U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Consenting to a Child's Decision to Join a Jihad: Insights From a Survey of Militant Families in Pakistan

NCJ Number
Studies in Conflict and Terrorism Volume: 31 Issue: 11 Dated: November 2008 Pages: 973-994
Victor Asal; C. Christine Fair; Stephen Shellman
Date Published
November 2008
22 pages
This study examined the economic and religious factors inherent in Pakistani households that increased and/or decreased the likelihood that members of the household gave or refused consent for a male of the household to participate in jihad.
The results suggest that different operational indicators capturing social, economic, and religious factors affect both consent and refusal. Study expectations were confirmed by the data. Every parent or guardian will eventually face the likelihood that their child will ask them permission to do something that is inherently dangerous. This study’s focus was on understanding what factors impacted the decision by familial authority figures to give or deny permission when a young person asked for permission to join an organization dedicated to waging jihad. The study addresses this question, specifically within the context of Pakistan, and was based on an analysis on a survey of 141 families who have had at least 1 son who became a martyr in the context of fighting for a jihad organization. Using the extant literature on recruitment, participation in violent political conflict, and militant Islam as a guide, it is posited how and why various household attributes should affect a household member to grant or refuse permission for another household member to wage jihad. Tables, figures, and notes