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  • Technorati: graph / links

    Muslim students not so radical, says Cambridge

    by Ala on 3rd December, 2008 at 11:17 am    

    New academic research conducted by Dr June Edmunds from Cambridge University concluded that the most British Muslim students are more likely to join Amnesty International than Al-Qa’ida. My initial reaction was glee until I saw the number of students polled and my reaction was more in line with Anthony Glees’, professor of politics and director of the centre for security and intelligence studies at Buckingham University, who said the research was ‘flimsy’.

    He complains that Edmunds’ research doesn’t cite conflicting research by Prof Martin Innes of Cardiff University who, on the basis of 600 interviews, stated in June: “Increasing numbers of young Muslims are becoming sufficiently disaffected with their lives in liberal-democratic-capitalist societies that they might support violent terrorism… The threat to the UK from jihadist terrorism may increase.”

    He also complains that she uses no media reports of terror arrests, trials or convictions, nor any polling evidence in her research which concludes that current government policy on extremism is counterproductive.

      |   Trackback link   |   Add to del.icio.us   |   Share on Facebook   |   Filed in: Terrorism

    19 Comments below   |   Add your own

    1. TFI — on 3rd December, 2008 at 1:36 pm  

      “most British Muslim students are more likely to join Amnesty International than Al-Qa’ida”

      That’s hilarious! Surely this isn’t a very bold statement? “Most UK boys are shown likely to join boy scouts than sign up with ETA”


    2. sonia — on 3rd December, 2008 at 1:46 pm  

      yeah what a surprise there. Oh look, they aren’t ALL terrorists.

    3. Beavis — on 3rd December, 2008 at 1:46 pm  

      They interviewed all of 26 students, several not even face to face…

      This report is meaningless, if a student were involved or sympathised with extremists they’re hardly likely to admit it to a stranger.

    4. shariq — on 3rd December, 2008 at 2:24 pm  

      Thanks for drawing attention to this out Ala. This is not just flimsy but possibly the stupidest study I’ve ever seen.

      1) As you said a sample of only 26 students. Aren’t academics required to have some stats training?

      2) What type of comparison is Al-Qaeda to Amnesty International. Hizb-ut-Tahrir and Amnesty would have made a lot more sense. I’d guess that the numbers b/w those two are even if not tilted towarts HUT.

      3) As I’m going to say again and again untill someone listens, just because very few Muslims are terrorists doesn’t mean that they aren’t becoming socially much more conservative. This is bad for reasons of integration, womens rights etc. We can’t keep looking at this only through the lens of terrorism

    5. Squanderer — on 3rd December, 2008 at 2:47 pm  

      Oh man! I can’t believe it. I’m NOT a terrorist. But I wanted to be labelled so I had a cause. But now esteemed Cambridge say we Muslims aren’t terrorists. I wish they’d make up their minds. I’m off to join the Scouts now….

    6. sonia — on 3rd December, 2008 at 2:59 pm  

      good point shariq - item no. 2 a comparision of Hut would have been more accurate. and 3 - yep absolutely.

      sample of only 26 students - can’t extrapolate from that. just call it in-depth qualitative ethnographic research and be done with it.

    7. platinum786 — on 3rd December, 2008 at 4:49 pm  

      Interview 26,000 the results will be similar, you’ll know if you have your finger on the pulse. HT are more what the comparison should have been. Nobody is gonna tell you they’re joining Al Queda. Mind you i don’t think al Queda have like membership forms, or a facebook group or anything.

    8. Ashik — on 3rd December, 2008 at 6:04 pm  

      Most Muslim students….like students of other backgrounds…are unlikely to be joining either AI or Al-Quaeda or HuT, Student life is about enjoying yourself and experiencing new things. Only a minority of students join political groups, even fewer for genuine ideological reasons.

    9. Muhamad — on 3rd December, 2008 at 7:42 pm  

      The best way to resolve it, once and for all, would be a nationwide survey of all Muslims.

    10. Ala — on 3rd December, 2008 at 7:43 pm  

      Don’t mean to be fastidious, but what’s the deal with Al-Queda, Al-Quaeda or Al-Queida? I’ve seen this superfluous U pop up elsewhere. It’s either Al-Qaida, Al-Qaeda or Al-Qa’ida. Get it right!

      Glad I’ve got that out of the way.

