AUDIO – Listening to ISIS


This is an audio recording of the talk “What drives terrorism, and how should we respond?” given to OPUS by Dr Rizwaan Sabir on 12 October 2016.

By drawing on his research on the UK’s “War on Terror”, Rizwaan Sabir argues that the threat of terrorism committed by the likes of ISIS and al-Qaida has been misdiagnosed as being primarily motivated by religious ideology rather than the political.

In turn, policies and practices have been implemented in the UK (and Europe & the US more broadly) which do not reduce insecurity and conflict but generate the conditions which increase the risk of terrorism, conflict, and political violence. He will explore how and why this happens, and there will be time for a discussion on potential psycho-social factors.




Dr Rizwaan Sabir is an Assistant Professor in Criminology at Liverpool John Moores University in the UK.

His research on the impact of counter-terrorism policies, was motivated by his wrongful arrest and solitary confinement detention for suspected terrorism for seven days after he was found in possession of the al-Qaida training manual he was using for his research on al-Qaida and Hamas in 2008.

After being released without charge, Rizwaan eventually became one of the first Muslims in the UK to secure damages for being falsely imprisoned under the Terrorism Act 2000 and an apology for being unlawfully stopped and searched under anti-terror laws.

He now briefs UK parliamentarians, human rights and civil society organisations, routinely appears in the media and writes for the Guardian and Al-Jazeera.


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