More poverty-causes-terrorism analysis. Don’t these people ever read anything but their own recycled prejudices? Even the London bombers were not desperately poor, unemployed, etc. But there is also more in this piece. From BusinessWeek, with thanks to Eschwapp:
What the attacks have revealed or perhaps underlined again is that there exists in Britain and elsewhere in Europe a pool of young Muslims sufficiently alienated to make them easy prey for the recruiters of radical groups who lurk in Muslim communities. The reasons for the alienation vary. According to national statistics, British Muslims, who mostly come from the Asian subcontinent, fall at the bottom of society in measures such as unemployment and educational qualifications.
“THE ISLAMIC THING.” Joblessness among British Muslims, for instance, hovers at 15% to 22% for youths, vs. around 5% for the overall population. Many of those who do work are stuck in low-level jobs. “The number in catering is just staggering,” says Steven Vertovec, a professor of social anthropology at Oxford University. “We are not seeing much intergenerational social mobility.”
Many of those born in Britain often grow up in inner-city ghettos, where they attend schools populated by people mostly like themselves. Members of the Muslim community say that some youths have difficulty coping with the clash between the traditional mores of Pakistan or Bangladesh and Britain’s liberal sexual attitudes.
“I feel sorry for the youngsters,” says Amjad Pervez, 47, who owns a food-services business in Bradford, a small city near Leeds, the home of three of the July 7 suspects. Pervez, who emigrated from Pakistan in 1969, says, “I think it’s a grind children are going through — they’ve got cultural baggage, they’ve got the Islamic thing. In every aspect of their lives they see conflict, conflict, conflict. Some of the youngsters can’t take it.”
“CHALLENGER TO AMERICA.” Yet economic and social alienation are far from enough to lead young men to bomb commuter trains. The latest wave of bombings should be seen as the response of a small but lethal minority of Muslims in Britain and elsewhere to what they consider the humiliation of the world Muslim community by the West and its surrogates in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Palestinian areas, and elsewhere. Osama bin Laden, the Al Qaeda leader, serves as a role model that these young men admire.
As Saad al-Fagih, a London-based Saudi dissident and expert on radical Islamic groups, explains: “An angry Muslim does not know how to translate his anger into sophisticated action with a strategy. All he knows is a man called bin Laden is acknowledged as the real challenger to America.
“Only a person with this (bin Laden’s) group can satisfy his ambitions and let him feel he had done something for the umma (community) of Islam. He looks for some means to contact this group. At the same time, the group has its own recruitment people who can reach him. Once they meet, it’s all over. They will tell him what to do — a plan with a specific action, with a specific place, and a specific time.”
HOW MANY MORE? Al Fagih thinks a senior figure in Al Qaeda gave the order for the London attacks, though the details were left up to the cells. Al Qaeda-linked groups have taken responsibility, but the authenticity of the Web messages cannot be verified.
What’s certain is that no matter how direct their connection to the attacks, bin Laden and al Qaeda provided the inspiration for these two groups of young Muslims. It is hard to think that there aren’t others like them thinking along similar lines.
And what are moderate Muslims in Britain doing to stop that?