Introduction: Framing the Debate Around Islamic Theology, Radicalisation and Violent Extremism

  • Fethi Mansouri
  • Zuleyha Keskin
Part of the Middle East Today book series (MIET)


Islamism and violent extremism require complete multi-disciplinary analysis to truly understand their causes. Such an analysis necessitates delving into history to appreciate that violent extremism is not a new phenomenon and not exclusive to Islam or Muslims. There is extensive literature that takes social, political, economic and psychological factors into consideration. However, just as important is to consider the theological aspect of violent extremism by analysing the distorted theological narrative posed by radicals as a means to recruit members. Considering this narrative is proving extremely influential, particularly on youth, the narrative needs to be understood and a theological counter-narrative needs to be developed in the context of the other factors mentioned earlier. Furthermore, leadership plays a critical role, such as to push the counter-narrative when influencing the masses. A lack of clear and strong leadership has left a critical vacuum that other influencers in the mould of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have tried to occupy using distorted theological arguments, which have been built on social, political, economic and psychological factors.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and GlobalisationDeakin UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Charles Sturt UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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