n Journal for Islamic Studies - Processes of engagement and disengagement in Islamic activism

Volume 34, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0257-7062



Political dimensions of Islam have a powerful presence in the transnational public sphere. However, the importance of the personal dimension in Islamist engagement has been underestimated. This article will look at how political action and activism are constructed in the activists' lives at the individual level, examining in particular the involvement and exit of three activists from radical Islamist movements in diasporic situations in Europe and in the USA. The concepts of engagement and disengagement are applied in the analysis. The article argues that political actions and processes are related to personal experiences and emotions. Emotions provide motivation and direction to political actions: emotions influence choices, and emotional reactions are a result of choices made. In this sense, belonging to a political group is a thoroughly emotional experience.

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