Observations from the media and from public discourse on Islamist radicalization reveal that terms such as 'Islamist extremism,' 'terrorism,' and 'Islamism' are often used without a clear or common definition. The same can be said for the use of these terms in academic literature. As pointedly stated by various actors, including al-Qaeda's deceased ideologue and leader Osama bin Laden, “one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter,” and whereas suicide bombers are seen as the epitome of so called 'Islamist extremism', various commentators have suggested recognizing them instead as a category of fighters. The notion of 'terrorism' has been used by both sides of the US-proclaimed “Global War on Terror” (GWOT) to create an ideological frame for understanding events. As a result, the divide presented by 'us against them' logic, and the entailing suspicions and indiscriminate repression of Islamists, may have in fact furthered the process of radicalization.
Consequently, views on how to approach current, former, and potential Islamist 'terrorists' diverge significantly. Horgan recently addressed the dilemma of state-led deradicalization programs stating that “in the sample of individuals … interviewed from 2006-2008, while almost all of the interviewees could be described as disengaged, not a single one of them could be said to be 'de-radicalized'”. This leads him to demand a more abstract evaluation of different initiatives and “greater conceptual clarity between the two [terms],” 'deradicalization' and 'disengagement.' It is argued that the evaluation of programs to 'deradicalize' or 'disengage' has been hindered as a result of such ambiguity. This analysis thus sets out to reconceptualizing both terms and their inherent components.
Saudi Arabia has one of the most widely recognized 'soft approaches to terrorism.' Initiatives to “[overcome] extremism” as a mind-set are thereby “part of Saudi Arabia's long-term counterterrorism strategy”. This 'war of ideas' is fought “to instill the concepts of moderation and tolerance, and to undermine any justification for extremism and terrorism on an intellectual level”. These initial quotes stating the goals of Saudi Arabia's counterterrorism approach prompt questions about the definition of terms such as 'moderation', 'extremism' and 'terrorism.' Once common definitions are established, Saudi Arabia's “Counter-Radicalization” and “Rehabilitation Program” can be put in relation to other such programs to improve dialogue and best-practices sharing among international actors. While deradicalization, disengagement, rehabilitation and reintegration are used somewhat interchangeably by governments and commentators, this essay focuses on the main categories of deradicalization and disengagement, thereby linking other terms.
The essay follows Fink and Horgan who state that deradicalization and counter-radicalization imply cognitive aspects and challenge fundamentalist interpretations, whereas disengagement seeks to alter behavior. Hogan “emphasizes the need for clarity in distinguishing deradicalization (attitudinal modification) from disengagement (behavioral modification).” Davis and Cragin similarly differentiate between a “change in beliefs” and a “change in actions.” Especially Horgan's definition has gained wide prominence in reports and conference discussion and was additionally adopted by a UN working group. This suggests that the UN may prove to be the appropriate actor to further the acceptance of common definitions, and thereby facilitate dialogue among the actors.
This clear differentiation between deradicalization, targeting the hearts and minds, and dis-engagement, renouncing violence, avoids the issue of overlapping definitions invoked by various authors and enables us to evaluate the programs more objectively. Some definitions e.g. falsely describe radicalization as “a process whereby individuals … come to view violence as a legitimate method of solving social and political conflicts” or “the process through which an individual changes from passiveness … to … militant” and with “intent towards … violence”. While it is important to research the influence of radicalization on violent behavior, this essay argues that both - radicalization and acts of violence – require separate consideration in order to allow for comprehensive approaches.
This section aims at deconstructing the defining components of the term deradicalization. Following the initial definitions of Fink and Horgan, counter-radicalization and deradicalization are closely associated, while disengagement, discussed in section three, aims at different outcomes. In this respect, Fink provides useful criteria: “Deradicalization and disengagement can be defined as the process of individual and collective withdrawal. Disengagement refers to a behavioral change, whereas deradicalization implies a cognitive shift, i.e. a fundamental change in understanding”.
Counter-radicalization and deradicalization share the targeting of 'hearts and minds'. However, they address different target groups. While counter-radicalization aims to “work upstream to prevent radicalization by reducing vulnerability and increasing resilience” thereby addressing currently non-radical individuals or communities, deradicalization refers to “programs … directed against individuals who have become radical with the aim of re-integrating them into society”. Counter-polarization falls in the same category, and is “aimed at reducing divisions between different groups within society”.
