Extremism is a culturally relative term than has been described as subjective, emotionally laden and pejorative (Hoffman, 1998; Laqueur, 1997; 2003).

Extremist beliefs are dependent on perspective. The views which are considered to be extreme within one cultural context or at one given time may not be considered to be extreme in another cultural context or at another time.

Norms and values are intricately bound up in the definition of extremism. Extremism can be defined as “the holding of extreme political or religious views” (Oxford Dictionary). In the United Kingdom, extremism has been defined as “vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs”.

Non-violent extremism is differentiated from violent extremism (United Kingdom Counter-Extremism Strategy Cm 9148, 2015). In some definitions, the use of extremism may include both violent and non-violent action while other definitions differentiate between violent and non-violent extremism.