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Islamic Radicalization in Norway

Within Norway, the prevention of radicalization and violent extremism is considered a shared responsibility, rather than an issue the police should tackle on their own. The Norwegian Action Plan provides specific measures in several ministries and is used as a tool for individuals working directly with children and youth. Radicalization is commonly seen as a process in which people increasingly accept the use of violence to achieve certain political goals.

Radical communities are emerging in Norway, and an increasing number of Islamic radicals have left Norway to travel to regions of jihad in support of the Holy War (“a war declared in support of a religious cause”). While the influx of Islamic radicals is a relatively new trend in Norway, radicals have become a significant threat to the country, according to the Norwegian Police Security Services (PST). In order to establish effective policies on counter-radicalization, the Norwegian government has drawn on experiences from other, more affected, countries. With that said, the Norwegian government focuses on preventative actions.

The following paper aims to analyze the severity of Islamic radicalization as a threat in Norway. Taking the alarming number of Norwegian Islamic radicals in conflict-ridden countries into consideration, the purpose of this paper is to examine the rise of Islamic radicalization amongst Norway´s Muslim. The first section of this paper introduces a demographic overview of the Muslim community in Norway by explaining the structure, socio-economic disadvantages, and political participation amongst Muslims in Norway. The second section details the theoretical approach to radicalization, common trends in the process, and internal or external indicators. The third aspect of the paper will explore case studies of Islamic radicalization and the activities of foreign fighters. The point of convergence of the forth section looks at government responses to Islamic radicalization by considering the Norwegian Exit Project and the Action Plan of 2010 & 2014. The paper will conclude by evaluating key findings, and a final assessment on the threat of Islamic radicals in Norway.


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