You can imagine a young child, having taken poison, closing her eyes, sticking her fingers in her ears, saying over and over again: “Can’t see, can’t see, can’t see, not listening, not listening, not listening.”
Religion, radicalisation, extremism, you name it, are poison and red herrings. The real problem is something very different. The real problem is simply a matter of identity.
“The process of letting go of ones identity and then taking up another is a very tricky and difficult transition. Young Muslims in Europe have a fight on their hands right now; a fight within themselves.”
Just as with many countries in Europe, being young and Muslim in this country (UK) will have its challenges. Take some time to think about what the rest of society is up to. On the one hand you are surrounded by young and beautiful people living their lives as free individuals. Doing what they want, going where they want, with who they want, just being young and free. And then on the other hand as a Muslim you will feel the pull of this life and also the pull of your religion. You will be facing great conflict.
You will see the attractive lifestyle, of the rest of society, and you will feel its pull. You will also feel the pull of the complexes created, and the constraints placed on you, by your religion. Think of who taught you religion and when this was.
The most powerful beliefs we hold are formed when we’re at our most vulnerable and emotionally immature. Amongst others we’re taught our beliefs (religious included) by those we long to be loved by: our parents.
When we lose the internal fight between what we want and what our beliefs need (fulfilment) we may turn this frustration, and feelings of rejection, into anger and perhaps even rage. We then need an outlet, so along comes the extreme version of our beliefs: hatred of the freedom we deny ourselves.
We then want to cut it down or blow it up so that our fight will be over and our teachers will love us more.
We can no longer cover our ears and close our eyes to the fight of our young Muslims. We need to find a way to help them break from the limiting, outdated beliefs they’re still being taught. Religion is a poison in our societies.