How is extremism different from terrorism? The main features of these phenomena

Today, there are many social, political, economic associations and movements that somehow affect the lives of ordinary citizens. This factor is due to the fact that society does not stand still, but has a development trend. Unfortunately, this process does not always bring exceptionally positive results. Deviant behavior is inherent in any society, but it is the extreme manifestation of this term that can give rise to concepts such as extremism and terrorism.

In order to understand the question of how extremism differs from terrorism, it is necessary to study in detail the essence of these concepts. In fact, not all terrorists are extremists by definition. In this article, you will not only get acquainted with the characteristic features of these concepts. You can also find out how extremism differs from terrorism in criminal law.

The essence of the concept of extremism

Since this word recently appeared in modern Russian everyday life, scientists and sociologists have not yet given a clear and fixed meaning of the concept of extremism.

In general, this course can be regarded as a person’s tendency to achieve the desired result in various fields by illegal methods and prohibited methods. These methods can be: physical and moral violence, propaganda, attempt on the rights of other citizens.

Extremists adhere to extreme ideologies and beliefs based, as a rule, on national or religious traditions. It is because of ideology that people-extremists are the most terrible criminals, ready for anything for their faith in their own right.

Modern world


Since this concept has a wide spectrum of influence on various fields, the motives of extremists can also be different. The main tasks of “ideological people” include the following motivating factors:

  • ideology;
  • religion;
  • political factor;
  • material factor;
  • desire for power;
  • modern romanticism;
  • heroism;
  • motive of self-affirmation.

As a rule, the motives of extremists are divided into personal and group. If a potential “ideological person” is in a certain group of extreme views, this can contribute to the emergence of specific behaviors and the construction of new tasks. Each member of the extremist group convinces and inspires the other comrade with certain views and beliefs, which make it easier to commit a crime.

Youth romanticism

Extremism in criminal law

According to the law of the Russian Federation “On countering extremist activity”, the implementation of extremist ideology includes the following characteristics:

  • forced change of the constitutional foundation and non-observance of the unity of the Russian Federation;
  • public explanation of actions and protection of extremist views;
  • incitement to social, national, racial or religious hatred;
  • dissemination of information about the superiority of a particular racial, national, religious affiliation;
  • popularization of Nazi or racist symbols or similar paraphernalia to the point of confusion.

It is worth noting that the law also fixes the concept of “ideological organization” - it is a social or religious group that performs illegal actions on the basis of certain beliefs or beliefs. Such associations are subject to total liquidation by the efforts established by federal law.

In the article below, you will learn how extremism differs from terrorism.

Extreme beliefs

What is terrorism?

Terrorism is a type of political violence that involves planning and deliberately attacking non-combatants and civilians, depending on the initial goals and factors that members of particular groups want to influence. It usually has three key elements:

  • Political violence or violent actions aimed at transmitting a specific political message.
  • Intentional targeting of non-combatants (journalists, officials, medical personnel, clergy and lawyers).
  • The dual nature is when an attack is made on one group in order to terrorize another with its help.

According to the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, punishment in the form of imprisonment of 2 to 20 years depending on the extent of the damage is punished for causing an explosion, arson, or other actions that could harm the health or life of people, as well as for moral impact and intimidation.

On the question of how extremism differs from terrorism in criminal law, there is no significant difference between the punishments for these violations.

Terrorism in the modern world

How are these two terms related?

Briefly, what distinguishes extremism from terrorism, there is not much difference between them, since there are some coincidences in the ideology and psychology of representatives of extreme associations. In general, extremism is a broader concept that includes terrorism.

Initially, terrorist acts were associated with extremism. Since they were aimed mainly at non-combatants.

Extremists and terrorists are firmly convinced of their point of view and adhere to extreme views that are almost impossible to destroy.

Are all extremists terrorists?

Highlight. The main difference between extremism and terrorism is that “ideologues” have certain beliefs and convey them to the public by various methods, not necessarily extreme ones. As for the terrorists, they see the realization of their plans only in violence and murder. In the article below, you will learn how extremism differs from terrorism by a specific example.

Terrorism Prevention

In fact, some types of extremism have nothing to do with terrorism. For example, pacifism has two incarnations: conditional pacifism, where the use of violence is allowed under certain circumstances, such as physical self-defense; and absolute pacifism, where the use of violence is unacceptable. Absolute pacifism, in fact, is a form of extremism, and even sometimes it is called "extreme" or "extremist" pacifism. People who hold this view are seen as extremists in this particular ideology. However, they are not terrorists and actually oppose violence.

The Russian state daily carries out preventive measures regarding terrorism and extremism, but much depends on society as a whole. Various religious, national and public associations should clearly control the manifestations of extremism and terrorist trends and prevent possible conflicts.


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