by Mohammed Ilyas
Since 2001 and 7/7 the search to find out why and how Muslims born in Europe join political and violence orientated Islamist groups has occupied policy makers and social scientist. The search has produced explanations that suggest social grievance, Islam and physiological problems are the motivations for why some Muslims join and act on behalf of Islamist groups in the UK. However, the approaches tend not to focus on the role played by emotions that are generated from events, which involve Muslim suffering. These events are often experienced vicariously by Muslims living in Europe and are used by Islamist groups as resources to radicalize and recruit.
This paper is based on interviews carried out with Islamists in the UK, and tentatively discusses two processes – uncontrollability and forced choice in order to make sense of how some Muslims become compelled to acquire and act upon extreme ideas (independently or behalf of a group).
Key words: Islam, Muslim, Islamist, Islamism, Muslim Against Crusader, Radicalization, Emotions, Europe, Media, and Vicarious humiliation.
In the last two decades Islamically-orientated groups -apolitical (Salafi), political (Hizb ut Tahrir (HT) and Muslim against Crusaders (MAC) and violence-orientated Al Qaeda type groups have gained prominence in Europe. The groups are often described and defined by using the conjoined terms ‘Islamism’ and ‘Islamist’ by academics, policy makers, the media and the general public in debates about immigration, security and identity. The debates have raised a number of questions regarding how to understand Islamism, why and how people are radicalized, and why and how individuals join Islamist groups in Europe. The latter two questions are intertwined and have received much attention, especially in countries that have large Muslim populations such as the United Kingdom, France and Germany. This paper addresses the final question by forwarding two processes that help make sense of how some Muslims may acquire extreme ideas, act upon extreme ideas and join Islamist groups in the UK.
In detailing the processes I provide a different way to understand what is popularly referred to as ‘radicalization’. This term has gained considerable academic and media currency, and the concept is employed to identify the movement of an individual from one point (moderate) to another (radical) on a continuum. It is often used in a problematic way because, as Sageman argues, the acquisition of extreme ideas is used interchangeably with engaging in violence, suggesting that they are undifferentiated (Coolsaet 117: 2010). Sageman rightly points out that many may espouse violent ideas but very few act them out. He consequently abandons the term ‘radicalization’ in favour of two plain English phrases: ‘acquisition of extreme ideas’ and ‘the path to political violence’ (Coolsaet 117: 2010). In agreement with Sageman, I also use these terms. According to Sedgwick (2010) the term radicalization has various meanings and uses in arenas of security, integration and foreign policy. Arguing on similar lines, Gethen-Mazer and Lambert (2010: 890) note, in the context of the UK, that:
The media and policy-makers have sought out research that supports an uncomplicated ‘conventional wisdom’ about radicalization to deliver easily understandable sound bites and finite answers that justify their ideas about how radicalization happens—and to facilitate straightforward policy responses that are meant to address definitively any threat posed by ‘home-grown’ terrorist threats in the post–7/7 environment.
Sedgwick’s (2010) problematization of the term radicalization also raises the question of which continuum is used to define who are the moderates and radicals, as well as at which point the former becomes the latter. This then begs the question of what ideas determine whether one is a moderate or radical, which is difficult to answer in a universal way because it leads to further enquiries. Among these are queries of who defines ‘moderate’ or ‘radical’ and in what context the definitions are used. I will therefore use a working definition, which only applies to the UK, regarding ‘moderate’ Muslims as those who accept that there are many types of Muslims and ‘radical’ Muslims are those who adhere to what Githens-Mazer terms ‘Radical Violent Takfiri Jihadism’ (RVTJ) (Eatwell et al, 47, 2010). RVTJ emphasizes the willingness of individuals to engage in violence and declare takfir (apostasy) in the belief that both are religious and moral obligations.
However, it would be misleading to argue that radicals are only concerned with one issue. To use Herbert’s (2009) term, radicals and radical groups have a ‘plasticity of positions’. The concerns of radicals in some instances overlap but advocate different solutions to those espoused by moderate Muslims, such halal food, burqa, blasphemy, the economy and social disorder.
From the points raised by the above authors it is clear that there are problems in how radicalization is defined, what criteria are used to define it, and how and why the term is used the way it is in various arenas. This then poses an important issue for researchers: how to define who is a radical and what the radicalization process is. To this end Sedgewick (2010: 491) advises that:
Under these circumstances, the best solution for researchers is probably to abandon the idea that ‘radical’ or ‘radicalization’ are absolute concepts, to recognize the essentially relative nature of the term ‘radical,’ and to be careful always to specify both the continuum being referred to and the location of what is seen as ‘moderate’ on that continuum.
