The Radicalisation Process

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MUCH has been written about radicalisation in Pakistan without emphasis on the conceptual grounding of what radicalisation really is. The Oxford dictionary, till 2006, did not provide a definition of `radicalisation`, `radicalism`, or even `radicalise`, which clearly shows the recent evolution of the term. It does, however, list these terms as derivatives of `radical`, which means to relate to or affect the fundamental nature of something, or advocate thorough complete political or social reform which may be politically extreme. As is evident, these terms do not necessarily have negative connotations which are associated with the term today. However, negative connotations arise from the threat of extremism, labeled as radicalisation, which is usually defined as a process whereby an originally moderate individuals or groups of individuals become progressively more extreme in their thinking — and possibly their behaviour — over time. This process is often associated with youth, adversity, alienation, social exclusion, poverty or the perception of injustice to self or others. The terms `radicalisation` and `Talibanisation` are being employed to refer to the increasing tendency to use a peculiar brand of religion as the justification for conquest and control over territory, populations and resources, and the establishment of specific forms of judicial and social systems by the use of force. Some analysts like American author and counter-terrorism practitioner Marc Sageman reject the notion that radicalisation can aptly be described in terms of a fixed sequence of stages, while others view terrorism as the final stop along a path of radicalisation characterized by a fairly orderly series of stages. A four-stage model has been proposed. This includes pre-radicalisation, self-identification, indoctrination and extremism stages, respectively. According to this model, in the pre-radicalisation stage the individual lives an ordinary life and has not yet accepted the...
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