Radicalization Reflux? Take Part in Our First Townhall!

Asalamu `alaykum,

Over the last month or so voices have began to roar claiming that American Muslims have a radicalization problem. Here are two important posts. One is a warning, the other is simple data that shows that some have, perhaps, overestimated this problem. In the coming weeks, this site plans to invite representatives from both sides of the Muslim community to debate this issue in front of you, online, allowing you, the Muslim community to voice your feelings, thoughts and concerns. We will be sending out invitations to MPAC, ISNA, ICNA, MAS, CAIR, Sr. Reem and others  in hopes that they will share their thoughts on this issue.

What are your thoughts on this? Is there such a problem, or has this threat been exaggerated?

Study: Threat of Muslim-American terrorism in U.S. exaggerated

Muslim Youth Radicalization or Politically Correct Islamophobia?

Suhaib Webb

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  • JazakumAllahu khairan for facilitating this sort of forum, I think it is much needed, inshaAllah everyone contacted agrees to get involved.
    Small point: the subject header points to two important posts however the links go back to the same Huffington Post article

  • Reem Salahi has rightly pointed out the problems of definition with who is a muslim, what is “home-grown terrorism” and with the lack of evidence on internet’s inducements on the suspect group (if any) in the process of “radicalisation” is any different than those who are not visibly muslim. the term “home-grown” also does not differentiate between american-born or indigenous and foreign-born muslims, suspecting anyone who fits the general stereotype of the “other” who is not white. tariq ramadan has also alarmed us of the rising islamophobia fuelled by unpopular groups in a climate of manufactured fear, that gives states the power to denounce individual habeus corpus and magna carta rights (equality before law). The birth of 20th century fascist states like germany began with overlooking the minority rights as has happened in France’s ban of burqah and Switzerland’s ban of minarets. Amartya Sen, the world famous economist in his recent book “the idea of justice” says that the problem of justice in not being able to define what injustice is (which is sometimes plain to see) but what is a just society. the western experiment of enlightenment has successfully categorized and labeled human experiences based on economic, cultural, social, or political differences that can be compensated without actually agreeing on a system which is impartial. the state’s machineries thus act as its colonial agent, the primary function is to promote corporate interest and the subsidiary interest being that of the welfare of the labour force.

    radicalization is the natural state of an individual when there is institutional anarchy, the leftist parties in colonial india recruited their brightest nationalists not in the universities but much earlier when they were in schools, growing up as a subject of the empire without the right of full citizenship. the story of the post-nationalist incompleteness with poverty and injustice is the story of power and agency. people will believe in anything as long as you give them hope, but that does not mean a starved man about to die from imminent starvation is content with a can of beans forever. the human story is about potentiality not limitations. the muslim in the west knows the weight of wearing a niqab or feigning liberty, but he or she also is unable to learn from his or her individual experiences to change the nature of oppression because apriori knowledge of it comes from the privilage of being able to imagine one’s destiny. one of the largest social experiment in the british colony of india was replacing all its indegenous schools (there were 90,000 alone in Bengal) with a centralized english education system, that undermined any other forms of knowledge except what we term as orientalist. it successfully produced the same clerical minds that still formulates unprogressive policies but a few of them also subverted the colonial projet by undermining it with pen, brush or bombs. although the american project is similar in many ways with the old empire, the limitations of colonized subjects do not apply to todays americans muslims, neither does it offer the strength of having one “vision” of emancipation.

  • First of all, when I was younger Muslim terrorists were rarely in the news. The IRA were the terrorists plaguing the news as Christians killed each other. South American terrorists came in second and occasionally we heard of issues in Palestine. It is no accident all the focus is now on Muslim terrorists.
    The current terrorism does not fit the mold of that of twenty years ago, so whether it is terrorism is questionable. There is no agreed upon definition either.
    Regarding youth, I feel that integrated youth with a good future are normally not radicals. I do see the vulnerability in some, especially in groups like the MSA. Although I am a student, I cannot deal with the naive or regurgitated Islam some of them espouse. At times, these well off students do sound a little radical as they try hard to find their place in two worlds. Also, the local mosques push their agendas and speakers on the MSA, some content the kids don’t grasp or way out with a mature mind. I use MSA as an example because generally at least that group is somewhat practicing. I encourage my own kids to attend MSA but they usually refuse because they feel the others are different.
    Overall, Zogby polls show Muslims in USA fairing very well financially, receiving citizenship and well adjusted. That is how we are different from Muslims in Europe. Some speculate or express concern now because of events like Sept 11 and Ft.Hood that can cause backlash and a sense of social exclusion, where kids withdraw and feel better amongst themselves and community and begin to see an ‘us’ against ‘them.
    It is important for youth to be socially included in society and in Britain there’s a group called ‘Radical Middle Way’ and many others trying to bring youth into the folds. With the sheikhs and Muslim conventions preaching the same kind of moderate Islam with a European or American culture they have been successful thus far. The British government even pays for the moderate, Islamic sponsorship.
    It is definitely something to watch, to make sure that their is not a shift in our youth assimilating and the government is aware of that.

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