Home > General > Radicalisation


Long before social media, long before Islamic terrorism, King Solomon noted that it’s not difficult to recruit people for violence:
“A violent person entices their neighbour
and leads them down a path that is not good.” (Proverbs 16:29)
There are many possible reasons for this. Violence is fun (if you’re not on the receiving end); violence gets quick results (e.g. mugging); violence wins you admiration. The temptation to jump onto the bandwagon is therefore strong – and without at least an equally strong cultural pull in the other direction, few can resist it.

Throughout human history, certain forms of violence have been legitimised, and all cultures have had their particular preferences. The inhabitants of the Roman Empire enjoyed gladiatorial battles (to the death) as a good afternoon’s entertainment; and for a bit of variety, one or two Christians might be eaten by wild beasts in front of an audience of thousands. We consider ourselves more ‘civilised’ now – but boxing and other martial arts continue to flourish, despite the constant stream of injuries that they produce. Violence in films seems if anything to be on the increase: at my local cinema this week, five out of the eight films being shown contain scenes of violence. Does the fact that it’s not ‘real’ somehow make it OK? We can enjoy watching murder, war and other forms of mayhem, knowing that nobody is actually getting seriously hurt. And most of us are not induced to copy what we see… but a few are.

But it is when violence is justified by an ideology that it becomes truly epidemic. Nations have often gone to war with terrifying cheerfulness, convinced that God was on their side. Mediaeval popes whipped up enthusiasm for their crusades by issuing free indulgences to participants. The guerrilla and the terrorist not only experience the ‘normal’ gratifications of violent behaviour, but also have the satisfaction of believing that they have contributed to a noble cause. Add in a sense of ‘belonging’ and comradeship, and you have a proven recipe for recruitment. The path is well-trodden here; the problem of radicalisation is not specific to Islam, but has its roots in our basic human nature.

Violence often looks like the ideal solution to a perceived problem. But what are the long-term results? The trouble is that neither life nor history come in self-contained episodes; we are always travelling “down a path”, and what we do now will inevitably have consequences later on (sometimes much later on). In our own culture, we have some shining examples of the good that can be achieved by non-violent protest (one thinks of the successful political campaigns led by Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King in the last century). Is there anything comparable in Islamic culture? “Love your enemies” (Matthew 5:44) has proved difficult enough for Christians to put into practice; yet there is nothing that even comes close to it in the Qur’an. This makes the actions of Imam Mohammed Mahmoud (in defending a man who had just run a van into a group of Muslims leaving a prayer meeting) all the more noteworthy. Let us hope and pray that his example will lead many others down a good path.

Categories: General
  1. July 2, 2017 at 7:17 am

    Religion often provides the justification for violence. Religious fanatics have been as guilty of its use as the ‘infidels’. And governments invoke their chosen deities to support their causes; while modern ‘push button’ warfare at arm’s length somehow absolves the military from their responsibility for the targeted loss of life.

  2. Deborah
    July 2, 2017 at 9:17 am

    Exactly. It’s not difficult to find an excuse for violence in any belief system (including atheism), if you want to.

  3. July 2, 2017 at 12:18 pm

    Gandhi came from a society that, whatever its faults and tendency to mob rule, still had a long tradition of “ahimsa”, non-violence. Islam has a caveat — Allah does not love “fasad”, violence. Not loving violence and being inherently opposed to it are two very different things.

  4. July 2, 2017 at 1:52 pm

    Here is another “religion” that may also be playing a significant part.

    In 2012-2016 arms sales

    Rank Supplier Sales ($ millions)
    1 United States 47169
    2 Russia 33186
    3 China 8768
    4 France 8561
    5 Germany 7912
    6 United Kingdom 6586
    7 Spain 3958
    8 Italy 3823
    9 Ukraine 3677
    10 Israel 3233

  5. sheona
    July 2, 2017 at 5:22 pm

    I may be cynical, but we ought to hope that this imam does not find himself on the wrong end of a fatwa for deliberately saving the life of a “kafir”.

  6. Four-eyed English Genius
    July 2, 2017 at 5:37 pm

    Unfortunately, PACIFISM does not work. It did not work against Hitler or Stalin. . The best solution to radicalisation is a 9mm slug in the head. You cannot blow up a suicide belt if you are already dead!!

