The Jihadi Threat to Scotland: Caledonian Exceptionalism and its Limits

Stefano Bonino

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Abstract

At a fragile time in the history of Western-Islamic relationships, particularly given the global threat posed by the Islamic State and the unprecedented number of European Muslims who have traveled to conflict zones in the Middle East, the comparatively fewer problems Scotland has experienced with violent radicalization are worthy of study. One explanation is that the nature of Scotland's body politic and the orientation of its policies—in some ways similar to Canada's—have reduced the appeal of grievance-based jihadi propaganda. An economically better off and more upwardly mobile group of south Asian immigrants settled in Scotland compared to England, spreading across the country and fostering relatively harmonious relationships with the wider society. Yet, pockets of Islamist extremism, the Islamic State's global political allure and distortion of Islam to spread its worldview, and ongoing concerns about ultra-orthodox elements in the Pakistani community suggest that Scotland is far from immune to the threat of violent jihadism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-31
JournalCTC Sentinel
Volume9
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 22 Apr 2016

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