Religious conviction and readiness to consider violence among Dutch and Flemish youth

This study considers the way in which the ideals of youths take shape and what role the pedagogic network (parents, school) play in this. Alongside discussions with youths, from June 2012 conversations between youths on Facebook have been reviewed. These conversations show among other things that many youths appear to glorify martyrdom. Thus quite a few youths say they seek death as a martyr in order to earn the highest status in paradise. Many youths describe themselves as ‘soldiers of Allah’, which comes down to them emphasising their heroic, accepted social role as citizens at war and having the moral permission to kill. But despite the fact that the topic has considerable currency among these youths, none of them – as far as we know – has ever used violence and none of them – with one or two exceptions – has ever made any attempt to go to war. This study investigated the explanation for this.
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