It is at this juncture, adhering to Sedgwick’s advice that this paper intervenes. I contend that the evoking and fostering of a range of emotions is central, if not the catalyst, for individuals to begin to think about acquiring and acting upon extreme ideas, as well as becoming involved with Islamist groups. These emotions are evoked by repeatedly watching videos (not only videos uploaded by Islamist groups but also mainstream news organizations), reading literature, and both online and offline discussions about Muslim suffering in conflict-zones, particularly of women and children, to the point where individuals become ‘addicted’ to the material. Although in most enquiries into radicalization the evoking and fostering of emotions is not given much credibility, by advancing the processes of uncontrollability and forced choice this paper argues that emotions have greater significance than commonly supposed.
I will discuss what uncontrollability and forced choices are, and how they work, by using observations of, and interviews with members of HT and MAC as well as secondary media material on individuals convicted for terrorism offenses. I have extensively referenced material published by the media because I was unable to secure interviews with individuals affiliated with HT and MAC due to their security concerns. The objections are understandable because I was interviewing between 2011–2012 and during this period MAC was banned, and individuals affiliated with the group were arrested and subsequently charged with terrorism offenses.
The first process I shall describe is uncontrollability, which I contend can open pathways to facilitate individuals acquiring and acting on extreme ideas – independently or on behalf of a group and becoming involved in Islamist groups. The process is related to, and often works together with, what I call forced choice, which is the second process in my framework, although it can also work independently. For clarity I will discuss them separately.
Uncontrollability is a normative process, in that it occurs when individuals experience some form of loss through structural events, such as 9/11. It can also occur through personal event-crises such as the death of a family member or friend, or separation from a partner (De Zululeta 2003: 178). In attachment theory, this is referred to as ‘ambivalence insecurity’ among children (Holmes 2004: 105). However, I contend that something similar happens during structural event-crises and leads individuals to develop insecure attachments. Though similar to psychological trauma, this leads to the ‘sudden, uncontrollable disruption of affiliative bonds’, which opens an opportunity for groups to recruit (De Zululeta 2003: 178). In other words, it creates cognitive openings and makes individuals more receptive to the worldview of the groups. Uncontrollability among individuals living in non-conflict-zones can take place in three ways. Firstly, through individuals personally endure tragic events, such as the loss of a loved one, secondly, vicariously through the media by watching videos of extreme violence, and thirdly by volunteering as aid workers in conflict-zones. Academics such as Sageman (2008), Khosrokhavar (2005) and Speckhard (2012) have detailed in their works how vicarious humiliation or in the case of the last author secondary trauma can effect or is imparted on potential recruits by Islamist groups with the view of making them cognitively more open to the ideas of the group. In my construction of uncontrollability is similar to what Horgan (2009: 11) refers to as the ‘temporary emotional state’, which renders the individual more open to using or supporting violence. Additionally, the process generates a range of emotions, which include frustration, revulsion, anger, grief and pain and which foster conditions that enable the construction of the ‘other(s)’ in a dehumanized way, compelling individuals to act in order gain both revenge for the loss suffered by their community and personal satisfaction.
As Ahmed (2004: 28) notes:
What connects us to this place or that place, to this other or that other is also what we find most touching; it is that which makes us feel. The differentiation between attachments allows us to align ourselves with some others and against other others in the very processes of turning and being turned, or moving towards and away from those we feel have caused our pleasure and pain.
Individuals’ responses to the uncontrollability generated through structural and personal event-crises are to seek a ‘secure base’ by asking questions about why the event-crises took place, and to find solutions. The answer-seeking and the explanations provided in some cases leads individuals to come in contact with activists from, or the discourses of, Islamist groups – via media platforms, by attending protests, engaging in conversations with peers, or attending religious or non-religious talks organized by various groups.
Although this paper only speaks about Muslims, my argument also applies to other religious and right wing extremist groups, and I contend that the individuals behind the anti-Muslim attacks after the May 2013 killing of British solider Lee Rigby in London went through the processes I describe here. Since the killing there have been various reports in the British media detailing arrests for alleged arson attacks on Mosques and violence against Muslims, as well as online hate speech. It is my belief that these incidents occurred in some cases due to the instant pain, anger and revulsion generated by Rigby’s murder, and in others as a result of the incremental effect of these emotions on individuals over a period of time imparted through various media and Internet platforms. This compelled them to gain revenge for their community and relief for their anger in the same manner I describe above with relation to Islamist groups.