The Oxford Dictionary defines the term 'radical' as “necessitating … fundamental social, economic or political change”, as “extreme” and “favoring … fundamental or revolutionary changes”. Furthermore, according to Carnegie 'extremist' is the superlative of 'radical'. Extremism is often used in connection with Islamism and violence in the media, but following its origins 'extreme' merely means “not usual,” “exceptional,” “advocating severe or drastic measures” or “far from moderate”. Furthermore, defining extremism as “the use of unconventional means in the face of exceptional circumstances” shows that both mind-sets and actions may be considered extreme. 'Moderate' and 'fundamentalist' appear in all of these definitions and play an important role in Islamist deradicalization efforts. Therefore, the following highlights academic findings on both dimensions.
According to Kepel, Salafists are “the real fundamentalists of Islam”, and therefore currently subject to growing concern. This is due to the fact that they proclaim the “denouncing of excessive moderation” and challenge other Islamist groups such as the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood for following what they consider Qutb's “personal interpretations” of Islam. Salafism is at its core an especially strict interpretation of the Quran and sharia principles, as can be observed also within Saudi Arabia's Wahhabi tradition. It arouse from the observation that Islam was deviating from its original purpose into a state of jahiliyya and required a return to the ancient principles of the devout ancestors, 'salaf' in Arabic. Salafists aims to achieve this by reinterpreting the writings of the Quran and the Sunnah, and applying them to the modern world, whereas Wahhabism is more conservative, considering modernism a foreign influence that should be neglected. This second trait is included in Lewis definition:
"Muslim fundamentalists are those who believe the troubles of the Muslim world ... are the result not of insufficient modernization but excessive modernization ... i.e. imposing and importing infidel ways on Muslim peoples. The task is to remove [modernizing] rulers and expel their foreign patrons and protectors, and return to purely Islamic ways of life in accord with the principles of Islam".
These fundamentalist views represent strict borders and may impede dialogue due to the world's division in black and white, or right and wrong. However, the means adopted to pursue this path differ largely, as e.g. in Russia only small fractions of the fundamentalist movements resort to violence. Therefore, Carnegie's description in the Russian context seems to generalize too broadly and fails to recognize divides within the Salafi tradition:
“Both [traditionalists and Salafis] have the same goal of instituting Islamic order and introducing sharia law, differing only on the methods of accomplishing that goal. The Salafis are ready to resort to violence. The traditionalists believe in the possibility of peaceful evolution … within the framework of the Russian state.”
Wiktorowicz, who recognizes the divisions, describes three factions within the Salafi movement: Firstly, the purists who emphasize the need for non-violent purification and education of the Muslim society, secondly, the politicos who engage in the political arena and thirdly, the jihadis who consider violence as a necessary means to creating a state of 'Rashidun'. While used in the context of the North Caucasus as a derogative term for Salafism, Wahhabism is first and foremost an Islamic sect promoted by funding from Saudi Arabia. It increased its popularity by disseminating books, tapes and other Wahhabite doctrinal texts through the Muslim World League established in 1962, as well as by funding the establishment of institutions and mosques. While the Saudi Arabian Kings have used its religious institutions to gain popular legitimacy and support of influential clerics, the structure of Saudi Arabia's economy with its reliance of foreign workers quickly led to the spread of fundamental ideas abroad. Therefore, analyzing the way in which Saudi Arabia aims to deal with fundamental thoughts within its deradicalization programs promises to be an interesting aspect of section four. It is crucial to recognize the importance of ideologues such as Sayyid Qutb or Abul A'la Mawdudi who postulate the departure from wrong-doing in politics, economics and society based on the writings of Qu'ran and Sunnah.
On the other side of the spectrum stand Islamic movements upholding moderate thoughts and principles inherent to “Western” democracy ,especially regarding the participation of the Muslim community or 'umma' and consultation or 'ijtihad'. In contrast to mainstream perceptions, religion can thereby be considered a de-escalating force introducing moral values such as peace and tolerance. The notion of moderation is best described in the originally Islamo-liberal's Arabic term 'wasatiyya', meaning both religious moderation and political balancing of liberal and Islamist forces. The rising importance and legitimacy of this term adopted from the Quran is linked to scholars such as Salman al-'Awda, 'A'idh al-Qarni, and Safar al-Hawali.
This deconstruction of fundamentalist and moderate Islam serves as a delineator to distinguish between different strands within Islamic movements in order to draw a more complete picture of a heterogeneous set of people often treated as a single entity. According to some authors it is this indiscriminate treatment which has led to an increase in radical thinking and the spread of violence. Especially the differences in fundamental and moderate thinking have “sparked deep divisions within the global Islamist movement” and helped counter-terror campaigns due to the moderate fraction's opposition to violence.
