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Gender-based Explosions

The Nexus between Muslim Masculinities, Jihadist Islamism and Terrorism

image of Gender-based Explosions
This publication argues that “gender” is a fundamental battleground on which Al Qaeda, the Taliban and their types have to be defeated. Issues of regressive radicalism, literalism, militancy and terrorism can only be solved through people-centred interventions. Therefore, relevant governments and civil society should promote an alternative culture of growth, self-expression and actualization for Muslim men. To achieve sustainable counterterrorism results, Aslam recommends underlining masculinities in Muslim contexts and expanding the scope of required interventions beyond those confined to Islam(ism), the opposing sects and ideological movements of which rarely agree. This book also includes empirical data from a pilot study conducted on Pakistani Muslim masculinities.

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Islam, masculinities and performance

Issues, contexts and processes discussed in Part I raise at least five important points for further evaluation. First, religion and gender have a symbiotic relation, and religious symbolism services men’s egos. Second, Muslim masculinities are getting shaped at the interface of deprivations, oppressions and locally valued collective affinities for informal systemic arrangements and expectations on the one hand, and capitalism and globalism on the other hand. Third, violence, aggression and regressive radicalism from men are tolerated in some cultures as social norms. The need is to revive values of equanimity and peace. Fourth, current counterterrorism strategies are impinging upon a greater vision of global peace. Despite claims made in favour of deradicalization, the modus operandi is vague. Fifth, “gender” can be explored as one of the unrecognized battlegrounds on which states can win a greater war against Al Qaeda, its franchises and transnational partners by using peaceful means while aiming for sustainable results.

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