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Title: Countering Terrorism in the UK : A Convert Community Perspective
Author: Baker, Anthony
ISNI:       0000 0004 2680 3194
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2009
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This empirical study is aimed at examining and evaluating a convert community's approach in countering the effects of extremist and terrorist propaganda in the UK. Failure to avert terrorist attacks in London on 7th July 2005, and the subsequent attempt a fortnight later, have led to the government and its agencies seeking alternative strategies to combat what has now been established as a legitimate home grown threat of terrorism amongst British Muslim citizens. Legislation subsequently introduced after September 11th (2001) failed to acknowledge or, indeed, recognise the threat of terrorism from British Muslims and instead targeted, primarily, Muslim asylum seekers / immigrants. This approach, together with the government's foreign policy on Iraq and support for the US led War on Terror' confirmed emphasis for a restrictive 'top down' approach to tackling extremism, failing to recognise significant and timely contributions that could be made from marginal grass root communities. Not until the events of 7"' July, has the British Muslim Convert community within the UK been under so much scrutiny, as being especially susceptible to extremist teachings which allegedly lead to terrorist activities. As focus increasingly centres on community led initiatives, due to the above mentioned factors, it has become necessary to research and analyse the effectiveness of the British Muslim convert community in countering extremism against the prevalent back drop of violent extremist propaganda. The Salafist ideology is examined and discussed in light of existing academic and journalistic debates which posit it among the contributory causes of violent extremism. Adherents of Salafism - Salafis consider their practices mainstream, away from the extreme spectrums of both liberalism and terrorism. They have been, up until recently, marginalised among - both Muslim and non-Muslim communities, resulting in various inaccuracies being attributed to the movement, ideologically, historically and politically; leading to conclusions that extremist 'violent Jihadis' (takfeeris) are of identical schools of thought, but at the other end of the same spectrum, so to speak. The study seeks to determine, first hand, factors which influence and affect the Islamic education and development of British Muslim converts within the UK including the cultural and social motivators, as well as existing tensions that may exist between them and established Muslim communities. Additional factors which serve as catalysts in propelling a small number of them towards extremism shall also be examined.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available