The effects of ingroup love - outgroup hate: 2005 London terrorist attacks
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Western Europe in the 21st century has seen a terrifying rise of terrorist attacks, many of which are claimed to be Islamist by the perpetrators and extreme Islamist organizations. Nevertheless, the damage of none of these attacks is comparable to the damage done through 9/11 terrorist attacks in the USA in 2001. The reasons of the so called ‘Islamist’ terrorist attacks have been discussed by several authors. Nevertheless, the author of current thesis is not aware of any previous research that has tried to capture the social ingroups and outgroups and the intergroup relations regarding Muslims in the political discourses. The aim of the thesis was to show the discourses regarding Muslims and Islam in the British parliamentary debates post 9/11 terrorist attacks. The author wanted to point out potential social ingroups and outgroups deriving from these discourses to see if the intergroup relations were constructed in a way that would have an impact on triggering the 7/7 terrorist attacks in London, United Kingdom in 2005. The main research question was: which social ingroups and outgroups regarding Muslims and Islam derived from the British parliamentary debates from 9/11 until 7/7 and how were the intergroup relations constructed? To answer the main research question, the author of the thesis conducted a critical discourse analysis on five British parliamentary debates from 2001-2005. The coverage of Muslims and Islam in these debates was viewed through several theoretical explanations of ingroup and outgroup formation and intergroup relations. The analysis revealed that Islam and the majority of Muslims were portrayed in a rather positive manner in the British parliamentary debates. Although it was clear that Muslims are perceived as an outgroup in British society, the will to help and integrate Muslim community was evident. The intergroup relations in the parliamentary discourses were not constructed in a way that would have an impact on triggering the 7/7 terrorist attacks. The thesis contributes to the wider research of ingroup and outgroup formation and intergroup relations. Likewise, it contributes to the research of possible triggers for radicalism and terrorist movements.