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Daily Times

Published Date: May 22, 2012


Counter-terrorism efforts need to move away from the militarism-based approach to people-centered, gender-sensitive and sustainable interventions, said Dr Maleeha Aslam, Fellow Cambridge Commonwealth Society and Member Wolfson College, Cambridge.
She was speaking at the launch of her book ‘Gender Based Explosions: the Nexus between Muslim Masculinities, Jihadist Islamism and Terrorism.’ It was organised by Sustainable Development Policy institute (SDPI) here on Monday. Ejaz Haider, Senior Advisor SDPI moderated the discussion.
Dr. Maleeha said that masculinity dimension ‘has been under-researched with relation to global security and terrorism. In Muslim societies, socio-economic and political oppression, coupled with culturally idealised gender constructs influence men towards militant Islamism and terrorism.’
She underlined that counter-terrorism policies exacerbate the upheaval in Muslim masculinities when men are brought under surveillance and racial profiling where their honour and kinship affiliations, such as plight of Palestinians and drone attacks-related grievances in FATA, are threatened.
She shared the highlights of her study, which reveals that religious affiliation has no direct linkages with the possibility of one offering themselves for jihad or militarism. She quoted her study, which says that most of practicing Muslims are against suicide bombings. The study highlights that mostly men idealizing the masculine bravery traits, will offer themselves for jihad. The study also reveals that men who have keenness in weapons and who articulate the manhood as thrill-seeking, adventure-based identity will offer themselves for jihad.