Maik Fielitz, Julia Ebner, Jakob Guhl, and Matthias Quent
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Loving Hate. Anti-Muslim Extremism, Radical Islamism and The Spiral of Polarisation

Institute for Democracy and Civil Society (IDZ)

Abstract

This report focuses on the interactional dynamics between anti-Muslim extremists and radical Islamists in Germany and beyond. It reveals ideological underpinnings, approaches to mobilization and communication patterns, which all prove to be analogous on both sides, and it places emphasis on the reciprocity of hate that may serve to intensify processes of individual and group radicalization. Our study presents the first systematic analysis of the interplay between both forms of extremism that plays out on different places on the Internet. It provides direct evidence showing that Islamist and far-right movements converge at different levels and mutually amplify one another. The analysis focuses on measuring the online interaction between extremist content, individuals and events. Overall, over 10,000 Islamist and far-right Facebook posts and over one million German anti-Muslim tweets between January 1, 2013 and November 30, 2017 were analyzed for this study. Additionally, we conducted three months of ethnographic research into encrypted pro-IS and pro-Al-Qaeda groups on Telegram as well as into far-right chat groups.