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Extreme Speech and Democracy$
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Ivan Hare and James Weinstein

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199548781

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199548781.001.0001

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Radical Religious Speech: The Ingredients of a Binary World View

Radical Religious Speech: The Ingredients of a Binary World View

(p.488) 24 Radical Religious Speech: The Ingredients of a Binary World View
Extreme Speech and Democracy

Sara Savage

Jose Liht

Oxford University Press

This chapter outlines key ingredients of Islamist radical religious speech and the social psychological needs to which they appeal, particularly among second and third generation young Muslims living in Europe and Britain. Key structural features of Islamist radical religious speech include: a three-part narrative, promoting low levels of complexity, rhetorical strategies, the closed way in which the belief system is organized, and the ‘rationalistic’ word-based emphasis. The chapter discusses the social psychological tendencies to which the extreme speech appeals: self-definitional uncertainty among young Muslims, intensified perceptions of ingroup and outgroups, and perceptions of the world-wide status hierarchy that is deemed unstable and liable to change (post 9/11). Extreme speech is most powerfully ‘activated’ under totalist group conditions.

Keywords:   narrative, religious discourse, Caliphate, binary worldview, rhetorical strategies, ingroup, outgroup, integrative complexity, social psychology

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