Vad innebär ”radikalisering”, ”extremism”, ”islamism” och andra välanvända men sällan definierade begrepp, och vilka sociala effekter kan det ha i ett samhälle? Vad händer med demokrati, rättsäkerhet och frihet när dessa begrepp blir verkliga och starka politiska medel?
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This book has argued that the radicalization discourse of the current phase of the war on terror conceives of Western Muslims as locked in an ideological battle between, on the one hand, a moderate Islam that is seemingly apolitical but implicitly supportive of Western governments, and, on the other, an inherently violent extremist Islam. How is “extremism” defined in this discourse? At times the term has a theological meaning, referring, for example, to Salafi or conservative religious beliefs; it is also sometimes given an identitarian meaning, referring to the idea of a global Islamic identity that emphasizes one’s affiliations with other Muslims around the world over one’s national citizenship; on occasion it assumes a more explicitly political meaning, referring to radical opposition to Western governments. As a proportion of young Muslims in the West seem to fall under these various definitions of extremism, and extremist ideology is assumed to be a precursor to terrorist violence, the perception has grown that large numbers of young Muslims are on the verge of becoming al-Qaeda terrorists. Political and cultural disaffection is then misread as terrorist radicalization. With these assumptions in place, policies have been devised that would not make sense if the actual, negligible extent of al-Qaeda activism among Western Muslims was properly acknowledged.
Having conceived of radicalization in this way, tackling it implies the mass surveillance of the religious and political lives of Muslim populations. In the US, thousands of informants in Muslim communities have been recruited to this end. In the UK, nonpolice public service providers are drawn into the process of gathering intelligence on those suspected of radicalism. In both countries the state has criminalized expressions of Islamist ideology. Sting operations in the US have been deployed against those thought to be traveling on a radicalization journey.
Sidan 278-279 i The Muslims are coming! av Arun Kundnani. Upplaga från 2014.