Radicalisation process “a cultural and religious insight” [Part III]


Click to read Part I or Part II of this article

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.

Radicalisation Process

I would like explain some of the messages promoted by the international Islamic militant groups. Though I will first discuss some important Muslim symbols and terminology.

I will start with the five basic acts in Islam that are considered mandatory by believers and are the foundation of Muslim life. The five pillars of Islam are:

  1. Shahadah: declaring there is no God except God, and Muhammad is God’s Messenger
  2. Salat: ritual prayer five times a day
  3. Zakat: giving 2.5% of one’s savings to the poor and needy
  4. Sawm: fasting and self-control during the holy month of Ramadan
  5. Hajj: pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in a lifetime if one is able

The most important out of all these pillars is the Shahadah (“the testimony “) because militant groups who are trying to radicalise moderate Muslims use this symbol to evoke an emotional connection and show power and authority.

There are many discussion papers and news articles trying to explain the messages promoted by the Militant Groups to attract recruits via social media. I will share with you some thoughts about how Islamic State target their recruits based on my unstinting of culture and religion.

Some of the key messages which the militant groups are promoting are “Simple” when it relates to the points I made earlier in my speech where I mentioned how “Imams and authority figures use the culture and religion to manipulate the moderate Muslims”… Click HERE to find out more about this article