Calls for fresh approach to ‘take on ideology’ of jihadis


There is a growing debate in Muslim communities about whether the argument that jihadist violence has nothing to do with their faith is proving effective at countering the extremism which saw bomber Salman Abedi kill himself and 22 others in an attack on a pop concert at the Manchester Arena on Monday, The Financial Times reports:

Rather than disassociating Islam from radicals such as Abedi, groups such as the Manchester-based Ramadhan Foundation say leaders should accept that jihadis are making religious arguments and refute them. Mohammed Shafiq, the head of the Ramadhan Foundation, said the present approach had proven ineffective and was an “easy approach” to deny the religious roots of the extremists’ ideology. Instead, he said scholars should work harder to make their voices heard. “We have to take on the ideology,” Mr Shafiq said. “We have to be able to counter the narrative, which is that the Prophet endorses violence.”

The attack came shortly after the opening of a new Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology in Saudi Arabia, which prompted some observers to note the role the Saudis have played in promoting the Wahhabi ideology that inspires much jihadist terrorism.

ISIS has claimed responsibility for Monday’s deadly explosion in Manchester. Whether this is accurate or not, the group’s recent loss of territory could mean more violence in the West, says RAND’s Seth Jones. Why? Resources that ISIS once devoted to controlling areas in Iraq and Syria can now be used to conduct and inspire attacks overseas. Read more »

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