  7. christinaosborne
    July 2, 2017 at 6:41 pm

    I’m with FEEG, get the bastards before they get you.

    Personally I deplore the use of drones to kill people the other side of the world, or anywhere come to that.
    I think it total personal cowardice. Warfare for those who want it should be conducted in the Medieval manner with broadswords led by kings, generals and politicians from the FRONT and their children!
    One could guarantee that would cool their ardour for conflict if they had to hack people to pieces physically!
    It is very easy, too damned easy, to send the young, the poor and the stupid to do your dirty work for you from the inside of you bomb proof limo or protected buildings.

    Peace is a seriously bad idea, it has never worked, ever. Too many ‘good paths’ get sticky as Bunyan attested 400 years ago.

  8. July 3, 2017 at 8:49 am

    Christina, In medieval times violence was confined to swords, spears, bows etc. These days it can get seriously out of control.
    Nevertheless I think violence is the inevitable consequence of what is happening at present. Probably best to ‘tool up’ and try and be on the winning side.

  9. July 3, 2017 at 9:48 am

    Jazz, in living memory there has always been something to fear. The Cold War, then the Middle East conflicts. Now it’s closer to home and somehow more real.

  10. Boadicea
    July 3, 2017 at 12:47 pm

    I am a Pacifist, I am with Churchill that jaw-jaw is better than war-war. And that the war-war will end with;jaw-jaw’.

    However, I accept that there are some people that one can never “jaw-jaw” with – and that there are times when no amount of “jaw-jawing” will solve the problem – and then the only solution is to “war-war”.

    I tend to think that the present situation whereby the West is at ‘war’ with an alien ideology is our own stupid fault. We have not only failed to understand that that particular alien ideology has not and will not progress beyond its medieval roots whereby its followers claim ‘divine’ direction, we have also actively promoted and supported the notion that all ideologies have equal worth and value… and aggressively repressed any who dare to question that premise.

    We are way beyond trying to talk to these people… the only answer is to declare a war of annihilation.

    I am, as I said, a Pacifistic – but I also believe that once the ‘jaw-jaw’ has failed the only answer is to ‘war-war’ with no holds barred… wipe the opposition off the face of the planet by whatever means available. That is what they are trying to do – we need to meet fire with fire.

  11. Four-eyed English Genius
    July 3, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    Igitur qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum. Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus

  12. Four-eyed English Genius
    July 3, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    Unfortunate but, thanks to human nature, true.

  13. July 3, 2017 at 6:09 pm

    Indeed, FEEG – except old Vegetius wrote mostly about war-war in an era when there was no jaw-jaw. 🙂

  14. July 3, 2017 at 6:39 pm

    In the summer of 1895, London received a virtual ultimatum from secretary of state Richard Olney, demanding that Great Britain accept U.S. arbitration in a border dispute between British Guiana and Venezuela. Lord Salisbury shredded Olney’s note like an impatient tenured professor cutting up a freshman term paper. But President Cleveland demanded that Britain accept arbitration—or face the prospect of war with the United States. The British were stunned by American enthusiasm for a war over a patch of South American jungle, and incredulous. America deployed two battleships to Britain’s forty-four. Yet Salisbury took the threat seriously: “A war with America…in the not distant future has become something more than a possibility.

    “Isolation is much less dangerous than the danger of being dragged into wars which do not concern us. Lord Salisbury, 1896.”

    Salisbury was right.

    In South Africa, Joseph Chamberlain and Alfred Milner were wrong to have provoked a war with the Kruger and the Boers.
    Grey and Asquith were wrong to have gone to War with Germany, as was Neville Chamberlain 24 years later. 3 terrible wars within 40 years of each other, put an end to the British Empire ultimately leading to the mess we are in today, i.e. the approaching demise of the Anglo Saxon race and Western civilisation.If you want to know what I think, Zionism is at the heart of it all.

  15. July 3, 2017 at 10:00 pm

    Sipu: Exactly what I’ve thought for some time. Going to war in ’14 and ’39 was absolute madness. You would think we had learned our lesson, but apparently not.

  16. christinaosborne
    July 4, 2017 at 1:28 am

    Nobody ever learns their lessons! Total blind spot of humanity.

