Islamic Extremism in Britain Term Paper

Pages: 21 (5886 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 15  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Mythology - Religion

Islamic Extremism in Britain

How Did a Minority of the Current Generation of British Muslims, Mainly Children and Grandchildren of Muslim Asian Immigrants to Britain After World War 2, Turn to Islamic Extremism, and How Much Influence Did the Preachings of the Fundamentalist Cleric Abu Hamza Al-Masri and His Contemporaries, Have on Them?]

"Euro-Islam: A Cultural Phenomenon" states that the Muslim population in Europe "bears many similarities to other immigrant groups. A large proportion of Muslims have withdrawn into isolation, partly because it is imposed upon them and partly as a matter of choice. Many seem to live alongside, rather than constitute part of, European society." (Schwerin, 2004) This fact has led many to have the concern that these communities, closed as they are, might easily "develop into enclaves of poverty, criminality and violence, and the terrorist attacks of 11th September 2001 have only served to increase these worries. Suddenly Europeans realized that Islamic extremism was becoming an increasingly important issue and not only in the Islamic world but in Europe as well." (Schwerin, 2004)

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TOPIC: Term Paper on Islamic Extremism in Britain Assignment

Humayun Ansari writes in the work entitled: "The Infidel Within: Muslims in Britain Since 1800" that "since the Second World War Muslims have migrated to Britain in much larger number than before 1945..." (2004) the post-1945 migration is divided into two groups according to Ansari with the first phase being workers from less-developed countries and the second phase starting with the oil crisis of 1974-74. The Muslim workers were willing to take jobs that other immigrant workers found to be "undesirable" and that paid very low wages. Ansari states that Robinson examined data that suggests that "unemployment in Britain significantly reduced Indian and Pakistani migration but that the demand for labour was by no means the only factor influencing net migration flow." (2004) by the late 1980s and early 1990s Bangladesh immigration to Britain was "at its peak" (Ansari, 2004) as they were arriving "in larger numbers than ever before." (Ansari, 2004) by the 1990's Ansari states that plenty of evidence existed that: "...divisions had begun to emerge along generation and gender lines as ever more young Muslims gravitated towards popular culture. The clash between the values of the other and younger generations was creating some tension with traditional male hegemony within the family and the community challenged more often." (Ansari, 2004) Ansari states that arguments exist to support a lack of mutual understanding in the Muslim family and community due to inadequate communication exists that has sometimes led to violence. The younger Muslims people have formulated ideas that are different from their elders in how they should cope with life and yet no full-scale rebellion has developed in that "respect for traditional values and their upholders are still much in evidence." (Ansari, 2004) the expectations of young Muslims are stated by Ansari to be quite similar to "their white counterparts" and as well young Muslims in Great Britain have "redefined their cultural and religious values in relation to standards and values emerging in the environment with which they interact in their daily lives." (Ansari, 2004) This have left many, and in fact most young Muslims striving in determining a course that travels between expectations from not only the home and community but as well the expectations of the "majority British Culture and the mass media." (Ansari, 2004) Even so an antisocial street culture exists and it is inclusive of "taunting, vandalism, drug-trafficking, crime and gang violence." (Ansari, 2004) Ansari informs the reader that in the ghettos that are considered Muslim neighborhoods such as Bradford, Birmingham, and Oldham, there is much unemployment as well as urban decay and corruption and young Muslims in the neighborhoods have alienated themselves from their family clan. Many of the young Muslims hang on at the local arcades and other have "resorted to militancy or found refuge in the Quran." (Ansari, 2004) Because of these facts Ansari relates that the Muslim population in prisons more than doubled in the 1990s, with at least 25% of these young men being incarcerated for drug crimes. Ansar states that this kind of youth has emerged due to alienation from their families and disaffection in the communities "in which they often felt imprisoned..." (2004) Many of the young Muslims felt that Islam was a culture completely lacking in any joy and therefore gangs were formed a violent turf wars were waged. This growing chasm between these youth and the older generation of Muslims is stated to Ansar to be well stated in a letter that was published in the Muslim magazine 'Q-News' as follows:

