The fight against terrorism in Morocco: its religious diplomacy as an instrument for counter-radicalisation in France and in the United Kingdom

Verónica Martins, Francisco Jorge Gonçalves

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Abstract

In a national and international context marked by religious extremism that is eroding the image and practice of Islam and arousing animosity among Muslim communities in Europe, various reflections on the most effective means of fighting against terrorism have emerged. Conscious that the purely security approach is not a solution against terrorist activities, since it is often used downstream, national and international strategies to combat terrorism have come to integrate a prevention component, which importance has grown over the years. After being hit by a suicide attack in 2003, Mohammed VI has implemented in Morocco a "comprehensive, integrated and multidimensional" strategy to strengthen the national system of counter-terrorism. Moreover, the ruler has gradually developed in recent years a diplomatic strategy outside its borders, advocating an Islam of the "middle path", aimed at guaranteeing the "spiritual security" of the Kingdom. Therefore, the struggle in the ideological field remains one of the major challenges and there is an absolute necessity for the production of a credible counter-speech, in order to prevent possible acts of Islamist terrorists. We propose to answer the following research question: what contribution(s) can the religious diplomacy of Morocco bring to a policy of counter-radicalisation in the field of Islamist terrorism in France and in the UK?
As far as the theoretical framework is concerned, this project will be guided/ framed by the « securitisation theory ». It is not a question of analysing the process of securitising religious training as such, but, as our main hypothesis indicates, demonstrating that Moroccan religious diplomacy is gaining momentum following the wave of terrorist attacks in Europe and the presence of terrorist groups in Mali. To answer our research question and understand what contribution Moroccan religious diplomacy can make in terms of counter-radicalisation (mainly from 2003 onwards), it will be necessary to undertake a field work which includes, on the one hand, the analysis of official texts and, on the other hand, the realization of semi-structured qualitative interviews. In addition, the consultation of various secondary sources (e.g. books, specialized articles on the prevention, counter-radicalisation) will provide us with a complement of information.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jul 2021
Event26th IPSA World Congress of Political Science 2021 - Online, Canada
Duration: 10 Jul 202115 Jul 2021

Conference

Conference26th IPSA World Congress of Political Science 2021
Country/TerritoryCanada
Period10/07/2115/07/21

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