Western Jihadism in Sociological Perspective: The Urban and National Dimensions

Monday, 16 July 2018: 09:15
Location: Constitution Hall (MTCC NORTH BUILDING)
Oral Presentation
Jihadists have been mostly analyzed with respect to their "radicalization" process, their networks, their individual and social characteristics and their ideology. They almost set aside the following dimensions:

-the urban sociological aspects (in Europe, the so-called "poor suburbs" or "poor inner cities" and the first, second, third generation people of migrant origin)

- the differences between different nations in Europe, their political culture and their ways of dealing with immigration. To give but an example: the French laïcité and the English multicultural approach have major differences and their attitude towards Islamic mores (particularly the hijab) antagonizes in a differential manner Muslims: French Muslims of traditional background feel more deeply hurt than their English counterparts.

- the differences between different communities in Europe: Moroccans, Turks, Pakistanis, Somalians.... One example: the Turks (that is European citizens of Turkish origin) are underrepresented in Jihadist acts whereas Moroccans (that is the European citizens of Moroccan origin) are rather overrepresented for social, cultural and historical reasons;

-The interaction of these communities with the cultural and social settings in each country: for historical and cultural reasons Algerians who have suffered most from decolonization are less present in Jihadist circles in France than Moroccans in the last decade. In the same fashion, those Jihadists who have returned home are "less dangerous" in Denmark than in France or Great Britain for institutional and cultural reasons.

-The urban setting can play a major role in many cases, particularly in the "banlieues" in France, "poor districts" in many European countries, or simply due to the original attraction of a city (Minnesota in the US for the Somalians (citizens of Somali origin)).

This paper intends to give their full weight to these dimensions and explore their relationship with the Jihadist agency.