Investigating the role of religious institutions in the prevention of violent extremism in Nineveh province, Iraq

Beaujouan, Juline and Rasheed, Amjed (2022) Investigating the role of religious institutions in the prevention of violent extremism in Nineveh province, Iraq. Journal of Deradicalisation, 32. pp. 76-109.

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Abstract

This article investigates the role of religious institutions in the countering and prevention of violent extremism (C/PVE) in Nineveh province, Iraq. It addresses a major gap in the literature that offers largely descriptive accounts of C/PVE policies, without considering the different stakeholders involved in their implementation and the complex network of relationships among them. The actions and legitimacy of religious institutions are analysed against the background of the post-2003 Iraqi state apparatus. The hybridity of the new political system of the second republic (2005-present) justifies the focus on the initiatives of both formal and informal religious institutions towards key C/PVE sectors such as education and peace-building. Building on 59 interviews conducted in Hamdaniyyah and Tel Afar four years after the official victory over the Islamic State, this paper introduces new data and innovative insights into the relationships between religious institutions, state apparatus and civil society. The findings suggest that i) while the legitimacy of religious institutions is contested across Nineveh province, there is a consensus on the need for these institutions to be involved in C/PVE; ii) interactions between religious institutions, political systems, and civil society have increased but remain limited; and iii) the fragmentation of the state apparatus is reflected in uncoordinated and unregulated C/PVE strategies. The importance of religious institutions in fostering community resilience to violent extremism in Nineveh province should not overlook the need for a transversal and inclusive approach to healing the scars left by two decades of rampant conflicts.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Journal of Deradicalisation
ID Code:
178279
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
28 Oct 2022 15:30
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
22 Nov 2022 12:00