Although this essay suggest that both terms are valuable in classifying programs of deradicalization and disengagement, it is important to recognize that differentiating between 'radical' and 'moderate' is never straightforward. While supporters of radical Qutbist ideas may be using moderate rhetoric as a mere means of deception, moderate individuals may be adhering to seemingly radical religious behavior out of fear of repression, such as observed by Kepel during the 1996-2001 Taliban rule in Afghanistan.
Figure 1: Deconstructing radicalism
Combined with the initial definitions, these findings suggest that 'deradicalization' aims at targeting fundamental, and creating moderate ideas. This is displayed in Figure 1. It is important to acknowledge this 'battle of ideas' when evaluating a program’s success. The battle of ideas is a result of aiming to indoctrinate an individual to accept a substitute ideology. In addition to being difficult to evaluate, it is difficult to assess whether e.g. a stronger notion of nationalism is favorable to sectarianism. One's ideology is also linked to one's identity, which is seen as an important part of deradicalization efforts, since a change in attitudes may result in a rejection within previous social groups where “the level of collective identities and actions taken to defend such 'we identities'” are important. Sageman's analyses of individuals have shown that these social links play a crucial role in understanding motives for adopting radical mind-sets and for joining such groups. The terms 'radical' and 'fundamentalist' are hereafter used synonymously.Continued on Next Page »
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1.) Cf. (Bergen 2001, 19) as quoted in (Mohamedou 2006, 51): “We believe the United States is responsible directly for those who were killed in Palestine, Lebanon, and Iraq. This American government abandoned humanitarian feelings by these hideous crimes. ... The United States today has set a double standard ... It wants to occupy our countries, steal our resources, impose on us agents to rule us … and wants us to agree to all this. If we refuse to do so, it will say, 'You are terrorists'.”
2.) (Seymour 1975)
3.) Cf. (Mamdadi 2004, 222)
4.) Cf. (George 1991, 92-93) as quoted in (Mohamedou 2006, 73-74): “For a number of years, a discipline of 'terrorology' has hence been constructed, whereby the notion of 'terrorism' is employed ... in response to ideological pressures whose fundamental tenets are skillfully insinuated through selective focus, omission and biased description.”
5.) (Horgan, Walking Away From Terrorism: Accounts of Disengagement from Radical and Extremist Movements 2009, 6)
6.) Cf. (Horgan and Braddock 2010, 282)
7.) (Horgan, Deradicalization or Disengagement?: A Process in Need of Clarity and a Counterterrorism Initiative in Need of Evaluation 2008, 8)
8.) All initiatives of deradicalization and disengagement discussed in this essay are aimed at Islamist individuals or groups. In future research the results of right-wing 'Exit' programs in Germany and Sweden may provide interesting lessons learned.
9.) (Embassy of Saudi Arabia 2012, 5)
10.) (Embassy of Saudi Arabia 2012, 5)
11.) Cf. (Fink and Hearne 2008, i)
12.) Cf. (Institute for Strategic Dialogue 2010, 4)
13.) (Horgan, Deradicalization or Disengagement?: A Process in Need of Clarity and a Counterterrorism Initiative in Need of Evaluation 2008, 5) as quoted in (Davis and Cragin 2009, 300)
14.) Cf. (Institute for Strategic Dialogue 2012, 2)
15.) Cf. (Institute for Strategic Dialogue 2010, 3-4)
16.) (Bermingham, et al. 2009, 1)
17.) (Institute for Strategic Dialogue 2010, 2)
18.) Cf. (Wiktorowicz 2002, 210)
19.) Cf. (Horgan, From Profiles to Pathways and Roots to Routes: Perspectives from Psychology on radicalization into Terrorism 2008) and (Horgan, Individual Disengagement: A Psychological Perspective 2009)
20.) (Fink and Hearne 2008, i)
21.) (Institute for Strategic Dialogue 2010, 3)
22.) (UN Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force n.d., 5)
23.) (Institute for Strategic Dialogue 2010, 3)
24.) “Radical,” in (A Dictionary of Psychology (3 ed.) 2012)
25.) “Radical,” in (The Free Dictionary n.d.): “Departing markedly from the usual or customary; extreme”
26.) “Radical,” in (The Free Dictionary n.d.): “Favoring or effecting fundamental or revolutionary changes in current practices, conditions or institutions”
27.) Cf. (Malashenko 2013)
28.) “Extreme” in (New Oxford American Dictionary 2012)
29.) (Terterov 2013)
30.) For a brief overview of the origins of Islamism and Orientalism, see Appendix.