In the UK, the 2004 Crevice plot and the case of Roshanara Choudhry illustrate how uncontrollability is generated vicariously, leading the actors to acquire extreme ideas and act on them. Salahuddin Amin, a member of the Crevice plot, took on extreme ideas after his experiences at a refugee camp in Pakistan and, according to a BBC article, Amin initially decided that on his return to Luton he would donate money to the Kashmir cause. This also led him to attend meetings held by an Islamist group that advocated jihad (BBC 30 April 2007). In his trial he stated that during a visit to Pakistan:
‘There were a lot of stalls on the main road - on the Mall Road’, he said. ‘The stalls were set up by the Mujahadeen, the fighters fighting in Kashmir. I was walking up and down at one point I heard a lady making an emotional speech about the atrocities that were happening in Kashmir that was under Indian rule - how women were raped and kidnapped all the time and they had to move from there to Pakistani Kashmir and were in difficulties. She made a very emotional speech and that affected me.’ (BBC 30 April 2007).
For Amin the effect of hearing about the violence experienced by Pakistani Muslim women at the hands of Indian non-Muslims captivated him, such that he decided to donate money, in addition to attending meetings held by Islamists. He identified with the woman speaker and the victims through the registers of ethnicity, the Islamic concepts of mother and sister, and violence. Amin’s trajectory suggests that there is a connection between hearing harrowing stories about abuse and violence, giving charity, and finding or coming across an Islamist group that retold the same stories in a group setting. This not only magnified the impact of the violence and encouraged stronger emotions of out-group hate and in-group love but also compelling one to do more to end Muslim suffering. Another member of the plot, Anthony Garcia, recalled during his trial that watching videos detailing the atrocities allegedly committed by Indian soldiers in Kashmir emotionally effected him: ‘I still remember it quite clearly’. Garcia added, ‘he remembered crying as he watched the video and he decided to do something to help his fellow Muslims in Kashmir’ (BBC 30 April 2007). According to the media, Garcia followed his older brother into Islamist circles, where he was introduced to events that involved Muslim suffering. It is not clear what triggered Garcia’s involvement, but it cannot be ruled out that he and his brother could have been motivated by the French-backed Algerian civil war of the 1990s. Unlike Amin, Garcia identified with what he had seen on the videos through the registers of Islam and violence. The case of the plotters highlights the emotive power of watching and hearing about violence and abuse inflicted on women and children that one can identify with on a number of registers. The experience of emotions in these cases seems to be such that, it cultivated the internal conditions, which justified violence as being the only possible response. Hence, as Ahmed notes:
The sensation of pain is deeply affected by memories: one can feel when reminded of past trauma by an encounter with another. Or if one has pain one might search one’s memories for whether one has had it before, differentiating the strange from the familiar (Ahmed 2004: 25).
The case of Roshanara Choudhry, who attacked Labour MP Stephen Timms in 2010 over his support of the Iraq war, illustrates like the Crevice plotters how emotions generated by watching videos detailing Muslim suffering, and Islamist discourses that call on Muslims to assume responsibility for their brethren, can compel some Muslims to act. Through these videos Islamist groups aim to encourage viewers to make associations between present and past events that have resulted in Muslim suffering. This fosters an atmosphere, which aims to make viewers automatically think about, feel and visualize Muslim suffering every time they see images or hear stories of human suffering. Through this process the groups hope that over time that individuals will embody these discourses, see themselves as part of the bigger Muslim family and as victims of the violence, as well as accepting and acting upon their responsibility to end the suffering. Although it is not clear when Choudhry started her journey in acquiring extreme ideas, from her trial it is clear that Internet videos detailing the suffering of Muslims in conflict-zones played a central role. As the quote below from the Guardian newspaper indicates, loyalty to, retribution for Muslim suffering, emotional satisfaction, and a sense of fulfilling responsibility, was achieved by stabbing MP Stephen Timms. During her trial she explains her reasons for both actions:
They [King’s College] gave an award to Shimon Peres [Israeli politician]… I thought that I should have loyalty to my Muslim brothers and sisters in Palestine and so I should leave King’s and that would show my loyalty to them…. As Muslims we’re all brothers and sisters and we should all look out for each other and we shouldn’t sit back and do nothing while others suffer. We shouldn’t allow the people who oppress us to get away with it and to think that they can do whatever they want to us and we’re just gonna lie down and take it…. I was a bit nervous about what I was gonna do but I felt like it had to be done and it’s the right thing to do… I feel like I did my best to fulfill my duty to the other Muslims (The Guardian 3 November 2010).
