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:
In this context, "radical" is a shorthand for referring to people who have beliefs which are very dangerous. I gave the example of the suicide bomber who on 26 June attacked a Shia mosque in Kuwait. I asked whether he thought he was doing a good deed or an evil deed.
It is wholly inadequate to simply refer to killers such as the one above as "terrorists." It is important to understand what beliefs these people have, since their actions are based on their beliefs.
I consider the beliefs of such terrorists to be important, while many regard them as irrelevant.
I regard spending time on etymological analysis as a form of sophistry; playing with words to avoid engaging with the real issues.
Radicalisation in this context is the process by which law abiding young Muslims are taught to believe that non-Muslims are their enemy etc.. If one wishes to distinguish it from the radicalisation of other kinds of people, once can call it "Islamic radicalisation." However I refuse to play with the etymology.
I will not attempt to summarise the other participant's views. The 14 minute programme can be watched below.
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