Islamic Political Radicalism: A European Perspective

Islamic Political Radicalism: A European Perspective

Islamic Political Radicalism: A European Perspective

Islamic Political Radicalism: A European Perspective

Synopsis

Islamic political radicalism in Europe has seen dramatic growth in recent times. This book offers a sociological, anthropological, psychological and political science analysis of the causes and consequences of this phenomenon. Authors explore the motivations behind such radicalism, focusing on an array of different factors. These include economic and social alienation, political and cultural marginalisation, gender and masculinity, and psychological issues, both at an individual and community level. Other issues discussed are the state responses, national and international, to the 'War on Terror' which came about after the attacks on America in September 2001; and the role of Islamic political organisations and their impact on changing ethno-religious identities. This is considered particularly in relation to concept of the Ummah and its influence on the position of Islam and Muslims in places such as Iraq, Afghanistan, and Palestine, as well as Bosnia, Chechnya, and Kashmir. The authors provide an analysis of events and experiences in different European nation states, with a detailed focus on Britain. This book is particularly relevant in the current climate as an attempt to understand the factors that shape Islamic political radicalism in Europe. Key Features:
• Written for academics as well as activists and practitioners
• Explores major new and emerging issues, particularly in the aftermath of the July 2005 London bombings

Excerpt

Tahir Abbas

Where most of the Muslim world is still facing up to the challenges of Islam and democracy, Muslim minorities in the West face a whole host of issues in relation to identity, the adaptation of religio-cultural norms and values, and issues of everyday citizenship. In the current climate in Britain and more widely in Western Europe, there is the increasingly significant phenomenon of the indigenous-born, native-language-speaking Muslim youth politicised by a radicalised Islam. This book is an attempt to explore the issues that seemingly impact on Islamic political radicalism, exploring sociological, political, cultural and psychological ideas. It is an analysis of a combination of complex factors in relation to cultural, economic, social and political dislocation compounded by national and international neo-Orientalist and Islamophobic political and media discourse, where the international climate is replete with references to the 'Islamic' and the 'terrorist'.

In Western Europe, indigenous-born Muslims can often experience a complex and dislocated existence. Post-war immigrant groups who were either invited or came searching for improved economic opportunities have found their young growing up in societies that exhibit prejudice, discrimination and racism towards minority Muslim communities. Local education for the young is limited, for much the same reasons as in Britain – that is, poor schools in poor neighbourhoods, often with less educated parents. This affects the likelihood of securing effective higher education or labour-market entry. It also prevents individuals and communities from participating as good citizens in society. There are also inter-generational tensions as a result of language, culture and attitudes towards majority communities. Invariably, as the process of adaptation begins to evolve in subsequent generations of migrant communities an adjustment to majority society occurs. At times there is resistance, as in the case of a few Muslims who see integration as a negative feature of life in liberal . . .

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