Using her own experience as a case study, in a three part series, Anooshe Mushtaq explores the experiences of Muslim migrants and offers a perspective on the religious and cultural drivers of Muslim radicalisation in Australia. Anooshe identifies key Islamic teachings used by extremists to target recruits and argues that cultural patterns of behavior in the migrant community make some Muslim migrants more susceptible to these radicalisation messages. She observes the shortcomings of the recently adopted measures to combat radicalisation and why they are less effective than expected due to policy makers’ inadequate understanding of the interplay of religion and culture in Muslim communities. In conclusion, Anooshe argues that policies to combat radicalisation must be designed to address both its religious and cultural drivers best achieved by involving trusted members of the Muslim community in policy design and implementation.
My View of the World
Now I would like to give an overview of how I see the division of the world with the current issues. I want to clarify here that this is only my view. There is the extreme west to one side, there are radical Islamists on the other, and in the middle there are everyday people who are busy living their own lives.
With the current and past involvement of the West and Islamists I have divided the world into 3 categories.
- On one side of the equation there is the “extreme west” who blames the radical or fundamentalist Islamists for the issues in the middle-east and the terrorist attacks. They see the Muslims as the biggest threat and want to find ways to fight them. In doing so they blame Muslims collectively and Islam for being the cause of extreme actions (terrorist attacks).
- On the other side, there are “radical Islamists” who are intent on establishing a “Global Khilafat” (Caliphate). The radicals are against west and the western culture and see them as a threat. They also see the moderate and progressive Muslims as a threat because they do not follow “Traditional or Wahhabi Islam”.
- In between these two extremes there are “everyday people”, people like you and I, who are busy living their lives and are not least interested in going to extremes of any sort. They are linked via news and social media that affects the way they see the west or the east.
While everyday people aren’t ideologically invested in either side of the argument, it is becoming increasingly difficult for them to stay on the sidelines. In our increasingly connected society social media is pervasive. Many of us have a minute by minute update of friends’ and families’ thoughts being delivered to us directly by some social media platform.
As the ideological war spills out across social media everyday people are exposed to the arguments and exaggerations of both sides. Even when everyday people remain passive observers of the conflict on social media, the messages unavoidably start to influence their views, however subtly.
This is not to say that it is only a matter of time before everyone ends up picking a side. Most people will continue with their day to day lives without taking any extreme measures. It does, however, still expose a greater number of ‘uncommitted’ everyday people to strong ideological messages from both sides of the debate. Greater exposure increases the chances of ‘uncommitted’ people to pick a side and take their chosen ideology to the extreme… Click HERE to find out more about this article