Dunia El-Zobaidi is an Arab Weekly correspondent in London.

  • Uphill battle to counter radicalisation of Muslims in Europe, On: Sun, 09 Jul 2017

  • Thousands attend Going Global Live to learn about taking business overseas , On: Sun, 04 Jun 2017

  • From the Middle East to Mount Everest, On: Sun, 21 May 2017

  • ‘Revolution for Dummies’: Bassem Youssef laughs through the ‘Arab spring’, On: Sun, 14 May 2017

  • Looking at ‘Investigative Journalism in the Arab World’, On: Sun, 07 May 2017

  • Hisham Matar’s ‘The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between’, On: Sun, 23 Apr 2017

  • Tahar Ben Jelloun’s ‘The Happy Marriage’ offers new look on gender, On: Sun, 16 Apr 2017

  • Rolls-Royce boosts charity work in Middle East, On: Sun, 09 Apr 2017

  • Destroyed lives in the world of ISIS, On: Sun, 19 Mar 2017

  • Klaus Wivel’s The Last Supper and the plight of Arab Christians, On: Sun, 12 Mar 2017

  • The Interrogation of Saddam Hussein points to CIA errors, On: Sun, 05 Mar 2017

  • Coming home from Mecca.. A young Arab-British woman’s account of the umrah, On: Sun, 26 Feb 2017

  • Saima Hussain’s \'The Muslimah Who Fell to Earth\', On: Sun, 05 Feb 2017

  • Rolling Blackouts: Dispatches from Turkey, Syria and Iraq by Sarah Glidden, On: Sun, 22 Jan 2017

  • The Morning They Came for Us: Di Giovanni’s war reports, On: Sun, 18 Dec 2016

  • Going Global Live makes Middle East pitch, On: Sun, 11 Dec 2016

  • An investigation of European Islam sheds light on a complex identity, On: Sun, 04 Dec 2016

  • Normalising disabilities in Arab societies through cartoons, On: Sun, 20 Nov 2016

  • What is it about food and men? , On: Sun, 30 Oct 2016

  • Instances of Islamophobia examines worrisome phenomenon, On: Sun, 16 Oct 2016

  • International Jewellery London caters to Arab tastes, On: Sun, 02 Oct 2016

  • Masafat, a platform of Arab-British artistic exchange, On: Sun, 18 Sep 2016

  • Safar Film Festival: A celebration of Arab cinema, On: Sun, 11 Sep 2016

  • Author Deepa Iyer explores the challenges of US minorities, On: Sun, 04 Sep 2016

  • Mihbaj sheds light on Syrian conflict, On: Sun, 04 Sep 2016

  • Arab science fiction explored at London screening, On: Sun, 28 Aug 2016

  • Escape: A journey into migrants’ hopes and fears, On: Sun, 14 Aug 2016

  • London fair showcases Arab art, On: Sun, 12 Jun 2016

  • Going Global Live brings Middle East trade to London, On: Sun, 05 Jun 2016

  • App helps travellers with access at Dubai Airport , On: Sun, 29 May 2016

  • A look at conflicts through the eyes of freelancers , On: Sun, 29 May 2016

  • Muslim Lifestyle Show attracts celebrities , On: Sun, 22 May 2016

  • Europe facing chemical weapons threat, risk analyst warns , On: Sun, 15 May 2016

  • Laila — The Musical retells the greatest love story from the East , On: Sun, 15 May 2016

  • Scenes from 68* Years, an insight into everyday Palestinian life under occupation , On: Sun, 08 May 2016

  • Khoury’s Gardens Speak volumes about Syria’s tragedies, On: Sun, 17 Apr 2016

  • 1001 Nights recounts tales of Syria’s refugees, On: Fri, 08 Apr 2016

  • Regional airlines seek to expand business, On: Fri, 01 Apr 2016

  • Leila Aboulela discusses The Kindness of Enemies, On: Fri, 11 Mar 2016

  • Uphill battle to counter radicalisation of Muslims in Europe

    Young Muslims whose families have lived in the UK for generations are more susceptible to radicalisation than recent migrants.

    2017/07/09 Issue: 114 Page: 17

    Things may not be spinning out of control in the United Kingdom but a spate of terrorist attacks in recent months has shown that radicalisation is a growing problem. While the government has tried to counter the problem, more measures should be taken to address its root causes.

    First, the government should extend its monitoring of hate preaching at Muslim institutions and monitor attempts by extrem­ists to approach people in the workplace, where Muslims are also vulnerable to radicalisation.

    Second, the UK government should address the lack of economic integration of the Muslim community. As other European countries have real­ised, economic disenfranchise­ment is a key factor in radicalisa­tion.

    A 2015 Muslim Council of Britain report indicated that Muslims are behind Sikhs and Hindus in terms of educational attainment. Only 24% of Muslims have a university degree, com­pared to 45% of Hindus and 30% of Sikhs. Muslim students are less likely to attend universities in the Russell Group, an association of Britain’s top public research schools.

    This gap extends into the workforce. Nuffield College’s Centre for Social Investigation said British Pakistanis and Bangladeshis earn two-thirds less than white people.

