Religious Radicalisation: The Ways of Norwegian Jihad

Monday, 11 July 2016: 09:00
Location: Hörsaal 48 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Gwynyth OVERLAND, RVTS - Ragional trauma compeency centre Southern Norway, Norway
How do people become radicalised and what does the term really mean? “Radical” comes from the latin radix, root. Etymologically, “religious radicalisation” thus suggests a process of returning to the roots of a religion, to its fundamental teachings. Using both theoretical and empirical sources, this paper explores the background and processes involved in the radicalisation and recruitment of young Norwegian citizens into militant Jihadi groups by means of appeals to religion and meaning incentives (Weggemans, 2015). What are they missing, the vulnerable outsiders who risk becoming the prey of scouts for extremist organisations, and what do they find?

Theoretically, the paper is based on classical sociology of religion sources, historical and religious explorations of the Crusade-Jihad nexus and contemporary radicalisation research.

Empirically, the sources are interview and observation data from an on going evaluation study. The focus of the study is a longitudinal project aimed at preventing the recruitment of vulnerable young men from Norwegian secondary schools into violent extremist organisations. The paper will present preliminary findings from the research.