A Muslim student has been awarded first class honours for research into the mindset of a terrorist.
Del Khan, 34, said he wanted to explore the subject because of his own religious beliefs and urged disaffected young Muslims to fight any "jihad" with words, not violence.
Mr Khan’s tutors at the University of Derby praised his final year dissertation for offering an "invaluable insight into the would-be terrorist’s mind". Mr Khan, from Tinsley, Sheffield, was awarded a first for the study and now works as a psychology lecturer at Sheffield College.
He said: "I am from the Muslim community and I wanted to explore this subject. Religion has only a superficial part to play within terrorism. Part of my research objective was to contribute to the fact that Islam, as a religion and as a way of life has never and never will, endorse acts of violence that involve the loss of life of innocents.
"If I did not believe this fundamental principle then I would not have successfully completed my dissertation."
He said his message to "individuals who feel that their religion and way of life is under siege" was to fight with the pen, not the sword.
"We have the benefit of living in a society where mechanisms are in place for us to move forward in a positive direction if we so wished, we should take this opportunity to do so. The pen is mightier than the sword, it is with the pen that we should engage in any ‘jihad’."
His study concluded that there is no unified explanation or definition of terrorism.
"But the simple fact of the matter is that terrorists are made, not born," he said. "Greater consideration should be given to the interaction between internal psychological factors, such as frustration, anger and resentment; and external sociological factors such as disfranchisement, stigma, and dehumanisation.
"It is these factors that seem to leave individuals vulnerable to the advances of extremist groups."