We also see the effects of witnessing and watching videos of Muslim suffering in conflict-zones, as well as personal loss, with Abdullah Ahmed, the ringleader of the 2006 transatlantic airline plot. The videos resulted in Ahmed being cognitively more open to embracing and acting on extreme ideas. In his trial it was reported that:
He had been interested in politics since the Bosnian war but in late 2002 he travelled to Pakistan to help refugees fleeing the US attack on the Taliban at refugee camps on the Afghan border where his experience in the camps had a harrowing effect on him. ‘There were lots of deaths in the camps daily… We had to go to a lot of funerals daily. It was mostly kids that were dying. Children, young children… When I was about 15 or 16 I remember the Bosnian war going on and I remember images of concentration camps, of people looking like skeletons and things like that. I was aware they were Muslims’ (The Guardian 8 September 2009)
What we see in all the above cases is a psychological scare, a trauma that Caruth notes ‘is a confrontation with an event that, in its unexpectedness or horror, cannot be placed within the schemes of prior knowledge’ (Caruth 1995: 153). The effects of Muslim suffering on Amin, Garcia, Ahmed and Choudhry seem to have ruptured the relationship between them and the Muslims that were suffering, which they have been socialized into by their family and community, therefore evoking feelings of personal loss. An individual affiliated with MAC explains this relationship and the accompanying responsibility that it brings, which one must have towards other Muslims, during an interview with me in 2011:
Look those are really my brothers that are being oppressed in Palestine, I need to support them. The Prophet’s hadith says the ummah is like a body, if one-body part hurts, if one part hurts the rest of the body feels it (Interview 1 with male MAC member, 2011).
These comments reveal how Muslims relate to each other by using metaphors of anatomy and emotions indicating pain. The metaphors are important in the constellation of Islamist discourses because they draw our attention to the types of feelings, experienced as personal, that urge and compel some Muslims to acquire, and in some cases act upon extreme ideas in order to fulfill their Islamic responsibility.
Another individual affiliated with MAC, when discussing why he thinks the actions of Pastor Terry Jones , may compel some individuals to engage in violence to gain retribution, stated that:
For someone [Pastor Jones] to show the upmost disrespect and burn it [the Quran] is something that will enrage any sincere Muslim, we would, you would probably find irrational actions that Muslims would respond with because this has upset him so much that he becomes so angry that he feels that he can only do something.. I would not be surprised if someone tried to harm the man … There are many things that a Muslim would find difficult to hold his hand back… it’s like this, if someone comes to hit your child, naturally in the instinct of the father, it is to respond and defend the child in any way he can. Even if this means causing harm to the other person. The way a Muslim feels about the Quran burning is ten times more than a father feels about his daughter being hit (Interview 2 with male MAC member, 2011).
The above quote indicates how acts that are perceived as dishonoring sacred symbols can foster conditions that can result in individuals inciting or engaging in violence. The comments made by the MAC affiliate detail how the Pastor’s actions generated in him feelings of pain, anger and a need for some form of revenge. He compares his feelings to those of a father when he hears that his daughter has been attacked, which then compels him to seek retribution. What is important to note in the quotes of the MAC affiliates, and the aforementioned case’s is not only that they use family metaphors in detailing how they relate to the suffering of Muslims, but also how they understand and feel the pain of their brethren as their own.In these cases the pain felt by the individuals was such that it compelled them to think about the possibility of acting in violent ways.
So far I have discussed above how secondary trauma imparted through watching videos detailing Muslim suffering has generated uncontrollability and compelled individuals to acquire and act upon extreme ideas. I now move to address how uncontrollability can also occur through personal event-crises, such as the death of a family member or friend, or separation from a partner (De Zululeta 2003: 178).
The case of a female interviewee affiliated with MAC illustrates the point. Her affiliation process began when her father became ill, which resulted in her seeking religious solace. In order to find a solution to her emotional predicament the interviewee turned to her brother, who was already involved with MAC, and asked him to take her where he went to learn about Islam as he seemed to be coping better with their father’s illness. She attributed his perceived superior ability to cope both to his practicing of Islam and the Islamic lectures he listened to, which she also found very interesting (Interview 2 with female MAC affiliate 2012). The interviewee’s brother took her to a women’s Islamic study circle that MAC organized twice a week, which she reported as making her feel welcome and not an outsider (Interview 2 with female MAC affiliate 2012).
