Wednesday, January 28, 2009

More on Radicalization of Muslim Societies

Following up on my recent post about radicalization of Islamic societies, see also this important article that gives a different perspective on the radicalization of Pakistani society:

The Saudi-isation of Pakistan

A stern, unyielding version of Islam is replacing the kinder, gentler Islam of the Sufis in Pakistan.

By Pervez Hoodbhoy

See also a Brookings study by Moeed Yusuf that describes the classic path of young men who feel alienated from society becoming radicalized:

Overwhelming majorities of radicalized youth are found to have a strong sense of being discriminated against and are alienated from the larger society. This in turn is believed to be a function of socio-economic deprivation. Poor education standards, lack of economic opportunities, and unequal access to avenues for social and economic mobilization are usually present in countries that undergo radicalization among the young. The problem is often accentuated in societies which exhibit cultural polarization.

I argued that militarization of the sociopolitical struggle between moderates and Islamists is radicalizing society in both Pakistan and Somalia. Hoodbhoy describes a separate process in Pakistan of radicalizing society via education (with considerable help from the government). Yusuf describes socio-economic causes. The three are of course intertwined, with each story of Western or central government military abuse being used to justify further radicalization.

Are there additional processes by which radicalization occurs in Muslim societies?

What processes lead to moderation?

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