The thesis explores possible reasons why people are drawn to violent Islamist groups. This is done by mapping psychological mechanisms which might be effective in the process of making individuals receptive to the jihadi-Salafi ideology. The thesis' perspective stems from the conviction that the structural conditions in a given society are decisive in the propagation of radical oppositional groups. The psychological mechanism known as the sour-grapes syndrome will serve to illustrate the effect of the socio-economic conditions in the Middle East. In Jean de La Fontaine's fable, a fox decides that the grapes he can not reach are sour and thus not worth having. In the current context I will argue that some of the aversion towards Western style government and social order, stems from this mechanism; as the western world's standard of living and individual freedom appear unattainable to people living in many Muslim countries, they react by opposing these values.