Sharia’s Causal Role in Spawning Violent Radicalism

28 Pages Posted: 30 Jul 2012 Last revised: 15 Aug 2012

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Date Written: July 29, 2012


The significant role of sharia, a prominent feature of Islam, in the socioeconomic evolution of communities has only been recently realized. This paper compares the evolution of Muslim-majority Pakistan and Hindu-majority India and their respective diaspora in Britain — nations and communities created from the same landmass just 64 years ago that share similarities in language, ethnicity, culture, and cuisine. Subsequent analysis suggests that religious influence, primarily through sharia, has moved Muslim communities away from modernity and that sharia has played a significant causal role in the radicalization process underway in such communities. This paper also discusses the implications with regard to the evolution of Muslim communities elsewhere. Consequently, this study argues that undercutting the influence of sharia, along with that of jihad, another prominent feature of Islam, is necessary in order to break the cycle of radicalization and recruitment that sustains terrorism.

Keywords: Islam, Sharia, Jihad, Radicalism, Terrorism, Violence, Pakistan, Paradigm Shift

Suggested Citation

Muthuswamy, Moorthy S., Sharia’s Causal Role in Spawning Violent Radicalism (July 29, 2012). Available at SSRN: or

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