chapter  9
Afghan youth and ‘soft radicalisation’
Emerging social forces
ByShaharzad Akbar
Pages 14

This chapter focuses on 'soft radicalisation' in Afghanistan, which targets youths and contests the values of the new Afghanistan such as, democracy, pluralism, women's rights and freedom of expression. It argues that while violent radicalisation has captured the attention of the Afghan government and the international community as a threat, the currently non-violent, soft radicalisation has been under-studied; crucially, the latter has the potential to influence the direction of the country in the coming decades and to clash with the democratic values being promoted by the Afghan Constitution. The chapter maps out the main narratives and methods of the non-violent radical groups, focusing specifically on Jamiat-e Eslah. It also focuses on the conceptual framework of radicalisation. The chapter then elaborates on the status of youth as the main target group for radicalising efforts. It finally presents the case study of Jamiat-e Eslah and its narrative and activities, included as a prominent example of modern, 'soft radicalisation' efforts in Afghanistan.