I’m writing my masters dissertation at the moment about the triggers that cause people with radical beliefs to turn to violence in the name of those beliefs. It focusses on jihadist violence, as it is a major issue in international affairs right now, and it has got me thinking.
What have been the effects of jihadism on general Muslim populations? I’ve read academic studies and books and whatever but they distance you from how people actually feel. To have the strongest and, rightly, proudest part of your identity horribly tarnished by a minority of individuals who claim to share a similar identity but in fact want something above and beyond what is acceptable. Now obviously, the media’s portrayal of undefined ‘extremists’ and radicals doesn’t help. When a society who, by and large, has little other way of understanding, is shown images of protesters wearing traditional Muslim clothes next to subtitles of ‘extremists’, they are likely to inherit beliefs that are incorrect; this is the effect of propaganda!
I’m coming dangerously close to sounding like Russell Brand and making too many generalisations here. But essentially what I’m asking for is a little more consideration for the Muslims who have lived in Britain for decades and have contributed enormous amounts to its rich culture as well as its economy.
They are as proud to be British, as you are.
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