Muslim Youth in the United States
Radicalisation, extremism and social work practice: minority Muslim youth in the West
This chapter explores the interplay between the experiences of Muslim Americans, focusing on Muslim American youth, and the culture of the US that both celebrates their contribution while simultaneously vilifying them through constant suspicion and scrutiny, casting them as prone to radicalization. We present demographic data on Muslims in the US and on perceptions of the US among Muslim youth. Next, we provide contextual cautions with regards to understanding the processes of Muslim youth identity development and their acculturative trajectories. Emphasis is placed on discussing the state of the literature on risk behaviors and radicalization among Muslim American youth. A substantive portion of the chapter is dedicated to applications to social work practice with youth who may have been influenced by radicalization or have become radicalized. It is our ethical and professional responsibility to rely on evidence to inform our practice. Rather than using CVE frames unsupported by evidence, we encourage practitioners to assess variables known to be connected to high risk. It is our hope that by conducting future research on these variables, we will be able to identify evidenced-based pathways to engagement in health risk behaviors, to include recruitment into violent extremist groups.
Husain, Altaf; Mirza, Fatima Y.; and Tirmazi, Taqi, "Muslim Youth in the United States" (2022). School of Social Work. 86.