En økende andel unge britiske muslimer føler seg fremmedgjort fra samfunnet rundt dem og inntar ekstreme holdninger, ifølge en politirapport.
Et forskerteam har intervjuet 600 unge muslimer fra London, Birmingham og Oldham. De unge var ikke jihadister, men var på vei bort fra det britiske samfunn, og rettferdiggjorde ekstreme holdninger.
In the most comprehensive research of its kind to date, Prof Martin Innes, of the Universities’ Police Science Institute in Cardiff, led a team of researchers which carried out face-to-face and telephone interviews with more than 600 Muslims in London, Birmingham and Oldham.
They found that the radicalisation of young British Muslims was more widespread than previously feared, with «a disturbing proportion» expressing support for extremist elements.
The report, which is being distributed among senior officers, Whitehall officials and ministers, finds that:
• Anger and disaffection are «widespread in sections of Muslim youth».
• There is tacit support for extremist violence within sections of the Muslim community.
• Police need to do more to win the trust of Muslim communities if they are to tackle radicalisation.
• Many Muslims distrust police and are reluctant to inform on extremists, preferring to deal with problems inside their communities.
The study, entitled Hearts and Minds and Eyes and Ears: Reducing Radicalisation Risks Through Reassurance Orientated Policing, warns that «the threat to the UK from jihadist terrorism may increase in the future».
It concludes: «Increasing numbers of young Muslim people are becoming sufficiently disaffected with their lives in liberal-democratic-capitalist societies that they might be willing to support violent terrorism to articulate their disillusionment and disengagement.»
Det foruroligende sett fra samfunnets synspunkt er at det er en stor majoritet i sentrum som ikke spiller den modererende rollen man skulle ønske, men som er grepet av en ullen radikalisme, som lett påvirkes av ytre faktorer, det være seg en karikaturstrid eller en begivenhet i Midtøsten.
A poll last year by Populus found that 13 per cent of Muslims aged 16 to 24 «admire organisations like al-Qa’eda that are prepared to fight the West».
Ministers have announced a £12.5 million «deradicalisation» programme aimed at tackling Islamist extremism at local level.
But Prof Innes says that in order for this strategy to succeed, police will first have to overcome widespread Muslim distrust.
He told The Telegraph: «Within Muslim communities there are those people completely against the means and aims of terrorism, and there are those in favour.
«Then there is a disturbing proportion of people in the middle whose ideas, beliefs and support for extremism will shift depending on what’s happening around them, what al-Qa’eda and their like are doing, and what the police are doing.»
The Cardiff team found that a growing generation gap in Muslim communities was making it harder for elders to maintain control over disenchanted youngsters.
Rapporten skal legges frem for årsmøtet til foreningen av høyere polititjenestemenn som avholdes denne uken.