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TV discussion: What does "radicalisation" really mean?


Transmitted 29 June 2015. Posted 1 July 2015. Updated 15 September 2015.

On 29 June 2015 I appeared on the Islam Channel's current affairs programme "The Report" in a 14 minute segment on the the meaning of radicalisation.

The presenter was John Rees, and the programme's participants were:

The programme began with a short video by the Islam Channel journalist Nafees Mahmud seeking to analyse the word "radicalisation" by reference to the stem "radical." I found the video frustrating to watch.

The fundamental failing of the video is that it confuses debate about the correct name to use for a phenomenon with debate about whether that phenomenon really exists. When you watch the video, it is clear that its creator does not believe that there is any process by which normal law abiding young Muslims become terrorists, and uses etymological questions about the word "radicalisation" to support his belief. Hence my frustration with it.

During the programme I made a number of points, including the following:

I will not attempt to summarise the other participant's views. The 14 minute programme can be watched below.


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