Author Biography

Dina Al Raffie is an independent researcher and course instructor in the field of security studies. She is an occasional adjunct professor on the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies' Program on Terrorism and Security Studies (GCMC - PTSS), and holds an M.A. in International Security Studies from the University of the German Federal Armed Forces and the GCMC. Her fields of interest include political Islam, terrorism and political violence, and Middle Eastern Studies. Dina can be reached at dina.alraffie@gmail.com.



Subject Area Keywords

Europe and EU, Fundamentalism, Identity, Psychology, Radicalization, Violent extremism


An overview of literature on radicalization in the Muslim diaspora in Europe finds identity crises to be a key precipitant to the process. Studies also typically focus on the manipulation of identify by violent Islamic extremist groups. This paper attempts to contribute to the discussion on the role of identity in radicalization by using social identity theory. In doing so, the article explores the formation and transformation process of social identities, and argues that the nature of community-level groups and networks may contribute to identity ‘readiness’ for radicalization. To this end, special focus is given to formally recognized Islamist non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and institutions and their potential impact on Muslim religious identity in the European Muslim diaspora. Findings suggest that the more pervasive the ideology of Islamist representatives is, the more likely the normative environment in the diaspora is to be conducive to both non-violent and violent Islamic extremism.