The processes of globalization in the economic, political, and cultural spheres draw the population of countries into migration flows of different nature and level. To a certain extent, these factors stimulate tension in interethnic relations, accompanied by interracial conflicts. On this basis, various opposition groups begin to appear, trying to achieve the desired result through extremism and terrorism. The main unifying factor for these terms is a radical approach to solving social problems.
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The concepts of “extremism” and “terrorism” are interconnected, the latter is an integral part of the former, one of the terrorist manifestations is directly related to violence or the threat of violence and the impact on the state. Extremism includes the activities that are not violent but grossly violate citizens’ rights and freedoms, having an ideological motive behind them. Extremism is aimed, first of all, at negative transformations of the political space, so the human sacrifices are not necessary.
In contrast, terrorism seeks to destabilize the state of society as a whole. For example, the FBI states that such organizations as the Anarchist Extremists, Militia Extremists, and White Supremacy Extremists are the examples of the extremist ones (Hamm & Spaaij, 2017). The radical groups such as ISIS, Al Qaeda, Al Shabaab, and many others, which aim to destroy people, are considered terrorist organizations (Hamm & Spaaij, 2017). Thus, extremism and terrorism have similarities in the expression of radical sentiments in society.
Both extremism and terrorism can be defined as destructive social forces that negatively affect the consciousness of their adherents and interfere with other people’s everyday lives. Countering these crimes is much more complicated than, for example, thefts or even murders. The reason is that the initial intent of extremism and terrorism lies in the idea of causing harm to as many people as possible and the society as a whole.
Hamm, M. S., & Spaaij, R. (2017). The age of lone wolf terrorism. New York, USA: Columbia University Press.