British Muslims for Secular Democracy ( BMSD) launch a landmark report titled ‘The Inner Lives of Troubled Young Muslims – Well Being in the Age of Islamicist Extremism and Anti-Muslim Hatred’ written by six Muslim women. It explores the effects on Muslim youth of anti-terrorism measures, racism, family and community conflicts and cultural expectations.

‘… Young people are anxious, angry, depressed, isolated, bullied. That’s the issue, not that they are becoming extremists. We’re not talking about the cause, just the symptoms. Why are so many young Muslims not feeling seen and valued?’

A Muslim academic

‘When a white man does mass killings, he is always seen as mad. When a Muslim man does mass killings, he is bad, bad, bad, never mad. Both can be mad or bad or maybe bad and mad. Then that violent Muslim becomes all Muslims. We must say we hate what he does, again and again and it isn’t enough. Who is asking white people to say again and again that they do not support the killer of MP Jo Cox? This unfairness is always there.’

Abdul, 22, a computer repairer from Leeds

 Since 2001, the ‘Muslim threat’ has been the primary focus in western nations. It’s all about security. The authors of this report change that lens and examine the psychological and emotional health of  young British Muslims, most born here. Violent Muslims extremists will never be stopped. But others can be helped before it’s too late.

There is no detailed, accumulated data about the well-being of different faith groups in the UK. This is a wake-up call for politicians, social researchers, families and communities. Mental health practitioners need to know and cater to these citizens and to overcome nervousness about cultural values. More Muslim mental health practitioners would enable the services to better meet these needs.

‘Previous policies to tackle extremism have been discredited. A more holistic approach could help children and young adults who are being radicalized  as well as those who are finding it impossibly hard to thrive and feel safe.’ Professor Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, BMSD chair

Attend our parliamentary report launch on the 30th of March, sponsored by MP Rupa Huq.

 Contact

 Rabia Mirza  rabiabasrimirza@gmail.com

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown y.alibhai-brown@ntlworld.com

Tanvir Mukhtar Tanvir Mukhtar tanvirmukhtar@gmail.com

Saeida Rouass charity.manager@bmsd.org.uk