31.) (Kepel 2003, 220)
32.) Cf. (International Crisis Group 2013), cf. (Naumann December 2008) and cf. (ICCT April 19 2013)
33.) Referred to as “tawilat“, cf. (Kepel 2003, 220-221)
 (Lewis 2001, 60) as quoted in (Oberschall 2004, 21)
 Cf. (Feron, Lecture Week 7: Theories of Conflict and Violence 2012)
36.) (Malashenko 2013)
37.) Cf. (Wiktorowicz 2006, 208)
38.) Cf. (Tutt 2010)
39.) Cf. (International Crisis Group 2005) as quoted in (International Crisis Group 2012): “The term “Wahhabi” was used in the Soviet Union to designate dissident Islamic movements and is now commonly and pejoratively applied to all followers of the Hanbali school of law. Salafi organisations in the North Caucasus never use this term.”
40.) Cf. (Kepel 2003, 72)
41.) Cf. (Kepel 2003, 72)
42.) Cf. (Qutb 2011, 149)
43.) Cf. (Lacroix 2004, 346)
44.) (Feron, Lecture Week 1: Theories of Conflict and Violence 2012, 10)
45.) Cf. (Kepel 2003, 19): “Residents rushed to barber shops for a clean shave and waited in long lines to reclaim old TV sets”
46.) Cf. (Davis and Cragin 2009, 309): “Noricks speaks of former JI militants who have renounced their actions—albeit not always their ideology”
47.) (Buzan, Waever and de Wilde 1998, 120)
48.) Cf. (Thomas 2009, 20): “Marc Sageman is a forensic psychiatrist and former CIA case officer who is recognized for his work on extremist mindsets, and potential ways to influence them.”
49.) Cf. (Sageman 2004) who speaks of in-group love and out-group hate and cf. (Sageman 2008, 66-69): “… may be spurred by political grievances, is fueled by the influence of radical group members on acquaintances who may … be brought into the group”
50.) Own figure
51.) Cf. (Horgan 2008)
52.) (Fink and Hearne 2008, i)
53.) Cf. (Davis and Cragin 2009, 313)
54.) Cf. (Diani 1992, 19)
55.) (Hafez 2003, 71) as quoted in (The Rise of Hamas: A Social Movement Theory Approach 2008, 45)
56.) Cf. (Hafez 2003)
57.) “Engage” in (Princeton Dictionary n.d.): 1. “engage, wage (carry on (wars, battles, or campaigns)), e.g. 'Napoleon and Hitler waged war against all of Europe',” 2. “engage, enlist (hire for work or assistance) 'engage aid, help, services, or support',” 3. “prosecute, engage, pursue (carry out or participate in an activity; be involved in) 'She pursued many activities'; 'They engaged in a discussion'”
58.) Cf. (Kepel 2003, 324)
59.) Cf. (Jandal 2010 ) as quoted in (El-Said 2012, 44): “Al-Qaeda who pays its cadre around $300 monthly.”
60.) (International Crisis Group, Tunisia: Violence and the Salafi Challenge 2013)
61.) (ICCT April 19 2013)
62.) Cf. (Naumann December 2008, 3)
63.) Cf. (Bin Laden 2004) as quoted in (Mohamedou 2006, 99): “We would like to inform you that labeling us and our acts as terrorism is also a description of you and of your acts. Reaction comes at the same level as the original action. Our actions are but a reaction to your acts, which are represented by the destruction and killing of our kinsfolk in Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine.”
64.) Definition of the US State Department as quoted in (Whittaker 2001)
65.) Cf. (Hoffman 1998, 41): Terrorism is according to Hoffman “the deliberate creation and exploitation of fear through violence or the threat of violence in pursuit of political change.“
66.) (Livingstone 1982, 4)
67.) Cf. (Laqueur 1987) as quoted in (Oberschall 2004, 26)
68.) (Oberschall 2004, 26)
69.) Cf. (Mohamedou 2006, 76)
70.) Cf. (Feron, Lecture Week 7: Theories of Conflict and Violence 2012)
71.) For example: “Is there a threshold for escalation and is it explainable by reciprocality?”
