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What causes Muslims to turn to militant Islam?  A survey finds that militant Islam (or Islamism) is not a response to poverty or impoverishment as widely argued. The factors that cause Islamism to decline or flourish appear to have more to do with issues of identity than with economics. On the level of individuals, conventional wisdom points to Islamism attracting the poor, the alienated, and the marginal – but research finds precisely the opposite to be true.  To the extent that economic factors explain who becomes Islamist, they tend to be fairly well off. Islamists who make the ultimate sacrifice and give up their lives also fit this pattern of financial ease and advanced education.  A disproportionate number of terrorists and suicide bombers have higher education, often in engineering and the sciences.

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CONTRIBUTOR
Daniel Pipes
Daniel Pipes
This issue was published in collaboration with the Friedrich Naumann Foundation Turkey Office.
Foreword The 75th issue of TPQ comes at a time when the world is still in the grips of the COVID-19 pandemic. While not a new phenomenon, the concurrent swell in digital disinformation and misinformation has complicated the public health response on both sides of the Atlantic, as well as further eroded democratic values. Our Fall 2020 issue focuses on key challenges related to disinformation and...
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