Ideological Counter-Narrative as a Response to Fundamentalist Ideology in Europe and South Asia. An Analysis of Selected Cases in their Cultural Context and an Outline of Recommended Activities

Piotr Kłodkowski,

Anna Siewierska-Chmaj


The article discusses the issues of religious radicalisation and de-radicalisation in contemporary Islam. Its authors present complex phenomena of ideological, historical, cultural and political contexts of radicalisation processes, investigate the distribution of radical propagandist materials among various Muslim communities around the world, and analyse the consequences of ideological transformation of Islamic fundamentalism in selected European countries. In their analysis of ISIS recruitment policies, they focus on Arie Kruglanski’s research on cognitive closure and personal significance which was conducted in Sri Lanka. As an example of an ideological “counter-narrative” vis-à-vis fundamentalist philosophy, the political concepts of Muhammad Allama Iqbal and Muhammad Ali Jinnah are examined, albeit with the proviso that their universal relevance is probably limited by the historical context of Pakistan. The authors conclude that radicalisation propaganda has a global appeal due to the fact it has adopted a carefully selected group of globally recognised ideologues (Ibn Abd al-Wahhab, Abul A’la Maududi, Sayyid Qutb), but the recommended deradicalisation processes should be rooted locally or regionally. The article proposes a constructive theoretical framework, a working hypothesis that should be constantly revised and modified in the changing socio-political environment.

[This publication in English is a modified and updated version of the paper originally published in Polish “O koncepcji ideologicznej kontrnarracji wobec przesłania fundamentalizmu islamskiego: analiza wybranych przykładów radykalizacji i deradykalizacji w Europie, Azji Południowej i na Bliskim Wschodzie”, „Sprawy Międzynarodowe”, vol.72, No 1, 2019]

Słowa kluczowe: radicalisation, de-radicalisation, Islamic fundamentalism, Internet, cognitive closure, counter-narrative