However, uncontrollability on its own, whether generated through primary or secondary trauma, is not sufficient for one to acquire and act upon extreme ideas, or to join groups. What is necessitated is a process where a certain amount of ‘fermenting’ must take place in order to compel individuals to act. I call this process ‘forced choice’.
The forced choice process in my conceptualization is a procedure by which Islamist groups persuade individuals to become involved in the group, or the groups worldviews and persuading affiliates to act to achieve group goals. It usually takes place after uncontrollability, but can also occur independently. The effects of the process include healing the emotional wounds caused by watching videos and witnessing Muslim suffering and urging individuals to acquire and act upon extreme ideas and join an Islamist group. The discourses used during this process detail feelings of pain, shame, suffering, in-group love and out-group hate to emotionally define the ‘we’ and the ‘other’, and explain why and how the ‘we’ needs to be protected and the ‘other’ not in a militarized sense. By using the term militarized I contend that groups convert what I consider domestic emotions into militarized ones, thus adding a combative edge and military understanding to the feelings and discourses. The aim here is to build and intensify emotional attachments and foster the construction of the ‘other’(s), as well as to provide and justify solutions to Muslim suffering. Ultimately, this process works to remove guilt from the choices that the individual will make, and therefore enable individuals to join the group or engage in violent acts, as we see in the cases of Amin, Garcia, Choudhry and Ahmed.
During the forced choice process there is a fostering and intensification of introjective and projective identification between the individual, Muslim suffering, and the perpetrators of violence. Groups aim to replace existing explanations held by individuals regarding issues concerning Muslims and provide new ones that can be used by the individual to explain the problems that Muslims experience. This will be in accordance with the worldviews and goals of the groups.
Forced choice can unfold in two ways. It can be independent, or in some cases the result of a group repeatedly watching videos that detail, or having conversations about, Muslim suffering. This creates a pathway for individuals to at least think about acquiring and acting upon extreme views, although in some cases action takes place independently of groups, as was the case with Roshanara Choudhry. Choudhry’s compulsion to act was due to her listening to Anwar al-Awlaki’s lectures and watching videos detailing Muslim suffering, which intensified her emotional attachment with her coreligionists. In her trial she stated, ‘after like listening to the lectures, I realized my obligation but I didn’t wanna like fight myself and just thought other people should fight, like men, but then I found out that even women are supposed to fight as well so I thought I should join in’ (The Guardian 3 November 2010). It seems that by watching videos Choudhry became emotionally bound up with Muslim suffering and her individual duty as a Muslim in way that persuaded her to act violently and defend her coreligionists, which for her at the time was more important than the risks. Her actions generated a sense of emotional satisfaction that allowed her to persuade herself to act out her anger, frustration and elation.
The second way that forced choice occurs is through online and offline interactions with individuals affiliated with Islamist groups, where discussions about Muslim suffering take place and questions are raised, such as ‘what are you doing to help your suffering Muslim brethren?’ This type of question is emotive and forces one to answer in way that suggests that one is doing or will do something. To illustrate my point I will use my experience of such discussions. During these discussions Muslim suffering and solutions to it were the dominant topics.
For me, the striking and pivotal point in the conversations was when someone would say, ‘I would do the same if my family was in the same situation’, and especially when the issue of women and children being killed by Israeli soldiers/settlers and American soldiers was raised. This would result in gestures of approval from others. The statement is powerful and has an encrypted answer, which is simple to agree with and almost impossible to argue against. It instantly evokes an array of possible events and emotions, whilst requiring an immediate response. This renders the individuals more open to listen to, acquire, and in some cases act upon the extreme ideas. Individuals affiliated with Islamist groups often use emotive statements in order to instantly promote identification with Muslim suffering. The common response is equally emotive, and side steps any notion of legal recourse. Once locked into such discourses, group affiliates will use emotive statements to direct the emotions and thoughts of the individuals they are attempting recruit. I was often placed in this situation, unable to maintain my neutrality. It is difficult to escape the trap – is one to say ‘no, I would not defend my family and I will seek legal recourse?’ This seems easier to do upon reflection, but it is difficult to comprehend in the moment due to one’s own emotions and the invisible emotional pressure, which is maintained by a constant circulation of emotive discourses.