Yes you have set up a system of halal meta. Yes, you have built Mosques. Yes, you have taught us Urdu...But you have also...built Mosques that were alien, hostile and irrelevant to our needs and requirements. Mosques that are full of squabbles and fights. Not love and compassion. Mosques full of notices of 'don't do this and don't do that. Mosques whose doors are closed to the destitute, the poor, the orphans." (Ansar, 2004)

Dexter B. Wakefield, writes in the work entitled: "An Islamic Europe?" published in a 2006 issue of the Tomorrow's World journal that: "Islam's spread across Europe reached its zenith in the eighth century. Then over hundreds of years, non-Muslim forces gradually chipped away at Islamic rule." However, according to the work of Wakefield, "There is a new Muslim conquest of Europe underway - but this time, it is a peaceful invasion. Millions of Turks, Arabs, Algerians, and other Muslims have immigrated to European countries, seeking employment and a better life." (Wakefield, 2006) for many years, Europe welcomed these immigrant Muslim workers because of the lower-cost labor however, "immigrant Muslim populations are growing to the point where they have become a major cultural and political force affecting their host countries. Rather than assimilate, they are testing the limits of European tolerance - and social tensions are growing."(Wakefield, 2006)

In a 2005 news report Anthony Browne states that it has been stated by security analysts that "Europe has let itself become a breeding ground of Islamist terrorism. Events in Britain and the Netherlands have made it clear that it is not only a question of foreign extremists coming to Europe, but also that the problem is now home-grown." (2005) Browne relates the statement of Robert Leiken, director of national security at the Nixon Centre, who stated in a journal article of 'Foreign Affairs' entitled: "Jihadists Networks Span Europe" that: "In smoky coffee houses in Rotterdam and Copenhagen, makeshift prayer halls in Hamburg and Brussels, Islamic bookstalls in Birmingham and Londonistan, and the prison of Madrid, Milan and Marseilles, immigrants or their descendents are volunteering for jihad." (2005) Matthew a. Levitt testified before a Joint Hearing of the Committee on International Relations Subcommittee on Europe and Emerging Threats in the United States House of Representatives in April 2005 stating: "The rise of global jihadist movements in Europe is alarming, not only because of the threat such movements pose to our European allies but because Europe has served as a launching pad for terrorist operatives plotting attacks elsewhere." (2005) Radical Islam, also known as Islamic extremism is "propagated by individuals who see the world through a pan-Islamic prism. They view the world in terms of religious unity as opposed to nationalistic unity. They believe that all Muslims should implement Islamic law (the sharia) and they believe the use of violence is justified."(Rice, 2006) During the decade of the 1970s "the Muslim world began to see the process of Arabization begin to take place. The Arab-form, with its new strict interpretation of the Koran, began to be exported around the world. This included other Muslim nations, such as Indonesia and Pakistan, but it was also the beginning of a new radicalized movement in Western European nations like Great Britain." (Rice, 2006)

The work of Sullivan and Partlow entitled: "Young Muslim Rage Takes Root in Britain" published by the Washington Post Foreign Service in August 2006 relates that: "...Britain has become an incubator for violent Islamic extremism, fueled by disenchantment at home and growing rage abroad, including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Britain's long tradition of tolerance has made it an oasis for immigrants and political outcasts from around the world, with its largest influx of Pakistanis and other Muslims leading to the nickname Londonistan. Especially during the 1980s and 1990s, Britain became the refuge of choice for the scores of Islamic radicals who had been expelled or exiled from their home countries for their inflammatory sermons and speeches." (Sullivan and Partlow, 2006) of all the countries in Britain struggling to deal with a surge "in recruits and supporters of radical Islamic networks" (Sullivan and Partlow, 2006) Britain faced the largest struggle and according to officials in the country of Great Britain, the threat "is growing much faster than British authorities had expected or planned for." (Sullivan and Partlow, 2006) the British security service, M15, has identified approximately 1,200 Islamic militants and had these… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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