This article explores ISIS’s concept of education and teaching. More precisely, we examine how religious elements were integrated into textbooks written and published by the group. We then present the results of codifying religious elements found in textbooks. We conducted a precise, targeted study of religion-integrated teachings through a didactic and critical lens. The textbooks analyzed in this article were published by ISIS. Printed copies were found and recovered by our team in a number of schools around Kirkuk after its liberation. The dogmatism of these teaching methods is apparent because it meant not to develop students’ critical thinking.
Converging Patterns in Pathways in and out of Violent Extremism: Insights from Former Canadian Right-Wing Extremists
In recent years, research on pathways in and out of violent extremism has grown at a staggering rate. Yet much of what is known about these oftentimes “mysterious” processes does not necessarily shed light on the specific aspects of right-wing extremism, and especially not from a Canadian perspective. In an effort to bridge this gap, we use a life-course criminology approach to draw from the voices of former extremists to gain insights into their respective trajectories in and out of violent extremism. A total of 10 life course interviews were conducted with former Canadian members of violent right-wing extremist groups. Analyses of these data suggest that even if there is no single trajectory in and out of violent extremism, there are still converging patterns such as the attraction for common pull factors and a profound dedication to the right-wing cause. Our analyses also demonstrate that the emotional toll of leaving the movement is often characterized by exhaustion, isolation and regrets.
While it has become increasingly common for researchers, practitioners and policymakers to draw from the insights of former extremists to combat violent extremism, overlooked in this evolving space has been an in-depth look at how formers perceive such efforts. To address this gap, interviews were conducted with 10 Canadian former right-wing extremists based on a series of questions provided by 30 Canadian law enforcement officials and 10 community activists. Overall, formers suggest that combating violent extremism requires a multidimensional response, largely consisting of support from parents and families, teachers and educators, law enforcement officials, and other credible formers.