Study Claims Western-Born Muslims More Likely to Be Radicalised

Policemen stand outside a mosque in Uppsala on January 2, 2015. The mosque suffered a fire

Muslims born in the West are more prone to Islamic extremism due to a perceived sense of being “disadvantaged,” according to a study from the University of Uppsala in Sweden.

The study claims to have compared western-born Muslims with migrants, saying that those born in Europe or North America were much more likely to see themselves as primarily Muslims first and become angrier over perceived anti-Muslim injustice, a press release from the University of Uppsala states.

“The most important finding, however, was that Muslims born in the Western world admitted a greater willingness to use force to defend Muslims around the world,” researchers said.

The main cited reason for the differences between the two groups of Muslims is that Muslims in the West have “a stronger experience of being disadvantaged compared to the majority population in which they live.”

The study claims that Muslims are “disadvantaged” due to the alienation they feel in countries, mentioning Sweden, one of the most progressive countries in western Europe, as alienating Muslims as “immigrants” rather than “real Swedes.”

Sweden has been known as one of the most tolerant countries in Europe with regards to Islam, with municipalities spending taxpayer money on Islamic-approved swimwear, known as the burkini, for Muslim children and allowing the public broadcast of the Islamic call to prayer.

The church of Sweden has also been welcoming to Muslims, with the Archbishop of Stockholm even suggesting that churches make prayer rooms to accommodate Muslim worshippers and take down crosses.

The study’s researchers also stressed that although they may be more prone to extremism, Western-born Muslims are not any more violent than their foreign-born counterparts.

The research follows a similar study that was conducted in France of known jihadists that found most had a background in petty crime, came from migrant backgrounds, and lived in the poverty-stricken suburbs of various cities.

Not all academics believe that poverty or alienation is the leading cause of Islamic radicalisation. French sociologist Olivier Galland conducted his own research of young people and found that Muslims were more likely to be radicals and blamed it on Islam itself.

“We find a divergence and the existence of a cultural divide between young Muslims and their comrades. For them, religion dominates the secular world: this is what we have called ‘religious absolutism’,” Galland said.

While in many countries across the West, terror attacks are planned and conducted by locally born Muslims, in Germany around half of all plots from 2014 onwards involved asylum seekers.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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