72.) Cf. (Oberschall 2004, 25)
73.) Cf. (Kepel 2003, 141-142)
74.) Cf. (Kepel 2003, 139)
75.) Cf. (von Clausewitz 2010)
76.) Cf. (Oberschall 2004, 29-30): “The greatest threat for terrorists is infiltration by informants, traitors, and information given to the authorities by third parties (e.g., former activists, neighbors, acquaintances). For self-protection, the terrorists will assassinate such spies and collaborators, even mere suspects-using more violence. Last but not least is violence against the moderates in their own camp who might have a credible plan for a political solution to the conflict.”
77.) Cf. (Sutton and Vertigans 2011, 108)
78.) Cf. (Oberschall 2004, 26)
79.) Cf. (Kepel 2003, 68)
80.) “The ICCT 'Rehabilitation and Reintegration program' in cooperation with UNICRI is aimed at gathering best-practices and involving different types of actors (academia, government, civil society incl. private sector) in facilitated dialogue,” see: http://www.icct.nl/activities/projects/rehabilitation
81.) Own figure
82.) Cf. (Research and Policy Director Briggs 2013). For research on Spain, see: (Pena-Ramos 2008)
83.) Cf. (International Crisis Group, Indonesia: Jemaah Islamiyah's Current Status 2007, 12-13): Ali Imron does not argue against the validity of suicide bombings or about attacks against civilians in general, and says instead that Indonesia's foreign policy allows for attacks against it, but: “we did not think through the costs and benefits, and it turned out we brought more harm than good to our community.”
84.) (Davis and Cragin 2009, 310)
85.) Cf.(Fink and Hearne 2008, 8): “They facilitate the renunciation of violent means without requiring members to abandon the ideal of a Sharia-governed state.”
86.) (International Crisis Group, “Deradicalization” and Indonesian Prisons 2007, i)
87.) (Horgan 2008, 5)
88.) Cf. (Fink and Hearne 2008, 12) and cf. (Horgan 2008)
89.) The interested reader may refer to (Ganor and Falk 2013, 124) for a detailed analysis of Israel's prison program. Israel's prison program is an example of a misunderstanding of the term deradicalization which explains the program's failure in changing the mind-set of prisoners. The following two statements raise doubt. Government statement: “effective de-radicalization process will, first and foremost, lead a terrorist and former inmate to renounce terrorism“ and quote of an ex-prisoner: “I will do it again, because the act came from deliberation, conviction, and faith in Allah, praise be to Him, because a jihad fighter [mujaheed] always expects martyrdom [shahada], imprisonment, or success . . . I was imprisoned, I overcame that predicament, and now I'm free. Why would I regret it?”
90.) Cf. (Noor and Hayat 2009, 4)
91.) Cf. (Fink and Hearne 2008, 10)
92.) Cf. (El-Said 2012, 23): In Jordan “extremists surprisingly called upon the Jordanian authorities to establish a program similar to that in Saudi Arabia” and “to treat them in the same 'way the Saudi authorities treat their radicals, and carry out dialogue with us'”
93.) Cf. (El-Said 2012, 35)
94.) Cf. (El-Said 2012, 36): The "Majlis al-Shura (Consultative Council) [was] established in 1992 to promote more political participation, … staff … were highly respected and credible members of Saudi society”; “also created provincial councils in the mid-1990s to allow public opinion on daily affairs to reach the leadership”
95.) Cf. (Embassy of Saudi Arabia 2012, 6): The program consists of “school and religious programs and popular pronouncements, and the provision of positive, alternative outlets for at-risk groups—such as encouraging participation in sporting events and athletic programs, social outings.”
96.) Cf. (Embassy of Saudi Arabia 2012, 5,6)
97.) All quotes from (Embassy of Saudi Arabia 2012, 6-7)
98.) Cf. (Fink and El-Said 2011, 13-14): It is estimated that only 35 of 3,000 'deviants' or 'beneficiaries' have been rearrested for security offenses.
99.) See also (El-Said 2012, 18,36) with regards to the importance of credibility of deradicalization and disengagement efforts in the Egyptian context
100.) Cf. (Fink and El-Said 2011, 19): “Prince Mohammed: 'If a man reverts to violent extremism having been given everything by the state, he attracts little if any public support, whereas if a man returns to violence because he has been tortured or otherwise mistreated he is likely to take others with him.'; Cf. (El-Said 2012, 38): “A former inmate states: 'I thought you would torture me, and when you didn't, I decided that everything I was told about Americans was wrong. That's why I decided to cooperate.'”
