Members of the movement of Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West (PEGIDA) hold flags during a demonstration march in Dresden, January 25, 2015. The text on the placard reads "Stop multiculture. My homeland remains German!"
Hannibal Hanschke / Reuters

What is it that draws thousands of young Europeans to jihadism and violence? What is it that has led 4,000 to travel to Syria to fight for the so-called Islamic State (ISIS)? And what is it that leads European citizens to engage in barbarous carnage such as those witnessed last month in Paris?

The conventional answer is that they have become “radicalized,” a process through which vulnerable Muslims are groomed for extremist violence by those who champion hate. The radicalization argument consists of four broad elements. The first is the claim that people become terrorists because they acquire certain, usually religiously

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