I grew up in a Muslim household. I was born in Bangladesh but raised in Australia.
We weren’t terribly religious and I’d now call myself an atheist, or maybe a cultural Muslim.
Muslims in the West are raised in an ambivalence to their host societies. We’re taught to blame all our problems on the West. We’re told to avoid mainstream society because it’s seen as morally corrupt.
This breeds a degree of resentment and identity disturbance for many Muslim kids.
Now, for the most part, especially in countries like Canada or Australia where we prioritize migrants with skills, that sense of resentment is diluted as Muslims gain an education, job and families.
However, this is also why refugees have been more likely to conduct attacks.
Refugees are not innately sinister. I treat many of them in my work. However they are less likely to rise up the social ladder and more likely to have histories of trauma.
For these and other reasons, they are at greater risk of becoming radicalised.
While the vast majority of Muslims won’t be interested in violence, their beliefs have a strong resonance with those of terrorists.
It pains me to say it, because I’m talking about my relatives and friends, but Muslims wrap their identity so closely around Islam that it’s not easy for them to challenge the ideas within it.
Let me clear:
The vast majority of Muslims are not the problem, but many ideas in Islam are.
But it’s difficult to see then how at least one of the solutions to our problem of terrorism is to have less Islam in our societies.