Glossary of Radicalization

Aqida means “creed”, manhaj means “method.” Aqida is a fundamental notion of Salafism, and manhaj completes it by referring to the specific methods of applying the creed.

Pledge of allegiance to an Islamic leader. In the context of terrorist organizations, al-Qaeda affiliates pledge bayah to al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, while Islamic State active supporters pledge bayah to the self-proclaimed caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

The threat or intentional release of biological agents to cause fear, illness, or death and/or to disrupt social, political, and economic stability.

The ability of a community to withstand, respond to, and recover from harmful, adverse, and traumatic events.

Broadly speaking, CVE is the whole set of strategies designed to counter extremist messages, propaganda, and recruitment. The measures can range from soft to hard and may include message development and communication, civil society initiatives, political action, new legislation, and intelligence and military operations. In the framework of CVE, Counter-Radicalization Strategies (CRS) are specific sets of policies and initiatives designed to prevent radicalization or to persuade people who have already chosen a radical path to leave it and return to mainstream society. The strategy sets goals, establishes methods, and divides responsibilities among key stakeholders.

Messaging that offers alternative views to radical recruitment and propaganda. Counter-narratives seek to deconstruct extremist narratives and expose logical flaws. Counterterrorism (CT) It is the set of efforts of policy-makers, law-enforcement agencies, government officials, businesses, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to prevent and combat terrorism.

Dabiq is the title of the first Islamic State magazine. It is named after the town of Dabiq in northern Syria, which is the prophesied place of battle between Muslim and “infidel” armies when the Apocalypse comes. The message is that the end times are upon us, the Muslims will win, and young Muslims should join the victorious army.

This term refers to a territory that is not ruled by the laws of Islam but does have a peace treaty with an Islamic state.

Dar al-Harb literally means “house of war”. It refers to territories that are not under the control of an Islamic state and also have no peace treaty with the state. This makes for a conflict.

Kufr means disbelief and Dar-al Kufr refers to a territory not ruled by the laws of Islam. This can include Muslim majority countries ruled by secular law.

Dar al-Islam means “house” or “abode” of Islam. It refers to an area where Islam is dominant and Islamic law is enforced.

Da’wa means “making an invitation.”, “issuing a summons”. It refers to proselytization but goes beyond it, since it also implies convincing people to enter Islam through pious conduct and actions.

This process aims to delegitimize the use of violence to achieve political goals. Many deradicalized individuals will still hold misogynist, homophobic, xenophobic and anti-democratic views, but they will no longer be a physical threat to society.

A dhimmi is a non-Muslim living under an Islamic state. Dhimmis have second class status. They must pay a “jizya” tax for their protection. However, they are granted some religious freedoms and are exempted from some duties imposed on Muslims by the Islamic state.

Compared to deradicalization, disengagement implies a less dramatic shift whereby an individual abandons involvement in a terrorist group or activities while in some cases retaining a radical world view.

Organizations that, even without formally and explicitly engaging in jihad, are able to recruit hundreds of new individuals for the jihadi cause. Fard Ayn and Fard Kifaya Literally “sufficient duty and individual duty”. According to the majority of Muslims, jihad of the sword, against an enemy, has to be performed only by a group of people belonging to the Muslim community in order to be valid

For most of the radicals, on the contrary, it is an individual duty, and each Muslim is asked to personally wage jihad against the enemy.

Far-Left Extremism It is the umbrella term for those ideologies that advocate anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist, and pro-socialist ideals. Left-wing extremist groups seek to bring about societal change through revolutionary tactics. Far-Right Extremism It is the umbrella term for those conservative ideologies that typically supports racism, xenophobia, and neo-Fascist and neo-Nazi rhetoric.

Foreign fighters are individuals who join an armed conflict abroad. They come from varied backgrounds and have a range of motivations. Many people who enter foreign conflicts survive and then go back to their homeland or the countries they lived in before, thus becoming returning foreign fighters. This has been a concern for decades – in the 1980s and 1990s many Arab states had to contend with young and radicalized “Arab Afghans” returning from the fight against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan.

