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Edge of Violence- Radical Approach to Extremism

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Report Analyzes Relationship Between Radicalization and Violence

A new report written by Demos, a private think-tank based in the United Kingdom, analyzes why some types of radicalization lead to violence while others do not. In order to do this, over 70 case studies of radicalized groups and individuals are studied.

Key findings of the report include that: “Becoming a terrorist was not always a natural or linear progression from being a radical. Those who turned to violence often followed a path of radicalisation which was characterized by a culture of violence, in-group peer pressure, and an internal code of honour where violence can be a route to accruing status. Certain signs of radicalisation to violence are visible from this vantage point, for example: distribution of jihad videos, clashes with existing mosque authorities, debates between ‘do-ers’ and ‘talkers’, deep engagement in literature that explains how to determine a kafir and what is permissible once you know, and any criminal activity undertaken in this respect. These manifestations are potentially useful indicators for local police agencies, community leaders and members, and public servants involved in working to prevent radicalisation to violence.”

The report also recommends that those seeking to defeat Al-Qaeda should seek to strip the organization of its glamour and mystique through the use of satire and ridicule. The use of such techniques would expose the incompetent and theologically incompatible side of Al-Qaeda, thus making the organization less appealing to potential recruits.


About Muhammad Haniff Hassan

Muhammad Haniff Bin Hassan is a Fellow. He holds a PhD and M.Sc. in Strategic Studies at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (previously known as the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies), Nanyang Technological University. He received his early education in Aljunied Islamic School. He then continued his tertiary education at the Faculty of Islamic Studies, National University of Malaysia, with honours in Syar`iah and Civil law. Mr. Haniff is also active in social activities as a member of the Islamic Religious Council Appeal Board, HSBC Insurance Islamic Advisory Board from 2000 to 2014, Association of Islamic Religious Teachers and Scholars of Singapore (PERGAS) and Management Committee of Al-Irsyad Islamic School. He writes extensively in Berita Harian (a local Malay newspaper) and has also published articles in The Straits Times. He has published six books in his name, co-authored a monograph and helped publish two books for PERGAS and the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore. His personal website in Malay is at


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