Could Islamic extremism within European borders be a threat to the life of non-Muslims? This is a very good question and perhaps its safe to say that some statistics suggest that there might be a cause for concern.
A 2015 survey of some 280 Muslim students in schools in the German region of Lower Saxony suggested that nearly 10% of Muslim students have direct sympathies for radical Islamic groups like Islamic State and some even support acts of terrorism (1). The study uncovered the following statistics:
-3 of the 280 Muslim students who responded to the survey said that they would be willing to fight and die for Islam.
-27% agreed with Sharia law which meted out severe punishment to homosexuals, and adulterers, and also believed that such laws were better than the German laws.
-8% agreed with the creation of an Islamic empire or caliphate in the Middle East through the use of force.
-3.8% agreed that sometimes it was justified for Muslims to engage in acts of terrorism to further their goals.
-20% agreed that Muslims are oppressed all over the world and they have to defend themselves by force.
-18.6% said that it was the duty of Muslims to spread Islam and “fight unbelievers.”
According to data the radicalization of Islamic youth has become a major concern given that many are open to extremist ideas. For example, there are known cases of underage Muslims traveling to the Middle East to join the Islamic State (2), or conducting terror attacks in Germany (3). What might come as a surprise is that Sheikh Nahjan Mubarak al Nahjan, the minister for tolerance in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has said that inadequate surveillance of mosques has led to Islamist terrorism in Germany (4). He says that this is also a problem in France and the United Kingdom saying that Muslims were becoming radicalized in mosques where the authorities were not exerting strong enough control. In December 2017 German authorities in the city of Berlin closed down a mosque after a terrorist, who had killed 12 people after driving a truck into a Christmas market, was known to have attended it.
1. Politik. 2018. Islamistische Tendenzen im Klassenzimmer. Available.
2. Shaw. A. 2017. German ‘Jihadi Bride’ Linda Wenzel Could Face Death Penalty in Iraq. Available.
3. Tomlinson, C. 2017. Teen Islamic State Police Attacker Sentenced to Six Years in Prison. Available.
4. The Local. 2017. Gulf minister warns Germany to keep better control over its mosques. Available.