Diaspora population entails a scattered population with origins from different geographic locales. Historically, diaspora used to mean the mass dispersion of a population from their indigenous territories. The diaspora population includes members of a religious or ethnic group that originated from the same place but dispersed into varying locations. Diasporas have been classified as victims of colonial/imperial trade and labor, whose main reasons for migration were expansion, the pursuit of employment, expulsion, and commercial adventures. This paper will focus on Diasporas, their risk of radicalization, and potential public policies that can be implemented to reduce the risk of radicalization.
Risk Factors of Radicalization
Radicalization entails the process through which individuals support extremism and terrorism and participate in terrorist groups. Most studies have focused on Muslim terrorists and radicals, although there exist other radical groups. Radicalization is not a result of one attribute but multiple factors that put the diaspora communities at risk. These factors are community and personal influences, home country influences, host country influences, and environment dynamics (Verkuyten, 2018). Over the years, many Muslim Diaspora communities have been disappointed with the perceived war against the Muslim world. They have been against their adopted homelands, supporting terrorist attacks and targeting the government in western countries (Nilan, 2017). Radicalization has increased through fundraising, recruitment, and training. Considerably, in examining the risk of Muslim radicalization within the United States, it’s vital to observe that majority of the United States Muslims are individuals from diasporic communities.
The search for identity has been among the major influences of radicalization. The second and third generations have focused on the failed sense of belonging since they believe and feel that they belong and fit either a society that focuses on cultural marginalization. The detachment of diaspora communities has made it possible for organized endeavors as they react to political violence. One of the community and individual influences that have led to radicalization is that the Diaspora communities may encounter community marginalization that leads to alienation and lack of belonging in the host society (Dell’Isola, 2021). The nature of the host community can influence the risk of radicalization and identity formation. Discrimination in the host communities has been a source of frustration that has contributed to identity crises. The status of religion and a firm belief in secularization in host countries can lead to the alienation that makes the diaspora communities vulnerable to radicalization. The history of colonization has led to political and cultural domination, influencing the relationship between the diaspora groups and the host community.
Potential Public Policy Approaches
The public policies that focus on prevention should create suitable conditions for good practices and exchange of experience to strengthen the capabilities in countering radicalization. The policy approaches should either target violent radicalism or cognitive radicalism. The government has two options in its policy approach in mitigating radicalization. These include proactive or reactive policing. Proactive policing entails preventing crime, while reactive policing entails responding to the crime that is currently occurring. Proactive policing is a long-haul technique that focuses on the foundations of radicalization to prevent future psychological militant assaults.
The community policing approach will also be effective in mitigating radicalization. Community policing entails policing that acknowledges the shared responsibility and independence of the community and the police in ensuring a secure and safe environment for the citizens. However, the community policing approach may not function effectively on its own. Still, it should be embedded in a coherent, comprehensive, and human rights compliance approach to combat radicalization in all its forms and handle the conditions conducive to radicalization.
Variation in Mitigating Risk Populations
Effective countering of radicalization demands an understanding of radicalization procedure, the influence of radicalization, and outcomes of the enacted approaches. Ideally, radicalization occurs when a certain population has adopted a certain system of beliefs and values that they strongly believe in and support. Another reason why policy approaches in certain worldviews may not be suited for mitigating risk in another population is because the causes of radicalization vary in terms of social, political, economic, psychological, ideological, and historical conditions. These lead to the context and driving forces that lead individuals to become radicalized. For instance, the levels of causation may vary where one worldview results from structural causes while others result from facilitator causes.
Factors Shaping Diaspora Muslims World view
Worldview entails the set of beliefs about the basic aspects of reality that influence the perception, knowing, thinking, and doing of a certain group. For decades Muslim communities have continued to encounter discrimination and are victims of communal violence. For instance, the moral panic regarding Muslim Youths has influenced Muslims in the diaspora due to prevailing suspicion and fear of Islam (Nilan, 2017). Identity crises have been one of the major factors that have shaped the Muslim diaspora population. The second and third-generation diaspora and immigrant communities such as the Muslim have experienced cultural marginalization due to lack of belonging and alienation. The separation of culture from religion has led to Muslim Diasporas identifying themselves with the global Islamic communities (Tahir, Kunst, and Sam, 2019). The Diaspora identities have reflected continued connection and attachment to the nation of origin. The marginalization of Diaspora Muslims has influenced their world view thus contributing to violent extremism due to identity crises.
In summation, radicalization is a highly individualized and complex process often shaped by a varying understanding of interaction, personal factors, and structural processes. The factors that trigger radicalization are many, so there is no single reason why Diasporas engage in radicalization. Among Muslims, the issue of identity has influenced radicalization to a great extent. The use of reactive and proactive policy approaches in mitigating radicalization can address identity crisis and violent extremism among Muslim Diasporas.