Survey dismisses portrayal of youth violence and its association with Islam
A survey of 3,000 young people between the ages of 12 and 18 in three European countries – France, Spain and the UK – has found no evidence to suggest that the religious background of the respondents is an indicator for actual engagement in physical violence.
Published by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) the report is a comparative study of Muslim and non-Muslim youth and their experience of discrimination, social marginalisation and violence.
Report authors state “there are no indications that Muslim youth are more or less likely to resort to actual violence than non- Muslims”.
The report dispels common, though incorrect, media and political portrayal of terrorism and its association with Islam.
The report adds: “The main factors that can be associated with violent behaviour are: being male, being part of a delinquent youth group/gang, being discriminated against, and being socially marginalised. When these elements are taken into consideration, religious background/affiliation plays no part in explaining violent behaviour.”
In addition the survey found that young people “tend not to be supportive of violence that is carried out without a “good reason”; however, they do see violence as justifiable in particular circumstances, such as self-defence or the protection of others. Support
for global war and/or terrorism is very low.”
Young people trust politicians least of all but are concerned about world affairs and major social issues.
The wide ranging survey, which set out to explore possible relationships between young people’s experiences of discrimination and social marginalisation and their attitudes towards and actual engagement in violent behaviours, rejects the post 9/11 depiction of Islamist terrorist.