Co-radicalisation of Youth in Europe: Islamophobism vs. Islamism
8 February 2021
Prof. Ayhan Kaya gave a lecture on “Co-radicalisation of Youth in Europe” at the Humboldt University of Berlin, as part of the class taught by Dr. Deniz Güneş Yardımcı. Based on the preliminary findings from in-depth interviews conducted with native and self-identified Muslim migrant-origin European citizens in Germany, France, Belgium, and the Netherlands within the framework of the PRIME Youth ERC Advanced Grant Project (Agreement No. 785934), Kaya analyzed the current political, social, and economic context behind “co-radicalization.”
Prof. Kaya argued that young people between the ages of 18 to 30, whether native or immigrant-origin, respond similarly to globalization-rooted threats, such as deindustrialization, isolation, denial, humiliation, precariousness, insecurity, and anomia. While many young groups are shifting to right-wing populism in response, many Muslim youths move towards Islamic radicalism. Kaya concluded that the common denominator of these groups is that they are both downwardly mobile. The lecture concluded with a Q&A session, in which Prof. Kaya and PRIME Youth postdoctoral researcher Metin Koca touched upon the fundamentally different empirical representations of “radicalism,” “violent extremism,” and “terrorism,” which, they emphasized, should not be interchangeably used.