The family context and its role in making jihadists: The case of Indonesian jihadists' families

Event details

PSC Seminar

Date & time

Thursday 23 March 2017


PSC Reading Room 4.27, Hedley Bull Centre (130), Garran Road, ANU
ANU Canberra


Haula Noor


Helen McMartin

This study aims to investigate the family context and the way this may have shaped the development and behaviour of extremists prior to their jihadism and how the family responded to that behaviour. The study is based on the argument that family is one of the factors contributing to the processes that might underpin forms of radical involvement, particularly at the initial stage of involvement. The cogency of these arguments will be tested by Max Taylor and John Horgan (2006)’s perspective on the psychological process in the development of the terrorist. This study seeks to answer these central research questions: Is the family context important in creating unique conditions for radicalisation? If so, how has the family context created, wittingly or unwittingly, conditions that enable an individual to become a jihadist? This thesis argues that family context is important in creating conditions for early radicalisation through inculcating the parental values in children’s need to be loyal (fidelity) to someone/something. Committed jihadist parents can influence their children’s need to be loyal in a way that later forms the basis of radical values, whereas children whose need to be loyal is unfulfilled due to a dysfunctional parental relationship are susceptible to becoming violent jihadists as they seek values to express a new identity.

Haula Noor received her BA in Psychology and MA in Interdisciplinary Islamic Studies under the thesis project titled “Pride within Stigma: The Case of Indonesian Terrorists’ Families”, both from State Islamic University Syarif Hidayatullah, Jakarta, Indonesia. She is currently in the first year of her Ph.D in the Department of Political and Social Change, Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs, at The Australian National University.

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