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  1. In Bad Faith: The Link Between Religious Conversion & Violent Extremism - HOMELAND SECURITY AFFAIRS
  2. Product description
  3. Bad Faith : The Danger of Religious Extremism
  4. Is Religious Extremism Always Bad?
  5. by Neil J. Kressel

Exit provides a peer-to-peer approach designed to examine the social causes behind attraction to far-right organisations, and to use this to help people get out. The organisation has now spread across Europe.

Exit works exclusively with people who are already motivated to leave, with most clients of the organisation making first contact with Exit to begin the process. The people have to come to us, they have to call us or to write an e-mail or something like that, and we have to check how motivated the person is. Psychologists are working to understand the reasons that some people turn to extremist organisations like the Ku Klux Klan Credit: Getty Images. After initial interviews, Exit works with individuals to identify how they can help them leave the far right.

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They work through the array of barriers — social, psychological, emotional, and legal — for someone to get out of the particular organisation. Exit works in a confidential, non-judgemental, and non-confrontational manner to find solutions for people to these issues.

In Bad Faith: The Link Between Religious Conversion & Violent Extremism - HOMELAND SECURITY AFFAIRS

It may seem surprising, but Exit does not begin the rehabilitation process by targeting the ideology. He argues that contrary to his initial presumptions ideology is not an important factor for many of the young people who join extremist far-right organisations. Kimmel acknowledges that there are critics of this approach, with many arguing that focusing on non-ideological reasons for people to get engaged lets people off the hook for past or even current extremist views and behaviour.

Today, he works for Exit Sweden and has spent the last years travelling through Europe and the world to promote the model and to help build similar organisations in different countries.

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It is a dramatic turnaround for someone who used to be a member of a far-right gang. He says that this affiliation with the group grew from teenage delinquency and, as his self-esteem plummeted, he started getting into fights and conflicts with people around him.

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As he got into his later teen years, he joined a violent right-wing organisation. He describes this as the " The Extremist Mindset" , which includes three separate elements. First, there is the promotion of black-and-white thinking. This is linked with the second element, a feeling of superiority. Finally, extremist groups engage in a process of dehumanisation.

Bad Faith : The Danger of Religious Extremism

I think this goes for a range of groups, whether it's white power groups or violent Islamic extremist groups, or gangs. What I see for a lot of people, essentially, is having been part of a group where you have this very strong commitment, you feel you have the brothers who are prepared to sacrifice their lives for you, you have a cause that's so important you are prepared to risk your life for it. These mechanisms are quite unusual and build together a very strong sense of 'us'.

So what caused him to leave?

Is Religious Extremism Always Bad?

His feelings of distance increased when he joined the military, which helped to offer the discipline and sense of purpose without the toxic ideology. And the physical distance — of being away from his old acquaintances for longer periods of time — helped him to make the break. Muslim leaders and allies across New York City marched in solidarity against the ideology of hatred shown in the recent New Zealand terror attacks Credit: Getty Images. They argue that that there is a trajectory — or arc — that most people go through in their involvement in violent extremism.

This arc comprises three phases — involvement, engagement, and disengagement. It is impossible to understand how to disengage people without first understanding the factors that led them to become involved and engaged in the first place. Consider the story of "Sarah" not her real name , a former member of a far-right organisation in the United States.

Sarah explained to Horgan and his colleagues that her parents were extremely religious, yet at the same time had a very undisciplined lifestyle, with both being alcoholics. She had a turbulent relationship with her father, leading, at least in part, for her to be involved in a range of anti-social behaviours from a young age. As a teenager, she began to develop a sexual interest in other girls, leading to further distance from her family.

Neil J. Kressel, who has spent decades researching genocide, terrorism, and anti-Semitism, brings to bear the insights of psychology and social science on this significant and critical problem. For those tired of simplistic bromides and obfuscating talk about the causes of religious terrorism, Kressel offers a clear and enlightening analysis of when and how religions become capable of inspiring evil. Specifically, he addresses the following key issues: Are some religions, religious doctrines, and religious practices more apt to inspire hatred and extremism than others?

Are people who commit evil acts in the name of their faith always corrupting the true message of religion and, if so, what is that message?

by Neil J. Kressel

Do other members of the same faith bear any responsibility for misdeeds carried out in the name of their religion? Which sorts of people are most prone to extremism? Which types of societies are most likely to become breeding grounds for extremists? Can or should anything be done to combat the various forms of religious extremism?

What limits, if any, can or should be placed on religious practice in America and elsewhere?