History of Radicalization in Europe and its Impacts
December 30, 2011
Radicalization in Europe was specifically highlighted after 9/11 though the first wave of radicals started during the 1970’s from countries like Egypt where a new ideology was starting after the writings of Syed Qutb and Hassan Banna. Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt was founded by Hassan Banna which also focused on welfare work in the form of schools and mosques.
Gradually radicals from different started coming as events unfolded in the rest of the world. Europe became an Islamic melting pot as Muslims from different backgrounds and different ideologies started coming. Iranian Revolution stated an Islamic activism across Middle East. It was a changing event which brought changes along with it. Before 1979 revolution Aymen Al- Zwahiri’s Al Jihad group was only targeting military personals and Brotherhood in Egypt was working towards attracting intelligentsia and it didn’t use mass revolution. The Iranian revolution therefore opened the eyes of these Sunni Islamists to the possibility that political Islam could be popular and that they needed to up their game in order to awaken Islamist sensibilities at the grass root level. (Page 17, paragraph 1)
Radicalization had started earlier during the 950’s and 1960’s when mass migration started. They started building mosques and community centres e.g. in 1970’s Moroccan community started building mosques in Belgium. Various Islamic groups were active e.g. Jama’at-e- Islami in India, Brotherhood from Egypt and Saudi Arabia was also funding in building mosques and centres. Saudi Arabia was most successful in spreading its influence. It joined its activities along with Brotherhood in Egypt, though after 9/11 they had distanced themselves.
Rushdie Crisis: Salman Rushdie published novel and it brought great up rage against this book all over the Islamic world and among Muslims in west. It also showed the divisions that existed between the various Islamic groups as they were competing against each other in taking lead in protesting against this crisis. Rushdie crisis had a deep impact on Muslims in the west. It also provided a platform in uniting Muslims. After this crisis Muslim’s problems in the west was highlighted.
Algerians formed a group against the French colonialism. They formed various groups GIA is the prominent group to wage jihad against French colonialism. It had no links to Al Qaeda however recently it pledged allegiance to Al Qaeda. Previously they were involved in Bomb attacks in Paris and its suburbs. However several attacks were not successful and showed amateur training and skills of those involved. These attacks were not successful rather they had a counter affect as it was thought that Algerian secret service was involved in it so that France would continue supporting them in Algeria.
9/11 had a great impact on Muslims around the world. As the twin towers collapsed a new era of terrorism started as most countries pledged to fight terrorism in their home countries and abroad. Major impact was felt by Muslims around the world as a new debate started between Islam and west and often terrorism was wrongly linked to Islamic ideology. Stereotypes against Muslims were often found. Islamophobia fear of Islam was started as a new term. This term started after the Runnymede report in 1997 (Islamophobia: a challenge for all). This term is being used for a number of phenomena from xenophobia to antiterrorism.
This term has been used several times in notable magazines and newspaper and several groups are being formed to fight against it. For example in France in Le Monde a premier nes journal the term has appeared over thirty times in the past year and 150 in the past ten years. Similarly it has been used hundreds of times in the Guardian. To counter this FAIR group has been created that is Forum against Islamophobia and Racism.
Coupled with these problems several other problems such as socioeconomic, unemployment are creating more problems for the Muslim communities abroad. To reduce the impact of this increasing radicalization European countries are increasing dialogue with moderate mulsims but as one writer suggests.