Professor emeritus of the University of Louvain, Felice Dassetto, has claimed the number of secular Muslims in Europe is in steep decline and more are becoming radicalised.
Professor Dassetto said the secular world and its values are becoming less attractive to contemporary Islam and that Muslims are turning toward more reactionary forms of the faith, Il Giornale reports.
“There is a bit of disaffection, but there is no mass abandonment of the faith, the phenomenon affects at most 10 to 15 percent,” Dassetto said, noting that at least 80 percent of Muslims across Europe now claimed to be religious.
Dassetto also noted that Friday prayers in various mosques were seeing more younger Muslims participate and noted that younger Muslims, particularly those in poorer areas, were far more prone to radicalisation.
“Salafism, more than the Muslim Brotherhood, is investing in the socialisation of children and women,” he noted, and added that radical Salafists were using materials to “promote a soft Salafism ” centred around the needs of the community and poor which he warned could entice and radicalise young people.
On the topic of integration, Dassetto said that it was failing despite repeated attempts by governments, saying: “studies say that even the third and fourth generation youngsters, the children of parents born here, they maintain a certain hesitation about their belonging.”
The professor’s comments echo those of scholar of radical Islam Professor Gilles Kepel, who has warned that without proper integration programmes countries in Europe could face the possibility of civil conflict.
In an exclusive interview with Breitbart London, Kepel suggested that for France the answer to the problem was for the government to help foster a French identity through the school system.
French sociologist Olivier Galland also warned earlier this year about the radicalisation and religious fervour among young Muslims, revealing the results of a survey he had conducted that showed 20 percent of Muslim students advocated religious violence.