The British government, like its European and US counterparts, has been struggling to find an effective strategy to counter “radicalisation” within Muslim communities. When programmes like Prevent were established, they quickly came under heavy criticism, both for their approach and for their poor results. Over a decade on, it is clear not a single anti-radicalisation scheme, either in Europe or the US, has proved effective.
There are several reasons for this. To begin with there is the terminology employed. Religious radicalisation is described as a process through which individuals pursue a continuing trajectory, leading from a “moderate” understanding and practice of religion, to an increasingly violent or extremist involvement. Nothing could be further from reality.
The religious practice of the overwhelming majority of those caught up by Isis propaganda is weak at best, and mostly partial or very recent. This diagnosis has been reconfirmed time and time again since 11 September 2001. Far from being “radicalised”, such vulnerable individuals slide into terrorist action not because they are supportive of Isis and its claim to “Islam”, but for mostly non-religious reasons. [Tariq Ramadan, 547 comments]
[TOP RATED COMMENT 331 votes] “At present, those organisations – the “good Muslims”– which the government collaborates with or finances, frequently enjoy no street credibility: how could they, if they never criticise the domestic or foreign policies of their government sponsor?”
The whole problem is the politicising of Islam – and you suggest we pander to it? Religion is just about ok if it consists of private prayer, observance of rituals, festivals and so on. The moment it’s used as a prism to view political events, it’s already too ‘radical’.
Expressing political views is a right – so is holding religious views. But combining the two things results in a third column of people born in Bradford or Marseilles who think that the war in Palestine is an attack on them personally – they’re part of the problem, not part of the solution.
[2ND 249] “…. how Britain’s anti-extremism strategy has failed”
This isn’t a uniquely British problem. There are problems with radical Muslims all over Europe. The title should be how Islam’s anti-extremism strategy has failed.
[3RD 204] Is there any way of suggesting Islam might have failed Muslims, and everyone else, by having so many murderous, totalitarian thugs?
Or is that exogenous, and the only discussion we have is how wrong we are in the way we are going about dealing with it?
[4TH 176 ] SOMEONE SAID: “As a percentage of the number of Muslims in the world, the murderous totalitarian thugs are in a very small minority.”
Sure they are; it’s people like the 52% of British Muslims who think homosexuality should be illegal for whom you can just drop the word “murderous” and think everything’s fine and dandy.
“Unfortunately, we love to give them what Thatcher called “the oxygen of publicity””
It’s hard not to when they blow up the fucking tube.
“The reaction of many Muslims in this country when Anjem Choudary was locked up recently was “what took you long?”.”
Don’t make me laugh; more people marched against the Satanic Verses, calling for the death of its author, than have ever marched against Anjem Choudary.
“This was a man who was banned from mosques up and down the country, yet was regularly given a slot on heavyweight programmes like Newsnight and Today as though he spoke for some kind of constituency.”
A man who had followers who actually have committed acts of terrorism on British soil.
[5TH 173] The most important thing to remember here is that we are not the problem. There is no chance I will ever become an islamic terrorist.
You should be broadcasting your message in muslim held areas and towns. Do muslim terrorists even read the Guardian?
[6TH 162] “The UK government has created an atmosphere of suspicion and stigmatisation of Muslims.”
Maybe they’ve not calmed it, but I think the self exploding Muslims and those driving trucks into toddlers created the suspicion and stigmatisation.
Until Islam gets it own reformation, you’re going to look bad as it appears to many to be a horrible and misogynistic religion.
[7TH 158] “Some individuals have been jailed in the UK, Germany and in Belgium, or have been detained under house arrest in France, because of so-called suspicious activities – such as visiting a website, or for expressing their views on Syria or Palestine which are deemed “dangerous”.”
I’m sure that that website didn’t feature pictures of cats, and that if you’d print those “views” on Syria or Palestine in full people would be a lot less sympathetic.
Here’s an idea: instead of putting the blame for the radicalisation of Muslims squarely at the feet of the West, why don’t you try some introspection and admit that all the worst atrocities committed by ISIS, from sex slavery to beheadings and crucifixions and even acts of genocide (killing all the males in a tribe), were sanctioned and/or practiced by Muhammad, Islam’s founding prophet. [Guardian Cif] Read more