Why Do People Join Daesh?

Why Do People Join Daesh?


Daesh attempts to convince potential recruits that they are alienated and marginalized from their own families, communities, and countries. Push and pull factors work to separate an individual from society while offering the caliphate as a solution to this isolation.

KEY TAKEAWAYS
Marginalization and alienation due to lack of acceptance and integration of Muslims push people into radicalization.
Historical grievances from past colonization feed into feelings that the West is out to destroy Islam.
Increased secularization may drive some to seek out spiritual meaning, without understanding the reliability of their sources

PUSH FACTORS - THE DISCONTENT


01

Seeking a Spiritual Path Discontented in an increasingly secularized world, some people seek more than material fulfillment, and actively search for spiritual meaning.

02

Bleak Future Outlook Faced with bleak economic opportunities and the prospect of not being able to provide for themselves or their families, potential recruits feel a sense of uncertainty when it comes to being able to lead a dignified life. 

03

Suffering and Injustices in the Muslim World Many young Muslims are motivated to redress the injustices faced by Muslims elsewhere who are suffering because of longstanding and enduring confects, such as those in Syria, Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan, Kashmir, and Chechnya.

04

Us Against the Rest of the World Historical grievances resulting from past colonialization feed into feelings that the West is out to destroy Islam, and they blame Christians and Jews (“Crusaders”) for all their past and current afflictions. 

05

Disaffected by the Status Quo Fed up with authoritarian or oppressive regimes’ active suppression of dissent that leaves the masses with no political voice and without representation in the power structure.

06

Marginalization and Alienation Perceive a lack of social integration and acceptance of Muslims in the West due to widespread civil liberties violations and ethnic or religious discrimination. Feeling of being cut off from community and society.

07

Disconnect from Western Culture Unable to negotiate between Western cultural mores, which are perceived to be immoral (drinking, drugs, sex) and inconsistent with Islamic values, many struggle with how to live out their faith in the West.

08

Poor Examples of Glory, Heroes, and Importance Lack off positive representation, heroic narrativess, and images off Muslims in the media leads to a dearth of role models for Muslims to emulate. Young Muslims, particularly, may feel that there are no icons to look up to. 

PULL FACTORS - THE SIREN SONG


01

Claim to be 'One True Islam' Promises the recruit that joining will make them a better Muslim, and that Daesh's ideological underpinnings will fulfill their desire for the “ultimate truth.

02

Chance for Prosperity Portrays the caliphate as a land of promise and economic opportunity. Every person’s role is deemed important and indispensable to the state-building operation, and in turn, each person can lead a life of prosperity

03

Brings Justice and Honor Back to Islam Channels frustration by providing a solution to avenge the plight of Muslims and by offering each member a chance to fight on behalf of disenfranchised Muslim populations.

04

Offers Empowerment Through Successful Resistance The time has come for Muslims to reassert their glorious past, beginning with retribution for past injustices infected by Western powers.

05

A Chance to Create a Just Political System Offers a chance to change their political circumstances and reclaim their individual power, by being part of a new model of good “Islamic” governance

06

Promises Companionship, Brotherhood, Sisterhood Promises a social network of like-minded people who will offer companionship, inclusion and respect, and the social benefits of belonging to an elite group.

07

Opportunity to Live a Pure Life Opportunity to live in an ideal society, where one can preserve and develop their Islamic identity and values by living among fellow pure Muslims.

08

Heroism and Importance A chance to experience glory, to be important, to mater, to be remembered and rewarded—both in this life and in Paradise.