Constructing the ‘Muslim’ other
Preventing ‘radicalisation’, ‘violent extremism’ and ‘terrorism’
in The European Union’s fight against terrorism
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Chapter Five investigates the strand of the ‘fight against terrorism’ discourse that connects the threat of terrorism to ‘violent religious extremism’, ‘radicalisation’ and the threat of the ‘Muslim’ other. The first part of the chapter maps the emergence and evolution of this stand of the discourse. The chapter shows how in its initial phase the language of ‘radicalisation and recruitment’ to terrorism contained an assumption that ‘radicalisation’ was something more likely to occur in Europe’s ‘Muslim communities’, arguing that the impact of this was to implicitly construct the ‘Muslim’ other as a potential terrorist threat. The second part of the chapter critiques the concept of ‘radicalisation’ demonstrating how knowledge about ‘radicalisation’ is highly contested and retains an implicit racial bias against the ‘Muslim’ other, which it has been unable to shed. I conclude by considering how the logic of counter-radicalisation is making possible a new form of precautionary security governance, the impact of which is the further securitisation of social and political life within the EU

The European Union’s fight against terrorism

Discourse, policies, identity

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