chapter  6
21 Pages

Beyond fear and loathing: countering extremism

One of the more prominent frontiers in criminology in the twenty-fi rst century is the development of understanding and responses to people who commit crimes of a violent and extremist nature, for example, terrorist offences and hate crimes. The heading of this chapter introduces the discussions in terms of moving beyond ‘fear and loathing’. This is because of all the types of offenders generally included in discussions of punishment, it is extremist and terrorist offenders who attract the most reprobation. Conversely, they are rarely discussed in terms of rehabilitation or reintegration, and seldom so within a mainstream criminology or penology context. Silences and omissions can be complicit in reducing rehabilitative effectiveness (across the different forms of rehabilitation outlined in Chapter 1) and further perpetuating acute social exclusion. Somewhat ironically, ‘fear and loathing’ can be key social antecedents within and between communities and social groups that contribute to the commission of crimes of extremism, especially hate crimes, which are also covered in this chapter. In assisting the rehabilitation and reintegration of those with histories of extremism, there are implications and a collective responsibility for the need to ameliorate social conditions and community cultures that may have fostered or exacerbated criminogenic risks and extreme ideologies. Peace-making, forgiveness and restorative justice responses are needed for the sake of offenders, victims and communities.