Maajid Nawaz On The Cause Of Radicalisation

25 March 2017, 15:53 | Updated: 25 March 2017, 16:40

"There is no one route in, and no one route out" says Maajid Nawaz, in this monologue about the cause of radicalisation.

The Westminster terror attack have prompted many discussions about what the cause of radicalisation is. 

But in this clip Maajid Nawaz explains that there is "no one route", and instead lists four contributing "factors in radicalisation". 

He said: "And if you understand what causes radicalisation, you can begin to understand what the solution is. During the course of the last two hours, people have been suggesting radicalisation is caused by foreign policy, somebody who's standing for the first mayor of the West Midlands, a Tory in fact, has suggested it is poverty, but actually when you look, when you step back, and you parse this out, and you start analysing what causes radicalisation, the sorts of people who join extremist groups, you realise something.  

"And that is that there is no one route in, and there is no one route out. There is no profile. Osama bin Laden was one of the richest men in Saudi Arabia, from the still very wealthy Bin Ladin dynasty, in construction. He was a millionaire. His problem wasn't poverty.  

"Ayman al-Zawahiri, the current leader of al Qaeda. His problem isn't a lack of education, he's a paediatrician, a qualified medical doctor, from an aristocratic Egyptian family.  

"His grandfather was the Egyptian ambassador to the UN. And going from those macro global examples, or let's look at Baghdadi, the founder of Isis who has a PhD in Islamic studies.  

"His problem clearly wasn't a lack of knowledge in religion. So going from those global examples, and bringing it right back to home, and if you look at the profiles of those attackers who have struck in the UK; The 7/7 bombers all had jobs.  

"And most of those, most of those, in fact a disproportionate number of those, who joined terrorist organisations in this country, are educated to levels that are above the average levels of education in the US and in the UK.  

"And so when we're looking at the causes, I think it's better to look at factors, rather than just to say 'it's about poverty', 'it's about foreign policy'.  

"If it was just about poverty, it doesn't explain Bin Ladin being one of the richest men in Saudi Arabia, from one of the richest families in Saudi Arabia.  If it's just about, say, a lack of education, well that doesn't explain the leader of Al-Qaeda is a doctor.  

"And so I think it helps us to understand that the causes of radicalisation, like human beings, are complex. So I put it down to four factors, and these four factors can kick in in any given order, and generally apply to all cases of radicalisation.

"The first, is a sense of grievance, whether real or perceived, it could be a perceived grievance, but the first is a sense of grievance, that gives rise to an anger, that begins the the desire to seek out an alternative solution.  

"So the first factor to radicalisation is a sense of grievance. The second is an identity crisis that is born from that sense of grievance. So, for example, if the sense of grievance was the Bosnia genocide, as it was for my generation, then the identity crisis born from it, is to question whether one really belongs in this society, whether one is British.

"If Muslims are victims to a genocide in Bosnia, questions began emerging back in the 90s as to whether we had a place in Europe, and from that was born an identity crisis. So that's the second factor.  

"The third factor, I'd say, are extremist recruiters, who provide a sense of belonging, where perhaps that sense of grievance, and the identity crisis, led to a vacuum in belonging. 

"So the recruiter steps in where family should be stepping in, where a father figure should be stepping in, or mother figure, and provides that sense of belonging.  So the third factor, I'd say, are the charismatic recruiters.  

"And the fourth, is the ideology. In this case, the Islamist ideology, that then is peddled as the solution to that sense of grievance, the solution to the identity crisis, and the ideal that the charismatic recruiter says that he or she are adhering to themselves, so the fourth factor in radicalisation, is the ideology.  

"Now those four factors, a sense of grievance, an identity crisis, recruiters who provide a sense of belonging, and an ideological narrative.  

"They can apply whether we're talking about white supremacist far right racism, and radicalisation such as the case of Thomas Mair who killed MP Jo Cox, or they apply in this instance with Jihadist terrorism. But if we understand that these are the four factors that can cause radicalisation, we know how to solve it."