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Role of the Structural Factors in Construction of Violent Extremist Thoughts

Waheed Ahmed Abbasi1, Hyder Ali Memon2 &  Sumera Irum3

This qualitative study seeks to know violent extremism and its underlying factors by analyzing the perceptions shared by the students and teachers of madrasahs and universities. Violent extremism is the prerequisite of terrorism and terrorist violence. Violent extremism as a human activity including actions, attitudes, beliefs, and tacticsemerges to be advocating and engaging in terrorist violence to gain its social, economic and political objectives. The focus of
counterterrorism policy is to analyze how and why people develop violent extremist thoughts and actions which prepare them involve in the terrorist attacks. This article sees the violent extremism from the perspective of social structural that analyzes what social conditions motivate people adopt violent extremist thoughts. This article critically analyzes the influence of social structural variables on violent extremism by analyzing views and explanations collected from 127 students and teachers from the madrasahs and universities located in Sindh
province. This study found that religion played a dominant role in shaping  thinking and action patterns. Differences in religious ideologies, negative influence of political and international factors have significant impact on shaping and emerging violent extremist thoughts. Moreover, unequal and unsystematic distribution of educational, economic and political benefits has central impact on development extremist views. Bad governance failed to address religious, social and economic issues of people provided fueling factors for violent extremism. It
can be summed that ineffective and weak policies of state and wrong distribution
of social benefits promoted violent extremism in the Pakistani society making all
the possibilities of violence and terrorism.

Keywords: Violent Extremism, Social Structural Conditions, Religion,
Marginalization, Relative Deprivation