ISL457 Radicalism, Terrorism and Extremism (8)


This subject analyses critically the process of radicalisation, while addressing the influence of extreme ideological theological interpretation on Muslim societies in the twenty-first century. It examines radical ideology and narrative and provides a Muslim mainstream counter-narrative with consideration of the Islamic theological perspective on violence. It also studies the root causes of violent extremism and terrorism attributed to Muslims. In addition, the notion of jihad is analysed since it is one of the key concepts misinterpreted by extremist Islamic groups.

+ Subject Availability Modes and Location

Session 2
DistanceUnited Theological College
Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: ISL457
Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject information

Duration Grading System School:
One sessionHD/FLCentre for Islamic Studies and Civilisation

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to discuss critically the key concepts and proposed rationale for terrorism and radicalism in Islamic history
  • be able to evaluate works on terrorism, radicalism, extremism, fundamentalism, jihad and other related terms as well as the theological responses to them
  • be able to analyse critically the impact of terrorism on world peace and social harmony
  • be able to evaluate approaches to government policy and practice relating to radicalism, terrorism and extremism
  • be able to demonstrate an understanding of the complexity of factors leading to radicalism and terrorism in Muslim societies
  • be able to compare and contrast the radical and moderate Muslim narratives
  • be able to demonstrate independent research, organisation, written and oral communication skills


The subject will cover the following topics:
  • Introduction to radicalism, terrorism and extremism
  • The emergence of Kharijites and other extreme groups in Islamic history and their interpretation of Islam
  • Extreme Wahhabism and Salafism and their interpretation of Islam
  • Contemporary terror groups: Al-Qaeda, Taliban, ISIS and others
  • Local and geo-political factors involved in modern terrorism
  • Radical and moderate narratives
  • Jihad and its misuse by radicals
  • Islamic legal rulings on military enagagement

Residential School

This subject contains a optional 2 day residential school.
The purpose of the residential school is to provide an opportunity for exploration of the coursework covered and assessment of student learning. In addition to content review, this part of the course aims to facilitate an interactive session between the teaching academics, students and sections of the Islamic community.


The information contained in the 2017 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: 12 August 2016. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.