Those who join Isis are normally recruited by family and friends, and radicalisation rarely occurs in a mosque environment, a leading Oxford University academic claims.
Speaking on a UN hosted panel in New York, Scott Atran revealed that research showed that three quarters of those who join Isis as fighters are encouraged by friends and peers. He added a further 20 per cent were recruited to the terrorist group by family members.
In the aftermath of the horrific Paris attacks two weeks ago – which killed 130 people and injured hundreds more – there have been widespread calls for Muslim communities to denounce extremism in these settings.
But, according to Atran, research has shown that radicalisation rarely occurs in mosques and is definitely not done through random recruiters and strangers.
This completely rubbishes the claims by many right-wing fantasists, claiming that removing mosques from the U.K. and the U.S. would stop them from being ‘breeding grounds’ for extremism.
An American and French anthropologist, Atran said Isis offered a starkly similar ‘revolutionary pull’ to what occurred during the French Revolution and the rise of Nazi Germany.
— United Nations CTED (@UN_CTED) November 24, 2015
He believes the West have underestimated the threat of Isis and believes the group understands the youth it attracts much better than any governments that are fighting against it.
Atran also went on to claim that a significant number of recruits were actually from Christian families and they are apparently the “fiercest fighters” they find.
He has interviewed captured fighters from Isis and apparently, the West’s counter message campaign of portraying the group as evil is not effective or universal
Warning the UN, Atran, said they had to figure out how to have ideas from youth to attract other youth or we could lose ‘coming generations’ to extremism.
Hopefully governments around the world heed Atran’s warning…