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Political, Religious, and Psychological Characteristics of Muslim Protest Marchers in Eight European Cities: Jerusalem Day 2002


Political, Religious, and Psychological Characteristics of Muslim Protest Marchers in Eight European Cities: Jerusalem Day 2002

Abstract: 

A questionnaire was completed by 650 Muslim men marching on Jerusalem Day 2002 to protest the loss of Jerusalem to the Israelis. These respondents were selected for religiosity and support for terrorism from among 2,619 marchers in eight European cities who completed a brief screening survey. Results indicate that marchers differ on four independent dimensions of religion and politics: charismatic leadership, religiosity, separate nationalism, and family commitment to the Islamic Revolution. Marchers also differed on two independent dimensions of personality: neuroticism and extraversion-impulsiveness. Respondents with a charismatic religious leader were more willing to use chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons (CBN). None of the six dimensions was related to interest in martyrdom. Notably, neither religion (Sunni vs. Shia) nor religiosity was related to willingness to use CBN or interest in martyrdom. Most generally, results suggest that violence in support of Islamic causes cannot be understood as the expression of extreme religious beliefs or exceptional religious devotion. The discussion points to the importance of relationships rather than individual characteristics in understanding propensity for terrorist violence.

Publication Information

Full Citation: 

Schbley, Ayla, and Clark McCauley. 2005. "Political, Religious, and Psychological Characteristics of Muslim Protest Marchers in Eight European Cities: Jerusalem Day 2002." Terrorism and Political Violence (December): 551-572. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09546550500174921#tabModule

START Author(s): 
Clark McCauley
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