British Muslim youth: radicalisation, terrorism and the construction of the “other”

Orla Lynch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

101 Citations (Scopus)


Academic interest in Muslim youth, Islam and Islamic inspired terrorism exploded in the aftermath of 9/11 with the fundamental aim of discovering what was the connection between Islam and terrorism, radicalization and terrorism, but also how to detect and understand those who might become involved in either or both. Radicalization as a process has increasingly become associated with Muslim youth, particularly male Muslim youth, as the precursor to Islamic inspired violence against Western states. In an effort to understand these youth, the radicalization of or potential radicalization of Muslim youths was linked in the literature to alienation due to living in separate or parallel communities, identity crisis and intergenerational conflict. Because of this, terrorism, radicalism and extremism became tangled with notions of identity, integration, segregation and multiculturalism and this entanglement made being a Muslim youth a precarious designation in the UK. This paper examines some of the concepts that are central to the process of radicalization as it is described in the literature and using empirical data from a study with Muslim youth in the UK the study examines the realities of the emergence of new transcultural identities and generational change amongst Muslim youth in the UK as a feature of the lived experience of these youth rather than as evidence of some process of radicalization.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-261
JournalCritical Studies on Terrorism
Issue number2
Early online date16 May 2013
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Radicalisation


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