'Discrimination, not Islam behind violent youths'
VIENNA – Agence France-Presse | 10/27/2010 12:00:00 AM |
Young Muslims are no more likely to be violent than non-Muslims, a report by the EU's Fundamental Rights Agency, has found, though it cited discrimination as a key differentiating factor.
Young Muslims are no more likely to be violent than non-Muslims, a report by the EU's Fundamental Rights Agency, or FRA, found Wednesday, citing discrimination however as a key differentiating factor.
In a survey of 3,000 Muslim and non-Muslim youths in Britain, France and Spain, FRA found that young people across the board were more likely to turn to violence if they had suffered discrimination.
"Young people who are discriminated against and feel socially marginalised, and those who have been a victim of violence are more likely to use violence towards others," noted FRA director Morten Kjaerum. "There are no indications that Muslim youth are more or less likely to resort to actual violence than non-Muslims," added the report, which was published Wednesday.
About a quarter of those surveyed said they had experienced discrimination, ranging from bullying to physical violence. But the percentage was significantly higher among Muslims than their non-Muslim counterparts in France and Spain, although there was little difference in Britain, according to the report. "There is a strong link between being a victim and an offender," it concluded.
Even among members of delinquent groups, the likelihood of resorting to violence was greater if they had been exposed to bullying or aggression. The report also found that young people did not support violence "without a good reason," but deemed it justified to defend themselves or others, while one in five found it acceptable if their religion had been insulted. Even then, expressed support for violence was not automatically translated into action.
"In order to tackle some of the root causes of violence, it is important to ensure that children are not exposed themselves to violence and discrimination," Kjaerum appealed. The survey was conducted in Britain, France and Spain due to their experience with urban unrest involving youths with an often Muslim background, as well as recent terrorist attacks by radical Islamists.