Why are converts to Islam specifically vulnerable to becoming extremists?
While family and friends may shun the converts for making such a drastic change, the mainstream Muslim community may still see them as outsiders. But extremist fringe groups are always looking for recruits
The initial aftermath of the horrific attacks on the Houses of Parliament led many organisations scrambling for information. As more information is being released by the police and intelligence agencies, the attacker has now been identified as 52-year-old Khalid Masood. Masood, who was born in Kent but later moved to the West Midlands, was a former English teacher, a husband, and a father of three. Masood was also a convert to Islam; and yet another case that establishes the seemingly inexplicable allure of radical Islamist ideology to converts.
Though it is vital to reiterate that for the vast majority of converts to Islam the motives are rarely political, converts have, time and time again, been found to go through a rapid process of radicalisation when it comes to committing violent terrorist attacks and tend to be the most vicious when doing so. I believe that there are three main reasons why converts are particularly vulnerable to radicalisation.
Firstly, because converts often know very little about Islam when they first decide to switch over, they are susceptible to brainwashing and propaganda, making them ideal targets for recruiters. Because the convert will often have no one else to consult and no independent guide to their new faith, recruiters may feed the individual whatever information they wish, and the indoctrination can easily go unchecked and unchallenged.