The commission of terrorist acts in the perpetrator’s own country without direct operational support from terrorist networks abroad.

Radicalization hubs are places with a particularly high number of radicalized individuals. The formation of these hubs is often driven by militant Islamist groups or radical mosques, charismatic extremist personalities, or tightly knit groups of friends without formal leadership. The concept of radicalization hubs is also based upon the fact that the vast majority of individuals who radicalize do so in small groups. A supportive environment can help hubs to develop. In some European urban areas large numbers of people are indifferent to radicalization or simply blame the government for the phenomenon rather than extremists. In these areas the authorities are also widely mistrusted and disliked, which makes anti-terrorist investigations very difficult. Obviously, exceptions exist and some individuals radicalize in complete solitude, without any contact with like-minded individuals in the physical space.

Islamism is an umbrella term for all forms of political theory and practice where the goal is the establishment of an Islamic political order. In this order, governmental principles, institutions and legal systems derive directly from the shari’ah. (Islamic law). It must be said that Islamism and political Islam are global and highly flexible movements, with different manifestations in different environments, ranging from the non-violent support and patient propagation of an ideal vision of society right up to brutal violence. The term is used by some Islamists themselves. Others object to it strongly and insist they are simply following and preaching true Islam. In Europe, some anti-Muslim groups reject it as well, claiming it is a deceptive liberal linguistic tool used to spare Islam itself from critical scrutiny.

Jihadists reject participation in the political system and use violence to advance their goals. They claim divine sanction for their actions by presenting them as Jihad fi sabil Allah (jihad in the path of God, or for the cause of God).

The Arabic word meaning “nonbeliever” or “infidel.

Khilafa is the Arabic word for caliphate. A caliphate is an Islamic state which carries on the traditions of the prophet Muhammad. The first was established after Muhammad’s death. The last fell in Turkey in 1924. The idea still resonates and this is why the terrorist group Islamic State declared its own “caliphate” in 2014.

The term describes the Islamist agenda promoted by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, which continues to inspire various radical groups and militias.

A terrorist who acts completely on his or her own, without operational assistance or even communication with other extremists. Wolves hunt in packs, so a single wolf “hunting” on its own is something remarkable. Note, however, that a lone wolf may well be influenced or motivated by the ideology and beliefs of an external group and may act in support of such a group.

Qutbism It indicates the radical ideology named after Muslim Brotherhood ideologue Sayyid Qutb (1906-1966) Qutbism supports a policy of violent jihad against governments and institutions that are considered impious.

It is the process of adopting an extremist belief system, including the willingness to use, support, or facilitate violence, as a method to effect societal change.

It means “rejectionist” and is commonly used by Sunni radicals as a pejorative to describe Shiite Muslims.

Salafism emerged in the late nineteenth century through the elaboration of a number of thinkers.

Salafists viewed the Salaf as an eternal model for all succeeding Muslim generations, and believed that the only way to fight the moral, social, and political decadence and Westernization of the Muslim countries was to go back to their example of Islamic purity. The movement’s primary representatives were the Persian thinker Jamal al-Din al-Afghani (1838-1897) and the Egyptian Islamic jurist Mohammed Abdu (1849-1905), whose main objective was to rid the Umma of centuries of unquestioning imitation of precedent (taqlid) and improve the moral, cultural, and political conditions of Muslims by proving the compatibility of Islam with science and modernity. Among

The Islamic notion describing an individual worshipping anything other than God, i.e. the practice of polytheism or idolatry.

It is a form of extremism focused on specific and well-identified issues—such as animal rights, environmentalism, or pro-life ideology—rather than a broader societal change.

In the Islamic terminology, it denotes worshipping entities other than Allah, such as idols. Consequently, in radical propaganda it came to indicate the enemies embodied by the West and the disbelievers, who have different faith and/or worship idols such as money, success, and mundane pleasures.

The worldwide community of Muslims. This is a powerful propaganda tool for extremists. They tell Muslims they must feel the pain of their oppressed brothers and sisters overseas as if it was their own pain. This can be highly effective when there is so much conflict in the Middle East and South Asia

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