Time to Deradicalise?

The interest in resolving the social conflicts in which European Muslims are involved stretches back over the last 30 years. Muslims of Europe are more affected by unemployment and social exclusion than the rest of the population. Yet, it is not their social exclusion that raises the interest of European institutions and policymakers. Rather, the reason for their interest in the Muslim presence in Europe is linked to the fear of the radicalisation that could spring from the failure to integrate them. This obsession for securitising the political demands of Muslims has led policymakers by extension to consider these political claims as potentially destabilising and threatening elements to the European identity. A survey of the press as well as of policy documents produced on the relationship between Islam and social crisis since 2001 reveals that it is mainly when violence or political radicalisation is linked to Islam that institutional, national and local policymakers feel that the European identity is threatened.