  17. July 4, 2017 at 5:42 am

    Sipu, ‘If you want to know what I think, Zionism is at the heart of it all’. Care to explain?

  18. July 4, 2017 at 6:24 am

    Janus, it would take too long and in any event even if I were able to provide concrete evidence, I doubt you would believe me, so it is rather a pointless exercise. Besides, whether what I had to write was fact or fiction, I would probably get locked up or black listed in some way. There are bots on the internet that monitor what one says.

  19. July 4, 2017 at 6:25 am

    Jazz, I think I would rather be speaking German than Arabic which is what is going to happen to the next generation of British kids.

  20. July 4, 2017 at 7:05 am

    Sipu, these days we WASPs tend not to believe in protecting or even promoting our culture – but Jews and Muslims do. It can’t hurt to learn a language that improves communication.

  21. July 4, 2017 at 9:50 am

    Soup: The way things are going the Germans will be speaking Arabic as well.
    BTW do you know of the author/journalist Douglas Reed ?

  22. July 5, 2017 at 6:50 am

    Hi Jazz, I had not heard the name, but he sounds like he had some sensible things to say as long with others that I may disagree with. I will learn more about him.

    I confess that I have been watching Youtube videos of that vilified English historian the mention of whose name is tantamount to hate speech. I must admit Mr Irving makes some compelling points which seem to concur with those of Douglas Reed. The Holocaust is very much an industry and a highly lucrative one at that.

    You may have come across this book from Douglas Murray.

  23. July 5, 2017 at 8:03 am

    Sipu: I’ve heard of ‘ The Strange Death of Europe’ but can’t bear to read it as I know what it says.

    Is this the first time that a civilisation has wantonly destroyed it self against the wishes of the majority of its citizens ?

    As for David Irving he’s a pretty good historian and before he fell foul of the chosen people was much respected. He wrote an excellent account of Convoy PQ17.

    The term Holocaust Denier applies to anybody who tries to find out exactly what happened rather than blindly accepting the establishment line. Irving has never denied that the Nazis were beastly to the Jews.


  24. July 5, 2017 at 8:11 am

    I consider your words extremely offensive to many people: ‘The Holocaust is very much an industry and a highly lucrative one at that.’

  25. July 5, 2017 at 12:48 pm

    Janus, “I consider your words extremely offensive to many people.” I am not sure that remark is entirely logical. How can you consider my words offensive to others? To yourself, yes, but to others, no. Be that as it may, I do not give a toss whether you or anybody else think it offensive or not. I believe it to be true and I am clearly not alone in doing so. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Holocaust_Industry

    It is interesting to note how the use of the phrase “The Holocaust” with a capital H, exploded in the early 70’s.


    Nobody is denying that Jews were massacred both within and without the concentration camps. However, there is considerable doubt as to the extent and nature of the massacre and the events and motivations that led to them. I have no knowledge of whether or not Irving is right or not, but I cannot comprehend why he should not be allowed to challenge convention. Surely, that is the job of academics. Prior to his being sent to Coventry, to use an appropriate idiom,Irving was recognised as a sound historian. His book, The Destruction of Dresden, was highly acclaimed as were others of his numerous books. But now he is deemed to be incompetent. In the world in which we now live, to deny the Holocaust is as much as heresy as it was to deny that Jesus Christ was the Son of God during the Spanish Inquisition. Irving may be wrong, but he should not go to jail for saying what he believes and nor should anybody else.

  26. July 5, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    Sipu, I know because many people have said so! Simple and logical. And btw, there is no doubt as to the motivations of the perpetrators of the holocaust. I don’t mind you or your quoted authors doubting the facts but I do reserve the right to tell you that what you say offends many people. Your not caring is another matter altogether, which I will allow to pass for risking an ad hominem episode again.

  27. christinaosborne
    July 5, 2017 at 3:59 pm

    I agree with sipu that the holocaust industry appeared in it’s current form in the 70s along with the public odium at any who question the received wisdom as a heresy.
    I think it is somewhat obvious that the holocaust is exploited by Jews intent on using a guilt trip hypothesis on most of us for the benefit of profit, power and furthering the course of Israel.
    The actual causes of the holocaust are completely irrelevant to the current emotional and fiscal gouging.
    This is particularly clear in the USA.

