European Countries Attempt to Control Spread of Radical Islam

June 17, 2004

Source: BBC News

On June 17, 2004 the BBC News reported, "Fear of radical Islam is pushing governments across Western Europe into ambitious plans to promote loyalty and moderation in their Muslim citizens. But the projects, focused on the training of imams, have already been criticised by many Muslim leaders who fear state intervention in religion will backfire. The proposals spring from evidence that many young European-born Muslims feel alienated from the societies around them. In Britain, a study commissioned by the government shows one in seven of economically active Muslims have no job, compared to only one in 20 of the wider population. The confidential strategy paper, leaked to a national newspaper, recommends measures to 'win the hearts and minds' of young Muslims. The government is considering 'strengthening the hand' of moderate Muslim leaders, and refusing entry visas to foreign imams who cannot demonstrate a basic knowledge of English or of British society."