Encyclopedia of Modern Worldwide Extremists and Extremist Groups

By Stephen E. Atkins | Go to book overview

Introduction

The term extremism is loosely thrown about to describe the movements, groups, and organizations that take the most unusual, even bizarre, positions on economic, political, religious, and social issues. Even in the dictionaries and books that use the term, the efforts made to define extremism are disappointing and limited. Extremism is defined as the advocacy of extreme positions by movements, groups, and organizations. An extremist is an individual who advocates the extreme position of a movement, group, or organization. Use of the terminology of extreme left and extreme right originates from the practice during the French Revolution of seating parties to the left or right of the presiding officer. Although there is a close identification of the extreme left and the extreme right with extremism in general, this association is more apparent in politics than it is in other arenas of life. Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater's oft-quoted statement “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice, ” denotes the strength of this belief. Perhaps the best explanation of the ingredients necessary in the creation of an extremist comes from Kerry Nobel, a leader of the paramilitary, the Covenant, the Sword and the Arm of the Lord (CSA). In his view it took a “philosophical or theological premise, based upon discontent, fear, unbelief, hate, despair, or some other negative emotion” to produce an extremist.

For the purposes of this book, an extremist movement, group, or organization is one that deviates from normal economic, political, religious, or social standards. Individuals who pursue policies or practices that are far outside the societal norm of personal behavior are classified as extremists. Although criminals fall into this definition, they rarely operate for more than personal gain or from psychological compulsion. Extremists have an agenda that transcends personal gain and psychological compulsion. They have a mission to protest or even transform the status quo. Nevertheless, a close relationship exists between extremism and criminal activities. Most extremists have legal difficulties at one time or another either as a result of crimes committed in carrying out their beliefs or because of petty crimes against persons or property. Many extremists advocate violence, but others avoid it at all cost. Some extremist groups and individuals have engaged in terrorist acts. The best explanation is the logical statement that all terrorists are extremists, but not all extremists are terrorists.

Extremist groups and individuals exam-

-xxi-

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Encyclopedia of Modern Worldwide Extremists and Extremist Groups
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Chronology of Events vii
  • Introduction xxi
  • A 1
  • B 26
  • C 57
  • D 80
  • E 89
  • F 96
  • G 110
  • H 123
  • I 137
  • J 142
  • K 149
  • L 166
  • M 184
  • N 215
  • O 230
  • P 238
  • Q 252
  • R 253
  • S 267
  • T 291
  • U 301
  • V 304
  • W 306
  • Y 326
  • Z 328
  • Selected Bibliography 331
  • Index 339
  • About the Author 375
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