    People have the right to differ without personal castigation.
    It appears ‘witch hunting’ never really passes does it?
    The current fashionable heresies just change from generation to generation.

  28. July 5, 2017 at 5:49 pm

    “I know because many people have said so!” I am sorry, Janus, that is certainly not logical. Many people have said that Jesus is the Son of God, while others have said the world was flat and others still have said that Islam is the religion of peace!

    I am in no position to refute numbers, methods or motives, but if people are so adamant about sticking to a set of statistics and prosecute those who challenge them, then I cannot help asking questions.

    The first question is whether it is in the interest of Jewish communities around the world to maintain the history of the Holocaust in its current format or whether they would prefer it if things turned out to have been even worse or, if they turned out to have been nothing like as bad as is currently believed. Suppose for a moment that new, irrefutable evidence emerged that the number was not 6 million but significantly different to that. How would the community react if the figure turned out to be 9 million? Would that give ammunition to their cause.What about the Hollywood films, the novels and history books, the museums and memorials, the politicians and lawyers? Would that not boost the careers of those who make a living from these sources.Would that not increase or reduce sympathy for Jewish people?

    Compare that to how they would react if the number turned out to be 3 million that had died and that the majority of these from starvation as food supplies ran out ahead of the advancing Allies. How many films would Spielberg make? How many tourists would visit Auschwitz or other memorials? What would it do for antisemitism? Would Israel continue to receive vast amounts of aid from the US and Germany?

    The Holocaust industry benefits from the number being as high as possible and the nature of the crimes committed as being as inhumane as possible. It is a similar pattern for the Slavery/Colonial/Racism Industry. The more outrageous the crimes committed the higher the moral grounds. With high moral grounds come high compensation.

    If it is not in their interest to lessen the suffering they are not going tolerate any suggestion that contradicts their claims. You only have to go through a divorce to realise how these things work.

    Compensation Britain is full of such behaviour.

  29. July 5, 2017 at 6:29 pm

    The six million figure has been pretty well debunked although not with much publicity because people are terrified of being labled ad deniers. In fact any rational discussion of WW2 is almost impossible. What really pi$$es me off is the virtual sanctification of Churchill.

  30. July 5, 2017 at 6:38 pm

    May you all enjoy your anti- Semitic self-justifications.

  31. July 5, 2017 at 6:43 pm

    Oh yes, and Sipu, when people say they are offended, I know. It’s behavioural logic. Get over it.

  32. cogitationator
    July 7, 2017 at 8:10 pm

    I agree with those who speak of the “holocaust industry.”

    To any who’d accuse me of being anti-Semitic, I’ll say that I was born and brought up in New York City, which back then was heavily influenced (a nice way of putting it) by Judaism. Most of my friends were Jewish. My first girl friend was Jewish. Inevitably, I learned to “think Jewish” and was once described by a Jewish friend as “a real mensch.” To date, nothing has happened to change that.

    I have, however, observed changes in the Jewish attitude over time. In the 1950s and early 1960s, the Jews very publicly hated anything German. A Volkswagen beetle? Well, a practical and economical car, to be sure, but of course it’s German and no Jew would ever think of buying one, no matter how much he secretly wanted to. How the market has changed! Today, while I don’t have actual sales figures at my disposal, I suspect that Jews account for a hefty proportion of German “swankmobile” (M-B, BMW, Audi) sales, the emphasis having mysteriously shifted from origin to price.

    Somewhere along the line, some person or persons unknown (but almost certainly of the Jewish persuasion) realized that there was some advantage to be had from spreading guilt heavily upon the Goyim (Gentiles), trying to make them feel that they were somehow responsible for all the wrongs that were done and that they should cater to Jews in every way possible. The (largely Jewish-run) media were complicit in promoting and perpetuating the concept and every year still brings a “holocaust remembrance” time (never actually called such), during which TV stations ladle out extra helpings of WW II documentaries, movies, etc., etc., usw.. Enough is enough! I’m naturally sorry to hear that anyone’s great-grandfather was in a concentration camp but that was more than seventy (70!) years ago and surely it’s time to shut down the “holocaust industry,” pick up the pieces and move on.

