Can partnership approaches developed to prevent Islamic terrorism be replicated for the extreme right? Comparing the Muslim Brotherhood and Generation Identity as ‘firewalls’ against violent extremism

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Abstract

Drawing on both official and scholastic descriptions of the Muslim Brotherhood and Generation Identity, this article suggests that in the UK context, some striking similarities exist between the two organisations. Both represent ostensibly nonviolent permutations of their respective extremist movements. Despite this similarity, a stark distinction exists in the response of the UK government. Although, like many Islamist civil society actors, the Muslim Brotherhood has benefited from the perception that nonviolent extremist groups can help address terrorism and radicalisation, the same contention is yet to be made regarding political extremists from within the far right. This article first uses the Muslim Brotherhood as an example to illustrate the standards that have been contrived in the UK for distinguishing nonviolent extremist organisations from their violent counterparts. The intention here is to demonstrate that just as the Muslim Brotherhood is identified as the prototypical example of ‘political Islam’, counterparts for this type of organisation can be found in different extremist contexts. It will be postulated that in particular, Generation Identity may be thought of as occupying an analogous position within the context of far-right extremism. The purpose of this comparison is to explore the viability of utilising ‘nonviolent extremists’ to prevent violent extremism across different movements; it will be contended that although the results of such an arrangement could be replicated, there is a need to consider the adverse impacts in the initial context before attempting to reproduce the approach.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-70
Number of pages37
JournalJournal for Deradicalization
VolumeSpring 2021
Issue number26
Publication statusPublished - 25 Mar 2021

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