07 July 2015

Exclusive: Report reveals young Leeds Muslims blame government for ‘serious failures’ on counter-extremism

.... It also slams the “serious failure” of successive Governments to acknowledge that foreign and domestic policies have played a part in radicalising even more youngsters - and suggests that this collective failure is leading to some young Muslims in Leeds and beyond feeling more alienated and disengaged from UK society.

Some mosques in Leeds were - according to young people questioned - still stuck in “time warps” and were “intimidating spaces instead of places of sanctuary”.

Young Muslim people had nowhere to turn to discuss issues like sex, drugs and lifestyle choices.

There was a “culture of silence in mosques surrounding political violence”, and claims that “whenever we have a terrorist attack, the mosques brush it under the carpet - they don’t talk about it and the kids are left to get answers on the street”.

Most Muslim youngsters had experiences of discrimination in some form. There was almost unanimous opinion that the mass media played a “destructive role” in shaping young Muslims’ perception of their role in Britain. Comments included: “Negative media makes us feel alienated.

The religion has been hijacked” and “when a crime is committed by a Muslim, the first thing that is highlighted is his religion...and it’s like Hitler was a Christian but no one ever mentioned that…” [Yorkshire Evening Post] Read more