Investigating the role of religious institutions in the prevention of violent extremism...


Authors: Juline Beaujouan and Amjed Rasheed

This article investigates the role of religious institutions in the countering and prevention of violent extremism (C/PVE) in Nineveh province, Iraq. Building on 59 interviews conducted in Hamdaniyyah and Tel Afar four years after the official victory over the Islamic State, this paper introduces new data and innovative insights into the relationships between religious institutions, state apparatus and civil society.

Findings suggest that:

i) while the legitimacy of religious institutions is contested across Nineveh province, there is a consensus on the need for these institutions to be involved in C/PVE.

ii) interactions between religious institutions, political systems, and civil society have increased but remain limited.

iii) the fragmentation of the state apparatus is reflected in uncoordinated and unregulated C/PVE strategies.

The importance of religious institutions in fostering community resilience to violent extremism in Nineveh province should not overlook the need for a transversal and inclusive approach to healing the scars left by two decades of rampant conflicts.

This article was published in the Journal for Deradicalization, Issue 32, Fall 2022.