Such situations raise an interesting question of one’s ability to undo the emotional intellectual, historical and emotional inscriptions of Muslim-ness, Islam and Muslim suffering that they have been socialized into. Can one avoid these and pretend that emotional inscriptions do not exist? In not acknowledging the emotions and the history that one is invested with and reinvests into, does one become free of the relationships that one is constituted by, and constitutes others by, considering that these relationships are based upon a historically-laden, emotionally-embedded memory that filters through all religious rituals and invocations of concepts that constitute the basis of one’s identity? Additionally, even if one is able to escape the discursive trap of the emotive videos or recruitment strategies, one cannot completely escape emotional appeal of Islamist discourses. It is difficult to reject the emotional reasoning behind Islamist discourses because they tug at the emotional threads that connect Muslims who are suffering with other Muslims, which is hard to put into words but easy to feel.
However, there is no guarantee that the process will unfold successfully. But if the targets of recruitment are to join the groups and individuals act independently or on behalf of group, then the process has to be constantly repeated and continued on different platforms by providing explanations that are emotionally more persuasive than existing explanations.
In this paper I have argued that a range of emotions, which are evoked by events that involve the suffering of Muslims open the possibility among some individuals to compel them to look for explanations that satisfy their desire to understand what has happened and the emotional distress that has been caused. This provides a way to understand how one may acquire, and in some cases act on extreme ideas and/or become involved in Islamist groups.
I have argued that uncontrollability can occur through direct experience of tragic events, vicariously by watching videos that detail Muslim suffering or volunteering as an aid worker in a conflict-zone. In some individuals these experiences have the effect of rupturing the relationships that they have been socialized into through the registers of ethnicity and religion. This then compels them to seek explanations that will satisfy them intellectually and, more importantly, emotionally. This search in some cases may lead to individuals, independently of groups, watching videos detailing Muslim suffering. In other cases, it acts as a catalyst for interaction with individuals affiliated with Islamist groups through both online and offline platforms.
In these engagements, forced choice may unfold. Some individuals, by continuously watching and reading about Muslim suffering, can persuade themselves to acquire, and in some cases act on extreme ideas in violent ways. This type of individual is referred to as a lone wolf. In cases where individuals interact with groups, which appears to be the most common avenue for one to acquire extreme ideas, an atmosphere is created in which in-group love and out-group hate is fostered, as well as the desire to gain some form of retribution. This can result in an individual acquiring extreme ideas, becoming involved in Islamist groups, engaging in protest, and in a few cases engaging in violence.
In putting forward the processes of uncontrollability and forced choice I contend that, central to one acquiring and acting upon extreme ideas are emotions generated from events where individuals can identify with people who are suffering or have suffered. We see the effects of these emotions expressed through martyrdom videos and in court trials of convicted terrorists, as well as in interviews given by Islamists.
About the author: Mohammed Ilyas gained is PhD from the Department of Goldsmiths College, University of London in 2011. The PhD adopting an original and innovative approach to investigate why and how some Muslims from Europe join political Islamist groups and some volunteer to become suicide bombers. In December 2012 he completed an International project entitled: Action, creativity, and religious imagination, Muslim experience in Western societies.
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Interview 1 with female MAC affiliate 2012
Interview 1 with male MAC affiliate 2012
Interview 2 with male MAC affiliate 2012
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At the time of the interviews, the interviewees were affiliated with HT and MAC. ↩
This can occur through events like 9/11 or the loss of a loved one because of illness or relationship breakup. ↩
Individuals or religious or ethnic groups that have perceived to have brought suffering to oneself or one’s group. ↩
Pastor Terry Jones Roberts is an American extremist Christian Pastor and 2011 he burned the Quran in honour of 9/11. ↩
The outrage felt at the publication of the 2006 cartoons depicting Prophet Mohammed as a terrorist by Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten led to many protests taking place across the world that resulted in protesters chanting anti-Danish and -Western slogans, and in a few cases violence. Four men were imprisoned for inciting violence at one protest in London in 2006, reported by the BBC as holding placards reading ‘Bomb, bomb Denmark. Bomb, bomb USA’ and ‘Annihilate those who insult Islam’, as well as chanting ‘7/7 on its way’, ‘Europe, you will pay with your blood’ and ‘Bomb, bomb the UK’. ↩