For nearly two decades, Islamic radicalization and the growth and development of global Islamism has dominated public media and policymaking discourse in Europe and America. Faced with terrorist attacks perpetrated by “home-grown” radicals, in Britain and across Europe and America, countering Islamic extremism from within has become a national and international priority. Hence, an understanding of what motivates some Muslims living in the west to reject so-called “western values” has been key. In the UK, government programs such as Prevent have sought, not uncontroversially, to identify “extremism” within communities before it becomes violent (Home Office 2011). Yet, overlooked in this discourse is an appreciation of Islamism’s origins and what might have made it appealing in Britain before 9/11 and the War on Terror. Analysis which values the long term causes of the British Muslim community’s marginalization in its own right is comparatively rare. Addressing this deficit I will argue, using East London as a case study, that understanding British Muslims as a community which felt its religion, values, and worldview to be under attack is key to understanding why many in Britain’s Muslim community began to turn to Islam for solutions to their political grievances.
"A Community Under Attack: The Foundations and Development of Islamism in London,"
Augsburg Honors Review: Vol. 11
, Article 2.
Available at: https://idun.augsburg.edu/honors_review/vol11/iss1/2