    The African-Americans, blacks, negroes or whatever term they consider fashionable these days have adopted the same approach. “Poor me,” says the wealthy black in his pricey high-rise hut, “one of my ancestors was a slave.” So? For me, what ended any such pretense of deserving special treatment was something I saw on TV the other night. (Sorry, but the hour was late, I was half asleep in my recliner and I cannot now for the life of me remember the name of either the speaker or of the show on which he appeared.) Said speaker was a black man and what he said was: “Hey, if it wasn’t for slavery, we’d all still be in Africa.”

    How glad I am to be living in the USA (Jewish A?), where I can utter whatever thoughts may form in my alleged brain without fear of being nicked for “hate speech,” whatever that is anyway.

  33. July 8, 2017 at 7:52 am

    So it would be fairer to talk of many ethnic industries promoted by the liberal meeja. That’s fine by me if anti-ethnic bigots don’t try to piggy-back with deliberate falsehoods intended to turn their targets into the bad guys. May I point out that the Jews didn’t invent their cleansing nor did slaves invent their trafficking to America.

  34. July 8, 2017 at 8:16 am

    Janus “….May I point out that the Jews didn’t invent their cleansing nor did slaves invent their trafficking to America……..

    So what ? None of those doing the whining were ever in a slave ship and next to none in a concentration camp. And virtually none of the perpetrators is alive.

    Apart from a passing interest in the history I couldn’t care less about any of it and I’m tired of hearing about it.

  35. July 8, 2017 at 8:18 am

    Janus, did you watch the video or are you afraid that it will challenge your bigotry?

  36. July 8, 2017 at 8:23 am

    Janus the Jews invented the concept of ‘chosen’ aka ‘master race’. Their whole religion and culture is based on that premise. But maybe you never read the Old Testament. The Jewish version is even more dammning.

  37. July 8, 2017 at 9:28 am

    Sipu, your ignorant presumptions about others simply emphasise your idiocy.

  38. July 8, 2017 at 10:37 am

    Ah, Janus, am I now allowed to yell, ‘ad hominem’ ad nauseam?

  39. July 8, 2017 at 10:48 am

    Ad nauseam.

  40. cogitationator
    July 8, 2017 at 9:31 pm

    Janus: “Liberal meeja?” Now you’ve done it, gone and named one of my pet peeves. Slowly I turned… Naah, forget it, it’s too warm today to allow myself to get all worked up over the likes of them.

    While true that slaves themselves didn’t invent their own trafficking to America, many were captured and sold by Africans of other tribes. All we “civilized” Westerners did was to pay the going rate, cram them into ships and resell them at a suitable markup. Disclaimer: To the best of my knowledge and belief (how’s that for legalese?), no one in my family ever owned, bought, sold or traded in slaves.

    As for the Jews, a cursory look at Jewish history will show that they have somehow managed to make themselves irritating enough to be dealt with harshly at various times in various places. Well, the Cossacks had after all to be kept busy doing something violent. It was only later that a certain demented Austrian corporal took things to an industrial scale, much in keeping with his “bigger must be better” belief reflected in design of tanks, railway guns, trains, usw.. Ever wonder why Jews have come to dominate the diamond trade? It’s because they’ve learned the hard way that, when the time comes (as has often been the case) to get out of town in a hurry, diamonds are an eminently portable store of wealth.

  41. christinaosborne
    July 9, 2017 at 12:17 am

    Pogrom of York! 1190.
    We’ve all done it.
    Interesting how many people they have managed to piss off thoughout history.

  42. July 9, 2017 at 6:55 am

    Yes, but ethnic minorities don’t have a monopoly on it! Witness some Charioteers! 🙂

  43. cogitationator
    July 9, 2017 at 9:42 pm

    Janus: No, of course ethnic minorities don’t have a monopoly on pissing people off. There are social minorities (my “hate speech” withheld until some other time) and commercial groups.

    I don’t know that many would understand or appreciate my loathing of banks and insurance companies. The order of those in my “hate list” varies according to who has committed the latest outrage against my wallet and my peace of mind. But yet, like it or not, we can’t have a commercial pogrom because we need to keep such (multiple expletives deleted) outfits around.

    As concerns individuals being irritating, stick around. I haven’t even got started yet!

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