You hear a lot of breathless talk about “Eurabia” these days. I confess, I can’t take it seriously—and here’s why.
From 2008 to 2010, I conducted research for the UK’s Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism into radicalization among Muslims in Britain. After 25 in-depth interviews with ex-extremists and days talking to people in mosques, community centers, and homes, I concluded that “pessimism about radicalization in Britain is not supported by the interviews.”
I argued that radicalization was a tormented performance of identity by individuals caught in the trap that had been set by two historically contingent developments.
First, radicalization was given its chance by the “environment of vulnerability” in which many young British Muslims have lived, especially since the early 1980s, and by the consequent “crisis-feeling” many have experienced.