De-coding Neo-jihadism

The Ideological and Psychological Implications of Islamised Radicalism

  • Sureyya Nur Cicek
Keywords: The Hizmet Movement, de-radicalisation, sub-conscious, radicalisation, extremism, neo-jihadism, ISIS


The current jihad movement – “neo-jihadism” – seems to be more a product of modern conditions than Islamic traditions. This article focusses on the ideological and psychological factors to argue three points as to why the jihad concept has changed over time and adopted a military endeavour. First, the article discusses the ideological challenges – internal and external factors that contribute to this shift of conception. Second, the article explores the psychological factors that impact this shift of conception. It approaches the discourse around the definition of terrorism and its implications then looks at the aims for intervention. It also discusses the phases, stages and steps terrorism follows. Third, the article argues the issue of radicalisation needs to be tackled holistically to identify, apprehend and tackle the root cause of this phenomenon. Gülen’s holistic education approach, which is aimed at strengthening Muslims’ immune system (particularly the battle for youth hearts and minds), is needed to defeat the extremists in the battlefield of ideas.