    A British House of Commons committee warned that Muslims were far more likely to be unem­ployed than people from other faiths in the country. Nearly 13% of Muslims are unemployed, compared to 5.4% of the overall population.

    This problem disproportion­ately affects Muslim women, as many European employers worry they will put family duties before their profession. A 2016 report released by the House of Com­mons Women and Equalities Committee showed that 65% of Muslims who are not employed are women. Almost half — 44% — of these women said they cannot work because they look after their home, compared to 16% of women who are not employed in the general British population.

    A similar hurdle to Muslims’ economic integration in ultra-secular France is resentment over what is perceived to be conspicu­ous religious behaviour at work. A 2016 poll by the Randstad Insti­tute and the Observatory for Religion in Companies (OFRE) indicated that 65% of French employers asked said they noticed an “alarming” rise in religious “demands” at work. In 2015, 50% of employers reported this trend, compared to 44% in 2014. Mus­lims were said to have made the most such demands.

    The poll noted that tension and conflict most often occur when “religious employees (refuse) to work alongside a female colleague or (ask) to work with people who share their faith and no one else.”

    OFRE Director Lionel Honoré said Muslim employees have threatened to accuse their bosses of Islamophobia if their demands — such as being given the time and place for prayer — are not met.

    However, the poll results indicated that 80% of French respondents said they were aware of their colleagues’ religion and that 82% “didn’t mind” them.

    Still, Muslims need to reassess their demands of employers. The Quran does not state that Muslim men cannot work with women or non-Muslims. These unreason­able demands are making every­day life in the workplace more difficult for everyone.

    In Britain, the likelihood of radicalisation goes up the longer migrants or their family have resided in the country. A Univer­sity of London study stated that young Muslims whose families have lived in the United Kingdom for generations are more suscepti­ble to radicalisation than recent migrants to Britain.

    Professor of cultural psychiatry and epidemiology at Queen Mary University of London Kamaldeep Bhui, who was the lead author of the study, said: “Migrant groups are much stronger in condemning terrorism. I think the most compelling argument for this is that recent migrants are dealing with a hard struggle and they have invested in coming here.

    “They have got adversity to deal with and are not in a position where they can indulge some of the ideas of grievance. Whereas people born and brought up here probably take for granted the security and safety where they live and the education and support.”

    However, even the most detailed analysis cannot capture every case of radicalisation. Khalid Masood, the perpetrator of the 2017 Westminster attack was 52 years old, for example, and Darren Osborne, charged with carrying out the Finsbury Park van attack, is 47. Salman Ramadan Abedi, who set off a bomb outside of Manchester Arena on May 22, killing 22 people and injuring more than 250, was born to migrant parents. These exceptions to the rule, however, do not mean we should disregard the general trends analysts have pointed out.

    Government officials and the public must work to counter the scourge of extremism. Authorities should be cognisant of the specific needs and vulnerabilities in the Muslim community and Muslims should make every attempt to pursue higher education and advance in the workforce.

    This may not counter radicalisa­tion completely but it will reduce the threat and better integrate the community into society.

    Editors' Picks

    The Arab Weekly Newspaper reaches Western & Arabic audience that are influential as well as being affluent.

    From Europe to the Middle East,and North America, The Arab Weekly talks to opinion formers and influential figures, providing insight and comment on national, international and regional news through the focus of Arabic countries and community.

    Published by Al Arab Publishing House

    Publisher and Group Executive Editor: Haitham El-Zobaidi, PhD

    Editor-in-Chief: Oussama Romdhani

    Managing Editor: Iman Zayat

    Deputy Managing Editor and Online Editor: Mamoon Alabbasi

    Senior Editor: John Hendel

    Chief Copy Editor: Richard Pretorius

    Copy Editor: Stephen Quillen

    Analysis Section Editor: Ed Blanche

    East/West Section Editor: Mark Habeeb

    Gulf Section Editor: Mohammed Alkhereiji

    Society and Travel Sections Editor: Samar Kadi

    Syria and Lebanon Sections Editor: Simon Speakman Cordall

    Contributing Editor: Rashmee Roshan Lall

    Senior Correspondents: Mahmud el-Shafey (London) & Lamine Ghanmi (Tunis)

    Regular Columnists

    Claude Salhani

    Yavuz Baydar


    Saad Guerraoui (Casablanca)

    Dunia El-Zobaidi (London)

    Roua Khlifi (Tunis)

    Thomas Seibert (Washington)

    Chief Designer: Marwen Hmedi


    Ibrahim Ben Bechir

    Hanen Jebali

    Published by Al Arab Publishing House

    Contact editor at:editor@thearabweekly.com

    Subscription & Advertising: Ads@alarab.co.uk

    Tel 020 3667 7249

    Mohamed Al Mufti

    Marketing & Advertising Manager

    Tel (Main) +44 20 6702 3999

    Direct: +44 20 8742 9262


    Al Arab Publishing House

    Kensington Centre

    177-179 Hammersmith Road

    London W6 8BS , UK

    Tel: (+44) 20 7602 3999

    Fax: (+44) 20 7602 8778

    Follow Us
    © The Arab Weekly, All rights reserved