Inside the Mind of an Extremist Shiraz Maher

2015 Oslo Freedom Forum
May 26, 2015

Islamic extremism expert Shiraz Maher draws from both his academic background and his personal history to address why people all over the world are drawn to extremist groups. He describes how the lawlessness, unpredictability, and hopelessness in Syria has driven citizens to the Islamic State out of necessity, and he outlines the different mindsets and motivations of foreign jihadists. Maher explains that the human need for identity and a sense of belonging are key factors contributing to the Islamic State’s growth. Finally, Maher shares the story of his own journey back from extremism to show that this trend can be stopped.