Alienated Muslim Youth Seek Purpose, Thrills in Joining Jihad

Alienated Muslim Youth Seek Purpose, Thrills in Joining Jihad. YaleGlobal. Joji Sakurai. Februar 19, 2015.

Adolescents grapple to find an identity during a stage of human development described by psychologist Erik Erikson. Those who don’t succeed in feeling good about their role in society blame others and may hold a grudge against their community. They also make ideal targets for recruiters of criminal and extremist groups. “Religious fervor rarely has much to do with what draws people to join such groups,” writes Sakurai. “Deep down, it’s about purpose. Belonging. Excitement. A sense of identity. Order amid disorder. A focus for pent-up rage.” Recruiters offer an easy solution to life’s problems, with rewards and power, money and cars, or life after death. Too many marginalized youth lack the social or critical thinking skills to analyze the message, ponder the consequences and walk away – and instead, embrace a last-ditch effort to escape a futile, boring life. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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