychology) explanations, pointing out their limitations, and then addresses “meso” explanations — the ones that I have often addressed in various posts on Vridar. From http://www.heatherhastie.com/what-is-terrorism/ — where one can find two more related videos.

Does growing “dewy-eyed at the mere mention of Paradise” lead to suicidal terrorism?

What will we do if an Islamist regime, which grows dewy-eyed at the mere mention of paradise, ever acquires long-range nuclear weaponry? — Sam Harris, End of Faith, p. 129 Dr. Quintan Wiktorowicz takes a more nuanced view of what it takes to tip a person into a commitment to extremism. Wiktorowicz’s explanation might be worth noting as … Continue reading “Does growing “dewy-eyed at the mere mention of Paradise” lead to suicidal terrorism?”

Why have discussions about Islamic terrorism turned out like this?

I was lamenting the way so many discussions about Islamic terrorism turn out to be not really discussions at all with a friend this morning and he reminded me of a few basics that sometimes slip my mind. I’m referring to my previous post here. Nick Cohen was not responding to the actual arguments of the … Continue reading “Why have discussions about Islamic terrorism turned out like this?”

Fearing to Understand Terrorism and ISIS

Several excellent articles have appeared recently on the nature of ISIS and terrorism, and some appalling ones have also been published. I normally prefer to share what I understand the experts themselves to be saying, but here I’m stepping back a minute to pause. Some (it sometimes seems like most) readers do not want to hear the … Continue reading “Fearing to Understand Terrorism and ISIS”

Stochastic Terrorism

An interesting take by Valerie Tarico:  Christianist Republicans Systematically Incited Colorado Clinic Assault . . . . Citing Stochastic Terrorism Valerie writes: “Stochastic terrorism is the use of mass communications to incite random actors to carry out violent or terrorist acts that are statistically predictable but individually unpredictable. In short, remote-control murder by lone wolf.” And explains: The formula is … Continue reading “Stochastic Terrorism”

Scott Atran’s response to Sam Harris & Jerry Coyne on religion and terrorism

Good to see Scott Atran respond specifically to the nonsense of Sam Harris and Jerry Coyne on the question of wheher religion is or isn’t a cause of current and past political violence. . . On his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/scott.atran?fref=nf&pnref=story [link no longer active – Neil Godfrey, 24th July 2019] How in fact can we destroy ISIS and its … Continue reading “Scott Atran’s response to Sam Harris & Jerry Coyne on religion and terrorism”

Love, Relationships and 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 How Terrorists Are Made: 3 – Slippery Slope A number of critics who are more interested in attacking … Continue reading “Love, Relationships and Terrorism”