PerspectiveRadicalizing in The Name of Islam – Analysis

Published 26 November 2019

Analysis of all mass murderers’ motivations, ideologies, and radicalization is crucial, but it has been neglected for offenders claiming to act in the name of Islam. However, a data-rich study by sociology professor Charles Kurzman of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill offers a window into Islamist terrorist radicalization.

The evidence suggests the United States may have a problem with converts to a violent ideology they identify as authentic Islam. Johanna Markind writes in Eurasia Review that many of these appear to have converted in prison while others were radicalized by people who themselves had been radicalized in prison, or by influential preachers such as Yemeni-American imam Anwar Awlaki, or by the Internet through such jihadist organizations as the New York-based Revolution Muslim.

She ads:

While the data here may be insufficient to draw firm conclusions, it nevertheless suffices to identify alarming patterns about the motivating ideologies and radicalization of young Muslims, especially when these patterns appear to dovetail with European developments. The U.S. administration must comprehend that understanding the ideology behind terror in the name of Islam is crucial to its defeat.