101.) Cf. (Davis and Cragin 2009, 307)
102.) Cf. (El-Said 2012, 38)
103.) Cf. (El-Said 2012, 39) and cf. (Fink and Hearne 2008, 6): Saudi Arabia program referred to as “force, money and ideology”
104.) Cf. (El-Said 2012, 42-44)
105.) (International Crisis Group, The North Caucasus: The Challenges of Integration (II), Islam, the Insurgency and Counter-Insurgency 2012, 2)
106.) (El-Said 2012, 29)
107.) (Fink and El-Said 2011, 12)
108.) Cf. (El-Said 2012, 33)
109.) Cf. (International Crisis Group, The North Caucasus: The Challenges of Integration (II), Islam, the Insurgency and Counter-Insurgency 2012): “Government's counter-terrorism policy has mainly been led by the interior ministry and the Federal Security
Service (FSB) and focused on law enforcement.” and “torture is applied widely for investigative or intelligence purposes”
110.) Cf. (EPLO 06.03.2013): The TV series was presented at a Brussels conference in March 2013.
111.) The show is aired in Angola, Burundi (radio only), Cote d'Ivoire, DR Congo, Ethiopia (radio only), Indonesia, Kenya, Lebanon, Liberia, Morocco, Nepal, Pakistan, Palestine, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Yemen and Zimbabwe and won amongst others the first prize for best African TV Series at the African Film Festival in Verona, Italy. See: http://www.sfcg.org/programs/cgp/the-team.html
112.) See (Ganguly 2006) for an overview of Islamist violence in Bangladesh instigated by Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB)
113.) (El-Said 2012, 14)
114.) Cf. (El-Said 2012, 15)
115.) Cf. (Fink and El-Said 2011, 6) and cf. (El-Said 2012, 15)
116.) Cf. (Berkouk 2009) as discussed in (Fink and El-Said 2011, 5)
117.) Cf. (Institute for Strategic Dialogue 2012, 22-23), cf. (Institute for Strategic Dialogue 2010, 22) and cf. (Fink and El-Said 2011, 17)
118.) (Fink and El-Said 2011, 17)
119.) Cf. (RAN Derad Working Group 2012, 2)
120.) Cf. (Institute for Strategic Dialogue 2010, 22-24) and cf. (RAN Derad Working Group 2012, 3)
121.) Cf. (Lawrence 1998)
122.) Cf. (Huntington 1993)
123.) For a history of Orientalism, see (Halliday 1996)
124.) Cf. (Wiktorowicz 2002, 194)
125.) Cf. (Wiktorowicz 2002, 195)
126.) Cf. (Shadid 2002) and cf. (Wiktorowicz 2002, 192-194)
127.) Cf. (Malashenko, Carnegie Endowment: The Dynamics of Russian Islam 2013): “The earlier waves of Kyrgyz, Tajik, and Uzbek migrant workers that went to Russia often violated sharia dietary prohibitions (consuming non-halal food and alcohol), rarely visited mosque, prayed less than required, and did not always fast during Ramadan.”
Orientalism and Islamism
Lawrence states that opposite to public perceptions “Islam is not violence”. Although violent Islam is omnipresent in news and media coverage, Islamism originally goes back to the Islamic expansion from the 7th century onward and encompasses the cultural and religious traditions of the religion of the followers of the Prophet Mohammed. The inherent “otherness” which is most prominently outlined in Huntington's “Clash of Civilizations” was already part of the earlier concepts of “Orientalism” which described “the East” as voiceless, sensual and irrational and created an image of Oriental barbarism as opposed to European virtue. Wiktorowicz defines Islamism as Islamic activism which has increased in importance especially because political participation was largely prohibited by many authoritarian regimes both in Northern Africa as well as the Middle East and Central Asia. No matter how repressive the regime, the cover of religion and the mosques as meeting places still provided means to assemble and discuss societal and political issues. However, he stresses that neither the structural strains nor discontent alone are sufficiently causal explanations for Islamism. In this context, Shadid adds a valuable explanation for the recent return to Islamism in that rising economic uncertainty and the import of formerly unknown Western lifestyles and clothing alienate parts of the population in e.g. Egypt. Islamism may then be adopted to add a component of stability and most importantly as a substitute identity for traditional identities which are no longer available, e.g. the identity of a nomad. This “Islamization,” defined as the return to a more strict observance of Muslim rules and sharia principles, is according to Carnegie a distinct characteristic of Muslim migrants in Russia. This return to stricter rules links back to the findings of seeing moderation as favourable to fundamentalist ideas stated earlier.