    11. kELvi — on 3rd December, 2008 at 7:59 pm  

      It does not matter as much what % are radicalised as it matters what the prominent radicals speak of. And with a nutcase like Anjem Choudry around does it really matter whether 1% or 10% are radical. As long as Anjem Choudry and his friends have free access to public institutions and the UK itself creeps towards abominable accommodation by permitting iceberg like practices such as “Islamic” Banking, the threat can only grow worse. Remember the 7/7 bombers went about their work in such secrecy that even their parents had no idea what was going on.

    12. Jai — on 4th December, 2008 at 11:19 am  

      Mind you i don’t think al Queda have….., or a facebook group or anything.

      That would actually be quite funny.

      “Ahmed wrote something on Nasir’s wall !”
      “Hanif gave Mobeen a virtual hug !”
      “Anjem is ranting about all the dirty kaffirs on Pickled Politics !”
      “Amir is REALLY knackered after his AK-47 practice and is currently having a snooze !”

      And so on and so forth.

    13. Rumbold — on 4th December, 2008 at 11:23 am  

      ‘Yusuf is now friends with Ken Livingstone’.

    14. bananabrain — on 4th December, 2008 at 12:54 pm  

      “abdul is now a fan of omar bakri”
      “yusuf joined the group ‘kill the jews’”
      “anjem’s posse rolls 10 deep”
      “anwar changed his relationship status to ‘it’s complicated since i met that guy with the hook’”



    15. Jai — on 4th December, 2008 at 5:19 pm  

      “Platinum786 joined the group ‘I can see the Line of Control from my house !’ ”
      “George admits that his name isn’t really George”
      “Anjem Choudary is currently on antipsychotic medication as per GP’s instructions”
      “Omar Bakri just sent a virtual kitten to Anjem Choudary to make him feel better — Click here if you want to send him one too !”
      “Osama is currently BORED in his hideout”
      “Hanif joined the group ‘I swear I only popped across the border to Afghanistan to check out the local naan bread and yes they ARE really big’ “

    16. Imran Khan — on 4th December, 2008 at 10:18 pm  

      Mr. Bananabrain - Perhaps you can also write a poem on your own communities terrorism:



      These people are armed by the state you hold so dear and allowed to roam. These people are not fighting for their freedom and are protected by the state.

      So will you be commenting on these events and call them what they are or is that left to a few courageous publications in Israel:


      It is amazing what people will support if you allow a bit of voting.

      No doubt the Chief Rabbi will stay silent on this, the BoD will not say a word and Memri - well what can one say.

      Memri is more concerned at highlighting an Egyptian Clerics call for Obama to become Muslim than highlighting this terrorism. Many on Israel’s Capital Hill listen to Memri but will good old George or Gordon say anything about this?

      Where are the petitions and protests calling for an end to this terrorism? Or will these people be given more money from US taxpayers to continue this whilst the Jewish Community sits idle and mute to its own growing terror problem?

      Lets call it what it is and it has been hidden for too long. Lets hear what Israel’s Staunch Defender The Chief Rabbi has to say about these going on? Ah the silence.

      So lets see your poem on the so called “Settlers” and what they are being taught? Lets see fairness in action. Over to you………

    17. Kulvinder — on 5th December, 2008 at 5:26 am  

      Imran for future reference posts that tangentially (and ultimately repeatedly) skew debates onto Israel/Palestine end up deleted; im unsure what exactly post #16 has to do with Ala’s original topic but try and stay on the general theme of the author’s argument.

    18. Imran Khan — on 5th December, 2008 at 7:20 pm  

      Kulvinder - It was in reply to the poetry you permitted in comment 14:

      ““abdul is now a fan of omar bakri”
      “yusuf joined the group ‘kill the jews’”
      “anjem’s posse rolls 10 deep”
      “anwar changed his relationship status to ‘it’s complicated since i met that guy with the hook’”

      which doesn’t have much to do with the original topic that Muslim students are not extremists. Yusuf joined to kill the Jews is part of the original thread is it, but comments such as these pass without public rebuke.

      Enforce the rules for all and not lopsidedly please. Feel free to delete my comment but why not delete 14 at the time?

    19. Kulvinder — on 6th December, 2008 at 3:00 am  

      The specific irritation was derailing onto Israel/Palestine.

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