Radicalisation is an issue of the moment. Two young muslims from Cardiff are described as intelligent and educated. They travelled to Syria for humanitarian reasons and then radicalised there. At face value two youngsters with a lot to look forward to. The lure of belonging to a group with a clear aim is powerful.
Group mentality has always been attractive especially to the young. Groups have always forced us into their ways of behaviour that surprise us. “What we might not do as individuals we may do so as part of a group. People may lose control of their usual inhibitions, as their mentality becomes that of the group” Existential Radicalisation
There is an existential sense of being lost in the West. Our lives are individualised and compartmentalised. Life is fragmented. We live lives trying to connect with others. Groups and gangs are an attractive way of feeling a sense of belonging and purpose. The radical group has a clear single purpose. With the added element of risk. Like a drug young people with no sense of purpose in their lives find solace in the group. 2nd generation muslims can feel like they do not have a connection to the UK. Their parents have given up their homeland and taken the UK to their hearts. A natural way to rebel is to try to return to their roots.
With Existential Radicalisation the young muslim is able to re-assert his lost connection to his origins. And fight an enemy intent on destroying the muslim way of life. The truth of this does not matter. The over –riding longing is to find a life with a cause. A band of brothers under threat forces life onto a pin point of meaning. Life with an essence of purity and purpose.
Copyright Adrian Scott North London Counsellor Blog 2014
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Disclaimer: This weblog is the view of the writer and for general information only.
This article is designed to provoke argument and critique.