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Study Shows Islam Plays Key Role in Motivating Individuals to Become Foreign Fighters for Jihad

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The media and those on the political left oftentimes reiterate inadequate and biased theories on why individuals likely leave their friends and families to join the cause of jihad – typicallyconcentrating “on social, economic, and psychological ‘push’ factors.” However, one recent study that’s part of The TSAS Working Paper Series called Talking to Foreign Fighters: Socio-Economic Push versus Existential Pull Factors by Lorne L. Dawson, Amarnath Amarasingam, and Alexandra Bain reveals how “religiosity (i.e., a sincere religious commitment, no matter how ill-informed or unorthodox) is a primary motivator” for individuals to become foreign fighters. Some of the specifics of the study include:

From mid-December 2015 to February 29 2016, interviews were conducted with 130 people: 40 foreign fighters, 60 family members, friends and associates, and 30 online fans, recruiters, and potential fighters. These interviews were largely face-to-face. But those with fighters in Syria and Iraq took the form of extended social media dialogues. – READ MORE

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