A gendered perspective on the ‘radicalization’ of Belgian Muslim Converts (RHEA)

Published on 13 March par Heta Rundgren

Presentation by prof. dr. Iman Lechkar (VUB), 24 April 2017, 12h30-14h

Radicalism, in the sense of quality or state of being radical, seems an inevitable condition linked to conversion. Already in 1902, William James makes an irrevocable correlation between conversion and radicalism. Although many scholars have since then made several attempts to confirm, deconstruct or debunk this interrelationship, after 9/11, Belgian Muslim converts were predominantly framed as radical. Besides the proposition that radicalism is an inherent part of the conversion process, conversion is also viewed as treason. While female Muslim conversions were and are still understood as passive and emotional processes, male Muslim converts were previously framed as active and rational subjects but after 9/11 and particularly in the aftermath of the Syrian civil war, they are viewed as suspicious and violent radicals.

VUB - Van Gogh Room (5.61 - 5th Floor)
Pleinlaan 5
Brussel