Religiously Inspired Terrorism


Extremist groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS continue to be active globally, with affiliates still highly active. Since ISIS declared a so-called Caliphate in 2014, there have been numerous attacks in Europe and North America. This course will examine the genesis of ISIS from remnants of al-Qaeda in Iraq to Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, solidifying as “Islamic State.” We will look at the dynamics in the region that gave rise to these organizations and the ISIS blitzkrieg throughout parts of Iraq and Syria with al-Qaeda groups fighting back. Participants will also be exposed to the phenomenon of Westerners who joined the group and what became of them. Finally, participants will be introduced to counter-extremism messaging generated worldwide and discuss the response of traditional Sunni Islam to the Khawarij ideology. To understand the correct counter-narrative to refute it, participants will examine commentary from renowned Islamic scholars Muhammad Al Yaqoubi, Abdulhakim Murad, and Hamza Yusuf.


Learning Outcomes

  • Understand the genesis of religiously claimed violent extremist groups
  • Define the tactics these groups employ and why
  • Identify skills and tools necessary to counter such groups
  • Recognize nuances related to affiliate groups around the world
  • Connect to traditional and modern Islamic interpretations in countering violent extremism



  • This course is aimed at anyone interested in national security, emphasizing religiously inspired radicalization as manifested in Al Qaeda and ISIS.



6 hours



  • $655 (plus tax)


Featured Instructor

Mr. Mubin Shaikh is a deradicalized former extremist recruited as a deep cover human source for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and RCMP INSET. An internationally recognized expert, he has led numerous international workshops on deradicalization, maintaining dialogue with other former extremists engaged in deradicalization. Currently, Mr. Shaikh conducts direct interventions with ISIS-minded individuals for the U.S.-based organization, Parents4Peace.



Event CodeTitleBegin DateEnd DateTermDelivery Method
S00482310AReligiously Inspired Terrorism10/16/202310/17/2023AutumnOnlineRegister
S00482403AReligiously Inspired Terrorism3/25/20243/26/2024WinterOnlineRegister