Project Title: An Exploration of the impact of Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri’s works on counter-terrorism
Academic interest in Muslim youth, Islam and terrorism increased sharply in the aftermath of 9/11 with the focus on discovering links between Islam, radicalisation and terrorism. The rising number of Western-born and/or -raised individuals attracted to terrorism also highlighted the need for further research in this field. As beliefs are strengthened and individuals immerse themselves in religious exploration, they are often exposed to violent and radical interpretations of Islam through the Internet, sometimes their social environment, and through media reports. Various narratives are used to target and persuade Muslims to radicalise into violent people.
Terrorism researchers and counter-terrorism practitioners have for some time recognised the power of narratives to recruit individuals into violent extremist activities. Scholars and Muslim organizations have in the past voiced their condemnation of terrorists and terror attacks declaring them to be unlawful in Islam, however, are indeed condemnations enough without a systematic and comprehensive rebuttal of ideological and theological drivers of radicalisation?
It is within this context that Dr Tahir ul Qadri’s counter-terror work has provided an important contribution to the anti-terror discourse. This project will explore the impact of his works on the ideology and attitudes of British Muslims from different religious schools of thought. This would include his 500-page Fatwa on Terrorism and Suicide Bombings - and a detailed curriculum consisting of eleven books which detail the theological and ideological causes of terrorism and provides material to counter the extremists’ narrative. Furthermore, the impact of his lectures espousing the spiritual dimension of Islam will also be explored. Is this multi-faceted approach to Islamic education the key to countering the terrorist narrative?
LL.M, SOAS, University of London