Young Muslims in modern Britain should be supported and assisted in the development of their sense of personal identity, self-esteem, and belonging

Young British Muslims, in common with all other young British people, develop their sense of identity within a range of influences, inspirations and pressures. Some of the influences are mutually compatible and they therefore reinforce each other. Others, however, are at variance with each other and in consequence young people are pulled in opposite directions.

Everyone is an individual and needs support and assistance as they discover and express their individuality amongst the competing pressures they encounter. The pressures and influences young British Muslims encounter, actually or potentially, include:

  • family life, and within this expectations about how young people should behave towards their elders, and expectations about gender roles
  • the expectations and requirements of the mainstream education system
  • the mosque and mosque-based education, as compared with mainstream schools
  • new trends in Islamic theology and spirituality, particularly as developed in Europe and the United States
  • street culture and youth culture, including drugs and other risk-taking behaviour, and lack of deference towards tradition and authority
  • currents and strands of thought loosely known as ‘fundamentalism’, ‘political Islam’, ‘extremism’, ‘Islamism’ and ‘radicalization’.

This pack is about helping young Muslims navigate their way through these often conflicting pressures and influences, each in his or her own way.


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