“Mediated Jihadism Amongst Thai Muslim Youth
and the Media Radicalising Effect”
Dr Virginie Andre
Senior Research Fellow
Ms Noorita Mohd Noor
Senior Fellow and Deputy Head
International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research
S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
This seminar will examine how young Thai Muslims have come to understand the contemporary meaning of jihad. It will explain how the concept of jihad has been shaped by both the traditional media and social media as well as popular imagination, that has reduced a complex concept into a singular meaning of war. This ignores the importance of ‘greater jihad’ which is aimed at self-betterment. The majority of the young Thai Muslims interviewed by the speaker only heard of jihad for the first time through national and international news reports on television or social media, which tended to reinforce the meaning of jihad as propagated by radical groups such as ISIS. Interviews with radicalised minors have also shown that it not just the social media that has the capacity to radicalise vulnerable at-risk youths but also the traditional media, through its skewed reporting of terrorist incidents. Dr Andre will analyse the implications of the notion of mediated jihad within the context of the conflict of Southern Thailand, and what it means for the third generation of Pattani militants in the near future.
About the Speaker
Dr Virginie Andre is a Senior Research Fellow at Victoria University. She holds a Master’s degree from the National University of Singapore and a PhD from Monash University. Her expertise includes research on terrorism and countering violent extremism, ethno-nationalism and conflict transformation, social media and youth radicalisation, and diasporic cultures in transition. In the last twelve years, Dr Andre has researched on diverse communities in Southeast Asia, Europe and Australia. She has delivered a range of presentations at Australian and international academic conferences, coordinated the Monash University’s Counter-Terrorism Master’s Programme, and lectured in post-graduate university courses. She has also conceptualised and delivered training in strategic communications to counter violent extremism for government officials and media practitioners.
Her latest publications include: ‘Understanding the Impact of Terrorist Event Reporting on Countering Violent Extremism: From A Practitioner’s Perspective’ (2018); ‘Violent Jihad and Beheadings in the Land of AlFatoni Darussalam’ (2015); ‘A Fragmented Discourse of Religious Leadership in France: Muslim Youth between Citizenship and Radicalization’ (2015); ‘Religious Citizenship and Islamophobia’ (2015); and ‘Merah and Breivik: A Reflection of the European Identity Crisis’ (2015).