Here’s how Islamists and the Far Right feed off each other

Maajid Nawaz writes: As I’ve been arguing for years, radicalization occurs due to a combination of perceived grievances, an identity crisis, charismatic recruiters and an ideology, and in all cases probably involves mental trauma.

There is a negative symbiosis between Islamist and far right extremism.

It is no revelation that jihadist terrorists use far-right posters in their own propaganda to prove that the world is at war with Islam. And it is no surprise that the Norwegian far-right terrorist Anders Breivik cited al-Qaeda writings in his own manifesto to validate his murder of 77 innocent people. Each faction relies on the other to exist. Each needs the “other” — the enemy — to point to as the cause of all its ills.

But the world of politics has become — quite horrifically — like a football game. Each of us cheers for our own tribe and disparages the opposing team even when they have a reasonable point to make. We are always the “victims”; they are always our oppressors.

People are playing politics with evil while human lives are lost to hate. We must take stock, and recognize that by raising our political pompoms every time an event appears to confirm our narrative, and by playing up our own victimhood, we are only feeding into the recruitment narratives of all terrorist groups. The first stage to the emancipation of any community is to shed this perpetual state of victimhood, and begin to take responsibility for our own actions, and our own advancement.

We have reentered an era of competing extremes. The 1930s never looked so close, from so far. It didn’t have to be like this. Islamists and far-right extremists, a plague on both your houses. [Continue reading…]

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