Islamist and Far-Right Extremists: Rhetorical and Strategic Allies in the Digital Age

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The shared goal of extremist actors across different ideologies is to bring about radical political or societal change, often through the strategic polarisation of society. The adoption of meta-political campaigns such as disinformation and media manipulation campaigns or militant strategies such as terrorist attacks and hate crimes serve merely as a means to an end (Atwan 2015; Davey and Ebner 2017). This end is in many cases the accelerated escalation of existing inter- and intra-community tensions to a global civil war, based on the idea that a war between religions, cultures or races is inevitable and imminent.

This briefing focuses on the interplay between the narratives and strategies of Islamist and far-right extremists, with an emphasis on the digital space. It presents the main arguments and findings of two recent pieces of research on the topics of cumulative extremism and reciprocal radicalisation: a.) the book “The Rage: The Vicious Circle of Islamist and Far-Right Extremism” (I.B. Tauris, 2017) and our upcoming ISD report in cooperation with the German Institute for Democracy and Civil Society (Fielitz et al., 2018).

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