Tag Archives: London attacks

2 Way Street: Immigration, Integration, and Terrorism

4 Jun

There is no justification to any of these atrocities as the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said. But in order to concentrate our efforts at preventing these kinds of attacks in the future we need to look into potential causes to the problem of radicalisation. In the UK, we have a big problem with our arms deals, morally void is not an exaggeration. Although much of this finds its way to Daesh, through the surrounding countries which are fighting a war by proxies, such as Saudi Arabia and Turkey, we shouldn’t confuse this with terrorist attacks whether on our soil or in other countries around the world. There is another more potent cause to this crisis.

we are failing at integrating immigrants in our society, which seems to be one of the chief elements in a radicalised person’s life.  I’m not talking about first generation immigrants here on whom news outlets tend to unfairly put the whole responsibility of integrating. I’m talking mainly about children and grandchildren of immigrants who CAN grow up feeling alienated from both their society as well as their parents’ and easily fall prey to radicalisation. I’m saying ‘can’ here, because I’m not talking about everyone who comes under this category, I’m talking about the likelihood of this happening as in the case of the Manchester bomber, the Westminister attacker, and others. Highlighting again, there is no excuse or justification for terrorism, but there are reasons, causes and symptoms which we can analyse in order to root out the problem.

There is a good report on integration which I read recently, based mainly on the profiles of the terrorists who led the attacks on the French Capital, but as I have not been able to find a copy of it that I could share, I am sharing instead this article from the Washington Post which is in agreement with this point on “The generation in between,” which “is anchored neither in the old or in the new. They often are searching for self or identity beyond self.” Hence, better integration mechanisms for their parents and consequently for them should help prevent this problem and reducing the likelihood of this dangerous void. Many immigrants are well-integrated, they and their children are good citizens, and it is also worth pointing out that not every unintegrated immigrant or son of an immigrant is going to turn this way. Nevertheless, this does not mean we cower away from addressing our failure at, and responsibility of, integrating those we can.

Stylised photo

We need to treat integration as a two-way Street. The immigrant cannot shake hands with someone whose hands remain casually lurking in their pockets, even though we continue to expect immigrants to have this kind of superpower.