Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Poverty and Extremism

I read about the dissolution of the Belliraj network and their plans to assassinate ministers and murder civilians. This is more evidence to contradict the theory that poverty leads to fanaticism, as several of the member of this network were professionals (a police commissioner was even implicated). Extreme Islam appears to be an umbrella response to dissatisfaction with the socio-political and economic situation of the country. Perhaps, extremism is often linked to poverty because the educated, affluent ringleaders rely on the impoverished recruits from the bidonvilles to detonate the bombs. The young, poor recruits hope to help their families with the monetary compensation for martyrdom. Another example of the wealthy profiting from human misery. This is an overly simplistic view (as, it appears, is the theory that poverty incites radicalism) but I am trying to make sense of the reason that so many scholars are attracted to this idea. Even using five theories to explain the phenomenon seems limiting when thousands of people are attracted to extreme Islam and each, being a different person, must have a different reason. I guess a lot of academia is putting people and events in little boxes and then trying the box on other people and events. I better stop before I really start babbling.
J'ai lu à propos de la dissolution de l'Belliraj réseau et de leurs plans en vue d'assassiner les ministres et le meurtre de civils. C'est plus d'éléments de preuve pour contredire la théorie selon laquelle la pauvreté conduit au fanatisme, que plusieurs des membres de ce réseau étaient des professionnels (un commissaire de police a même été impliqué). Extreme Islam semble être un parapluie réaction à l'insatisfaction avec la situation socio-politique et la situation économique du pays. Peut-être que l'extrémisme est souvent liée à la pauvreté parce que les instruits, riches chefs de file comptent sur les recrues des appauvris des bidonvilles pour faire exploser les bombes. Les pauvres, des jeunes recrues de l'espoir pour aider leur famille à la compensation monétaire pour le martyre. Un autre exemple des riches profitent de la misère humaine. Il s'agit là d'une vision trop simpliste (comme elle apparaît, c'est la théorie que la pauvreté incite au radicalisme), mais j'essaie d'expliquer pourquoi plusieur chercheurs sont attirées par cette idée. Même avec cinq théories pour expliquer le phénomène semble limiter lorsque des milliers de personnes sont attirées par l'islam et chaque extrême, étant une personne différente, doit avoir une raison différente. J'imagine que beaucoup de monde universitaire est en train de mettre les gens et les événements dans les petites cases, puis tente l'encadré sur les autres personnes et les événements. il vaudrai mieux que je m'arrête avant que je commence réellement a babillage.

2 comments:

The Lounsbury said...

The young, poor recruits hope to help their families with the monetary compensation for martyrdom. Another example of the wealthy profiting from human misery.

Rather patronising assumption, and one not fully supported in the research (empirical that is) literature, leaving aside it is a rather precious leap of logic to see 'wealthy profiting' from suicide missions given - again empirical research based - date indicate most networks are self-financed via quasi criminal or self-employment / entreprenurial activities.

Not everything fits into haggard neo-marxist theorising.

Reb said...

Hi Lounsbury,
My main point here was iterate that often the more affluent people that mastermind the attacks are not the ones who blow themselves up. It seemed like many people in the Belliraj network were at least middle class so I was contrasting this example to the theory that poverty leads to radicalism. From what I have read about the May 2003 bombing, the suicide bombers were recruited from the slums and my question is how did they find money for explosives when they did not have money for housing? Could you refer me to some links about the self-financing? Thanks for your comment.
Reb