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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Explaining the Appeal of Islamic Radicals


Why do “Islamic radicals”—including the partisans of al-Qaeda and other followers of Osama bin Laden--enjoy so much sympathy

in the Middle East and the wider Muslim world? Understanding

such a phenomenon is a necessary (but not sufficient) condition for crafting a strategy to cope with the murderous violence of September 11, 2001.

This GLOBAL POLICY BRIEF explores these socioeconomic roots of Islamic radicalism:

- The multidimensional crisis of the Muslim world

- The rage of the young, a majority of the population in the Middle East, faced with poor prospects

- Increasing poverty and collapsing cities

- Failures of government

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