Labour leader Afzal Khan MEP, one of the most influential British Asian politician, has called for an new approach to tackling the spread of radicalisation across Europe and for a greater understanding of the grievances behind it….reports Asian Lite News
Speaking in the European Parliament at the Foundation for European Progressive Studies’ conference on ‘Islam in Europe’, the Euro MP said that although extremism is never justified, to defeat it we must understand the complex issues in Europe which are linked to its rise.
Speaking about the factors behind increased radicalisation, he explained that some western policies, both foreign and domestic, have left some Muslims feeling aggrieved and excluded from society.
This, he added, creates a space for extreme groups to manipulate vulnerable, disenfranchised young people and make what seems like a ‘just’ case for what is merely a cause for power, control and terror.
Speaking at the conference, Afzal Khan MEP, said: “In the short term ISIS and radicalisation are a huge security threat both in Europe and across the globe. All of the EU member states must do better at working together and strengthening security co-operation.
“But in the long term, if we are to defeat radicalisation, we must understand and confront the factors that are driving it. This is of course a complex issue and we perhaps do not even fully understand it yet, but we must begin with an honest assessment of the mistakes of the past.
“Western foreign policy – whether the blind eye showed bloodshed to and murder by Middle East leaders, or the double standards over Israel and Palestine – has of course played its part in driving a sense of grievance among some Muslims.
“And domestically, poverty and lack of opportunity play their part as well because, if you cannot attain decent jobs or a decent standard of living, it is difficult to feel part of society.
“Of course none of these things can excuse the actions of groups like ISIS, which we all find abhorrent, but if we are to tackle radicalisation, we do have to acknowledge these issues and address them.
“Europe has great experience in bringing divided communities together and we need to use this experience. If we want to be successful in tackling radicalisation, then counter radicalisation must be led by Muslims. Muslims are not the problem; they are part of the solution.”