UAH is secular, intellectual and non-aligned politically, culturally or religiously email discussion group.

{UAH} It's Not Islam That Drives Young Europeans to Jihad, France's Top Terrorism Expert Explains

It's Not Islam That Drives Young Europeans to Jihad, France's Top Terrorism Expert Explains
Olivier Roy, one of France's top experts on Islamic terrorism, tells Haaretz how assailants like Salman Abedi in Manchester turn into 'new radicals' who crave death

ANKARA - Salman Abedi, the suicide bomber who killed 22 people at a Manchester pop concert this week, started life advantageously enough: to parents who had fled Gadhafi's Libya for a new life in Britain. But actually it was that kind of dislocation that would send him off kilter two decades later, says Olivier Roy, one of France's top experts on Islamic terrorism.
"An estimated 60 percent of those who espouse violent jihadism in Europe are second-generation Muslims who have lost their connection with their country of origin and have failed to integrate into Western societies," Roy says.
They are subject to a "process of deculturation" that leaves them ignorant of and detached from both the European society and the one of their origins. The result, Roy argues, is a dangerous "identity vacuum" in which "violent extremism thrives."

Born in Britain in 1994, Abedi would later be drawn to violent fundamentalism after a life in limbo. On the one hand, he tried to reconnect with Libya, where he traveled shortly before this week's attack, while on the other, he strove to emulate the same British young people he killed.
"Unlike second generations like Abedi's, third generations are normally better integrated in the West and don't account for more than 15 percent of homegrown jihadis," Roy says. "Converts, who also have an approach to Islam decontextualized from any culture, account for about 25 percent of those who fall prey to violent fundamentalism."

It's a pattern that can be traced from second-generation Khaled Kelkal, France's first homegrown jihadi in 1995, to the Kouachi brothers who attacked satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris in 2015. The rule also applies to foreign fighters such as Sabri Refla, the Belgian-born son of a Moroccan father and a Tunisian mother who left for Syria at 18 "after espousing an Islam completely unrelated to our background," says his grieving mother Saliha Ben Ali.
With little if any understanding of religion or Islamic culture, young people like Abedi turn to terrorism out of a "suicidal instinct" and "a fascination for death," Roy says. This key element is exemplified by the jihadi slogan first coined by Osama bin Laden: "We love death like you love life."
"The large majority of Al-Qaida and Islamic State jihadis, including the Manchester attacker Abedi, commit suicide attacks not because it makes sense strategically from a military perspective or because it's consistent with the Salafi creed," Roy says. "These attacks don't weaken the enemy significantly, and Islam condemns self-immolation as interference with God's will. These kids seek death as an end-goal in itself."

Olivier Roy, a professor at the European University Institute and an expert on Islamic terrorism. Olivier Roy (Courtesy)

Allaah gives the best to those who leave the choice to Him."And if Allah touches you with harm, none can remove it but He, and if He touches you with good, then He is Able to do all things." (6:17)

Disclaimer:Everyone posting to this Forum bears the sole responsibility for any legal consequences of his or her postings, and hence statements and facts must be presented responsibly. Your continued membership signifies that you agree to this disclaimer and pledge to abide by our Rules and Guidelines.To unsubscribe from this group, send email to:

Sharing is Caring:



Post a Comment

Popular Posts

Blog Archive