Skip to comments.Assimilated U.S. Muslims less likely terror recruits, experts say
Posted on 08/11/2005 5:24:31 PM PDT by 4.1O dana super trac pak
PHILADELPHIA - (KRT) - Adam Bdeir jigged his shoulders like rapper Jay-Z. Then the 7-year-old spat out the Arabic alphabet, to the beat of a Middle Eastern drum: Alif, Baa, Taa.
The so-called Alif Baa rap, concocted at a summer camp among suburban estates, is a twist on an old story: Immigrants and their children become part of American society by fusion.
But it also captures - in the weeks after suicide bombings in London carried out by Britons by birth - why experts say second-generation Muslims here are less likely recruits for terrorist organizations.
Though the camp in Whitemarsh, al-Bustan, is not exclusively Muslim or even Arab American, it is devoted to promoting Arab culture. It is part of a multicultural mechanism that allows Muslims here to strike a compromise between two worlds, even in the midst of a post-Sept. 11 backlash that has made that compromise harder. And its campers mirror the Muslim population in the United States: They come from middle-class, suburban families who do not live sealed off in ethnic enclaves.
The descendants of Muslim immigrants in Europe - largely guest workers from Northern Africa who rebuilt cities after World War II - continue to live in ghettos isolated by poverty, language, religion or national origin. One nationality tends to overwhelm: Pakistanis in England, Moroccans in the Netherlands, Algerians in France.
"It's much easier to recruit in enclaves," said Robert S. Leiken, an expert on immigration and national security at the Nixon Center in Washington. "It's much easier to make contacts within a community like that."
It's also much easier for residents of an enclave to feel they or their communities don't have a stake - or have been denied a stake - in their adopted country. That kind of alienation exists to a lesser degree among second-generation Muslims in the United States, Leiken and other analysts say.
American Muslims are better educated and wealthier than Americans as a whole, and a third are professionals, according to a 2002 Cornell University survey.
They come from a wide variety of countries. Only seven percent of mosques draw worshippers from only one ethnic group, according to a 2001 Hartford Seminary study. And mosques are growing faster in suburbs than in cities.
The parents of many U.S.-born Muslims came here in a wave of students and high-skilled workers after 1965. They have lived the American Dream, and it has scattered them across the country, mostly in towns and suburbs.
Adam, the 7-year-old mock rapper, is the son of a Palestinian, a medical researcher at the University of Pennsylvania who settled his family in Jenkintown when he immigrated nine years ago.
"It had a good school system," explained Mukhtar Bdeir, 13, Adam's brother and a camp counselor at al-Bustan. "And, it was a nice, small town."
It's also a town with few other Muslims or Arab Americans - the kind of suburban patch that can both fast-track assimilation and make the children of immigrants feel more like misfits.
But a web of civic organizations keeps the Bdeir boys from falling as they try to straddle two cultures. There is al-Bustan, and there is the Foundation for Islamic Education, the Villanova Islamic center where Mukhtar learned Arabic and the Koran.
Such civic organizations allow "the kids to be American and to be Muslim at the same time," said University of Illinois sociologist Louise Cainkar, another expert on American Muslims. "That is a path other groups have taken in this country. You can be both."
Just as U.S. Muslims differ from their European cousins, the United States is a different place for foreigners from most European countries. Over more than 150 years as an immigrant magnet, it has developed a model for accepting and integrating immigrants that sets it apart.
While pressures on immigrants to fit in have always existed in the United States, pluralism is a reigning social value.
The children of fairly secular immigrants have, in fact, become more Muslim than their parents, Cainkar said. The revival has taken the form of an explosion in Muslim student associations on campuses, in more U.S.-born women donning the veil, and in more mosque-going.
In France, Muslim girls can't wear a hijab, or traditional head scarf, at public schools. In the Netherlands, Moroccans are barred from nightclubs. In Germany, Christian and Jewish organizations are allowed to offer instruction in public schools, but Muslim organizations can't.
"In Europe, the children (of Muslim immigrants) have not been accepted, by and large," said Leiken, who argues that rejection makes them ripe for jihadists. "There's a lot of discrimination."
Policies and attitudes following Sept. 11, however, have changed the way many Muslims feel about their place in America.
As Murad Mustafa, born in the United States, put it: "America's not for us."
The beheading of businessman Nick Berg by insurgents in Iraq prompted Mustafa's classmates to lob slurs at Arab Americans. When Mustafa's twin brother fought back with his own insults, it set off a chain of events that ended with federal agents' scouring the family's ceiling for weapons and his brother's being transferred to a disciplinary school.
Mustafa lives in a diverse neighborhood in Philadelphia, next to an elderly white woman he affectionately calls mashghuula (in Arabic, "the guardian" of the block). He goes to al-Aqsa, the mainstream Philadelphia mosque that draws worshippers from 40 countries and from both the suburbs and the city. And he salutes the mostly African American customers at his family's convenience store with the inflections of Philadelphia: "Yo, man, what's up?"
Still, however assimilated, he feels targeted. Some say that even that sense of siege has shoved Muslims into the mainstream, as they organize against hate crimes and profiling.
"You see Muslims as participants in coalitions," Cainkar said. "You see Muslims on the public stage."
And you also see young Muslims continue to sort through the tensions between their two identities.
Nadia Elokdah, an al-Bustan counselor, regrets that her father - an Egyptian immigrant - never taught her Arabic, in order to ease her acceptance in the Bucks County, Pa., suburbs. But she has already made concessions of her own. She does not wear the hijab.
"If I lived somewhere else, I would do it," the 18-year-old said. "We're told by the Koran not to stand out. We're told to fit into society."
Key word = assimilated.
I'm sure the Leftists will hate that. This simple reality is a body blow to the Useful Idiots proclaiming multiculturalism over the Melting Pot.
Socialist Europe, though, isn't the pudding where the proof will be found.
To see how well they fit in ask one about Palestine. I have, and believe me they dont fit in!!
I knew it! We Are Borg.
Then why do the jihadists posess the Borg Cube?
In other news, sky still blue. Stay tuned for more breaking news.
"American Muslims less likely terrorist recruits" says experts.
Let them bet their lives on that "intellectual construct", not everyone elses. Given that the Koran repeatedly requires "neck cutting", dhimmitude for all unbelievers, ad nauseam, it is unlikely that America will move towards the Muslim position.
Therefore it is a safe bet that Muslim violence will continue. Hopefully, in the neighborhood of the "experts".
Unless we can force a change in their faith, "Islam delenda est" is going to eventually become the only policy option left to the West.
I'll believe it when I or someone else doesn't get blown up.
Most Truth is. I, and most of us, witness it every day.
Impressive if this is true... well, based on the title of this article they may be less likely to be the recruit.. because IMO there are only few of them society...once the build-up is good enough you will see their true color... we have to understand that Islam's goal is to subdue those who do not belong to the faith..
OH PLEEEASE! What hate crimes? What profiling? In any muzzy country around the world, a 9/11 type attack by the infidels would have sent the practitioners of the religion of peace into a savage orgy of murder and mayhem! I just wish we could do some profiling. Thanks to the moonbats, we won't do that until its too late.
"We're told by the Koran not to stand out. We're told to fit into society."
Right! Only until there's enough of them in a country that they feel safe to start the jihad. Then all bets are off.
I'll believe it when I or someone else doesn't get blown up.
I can't speak for every Muslim, but I can tell you about the one Muslim family I knew when I was in college. The parents had fled Iraq to escape from Saddam. Their daughter was born in Iraq but their son was born here. Last I heard, he was serving in the Marines in Iraq. (I'm sure he is quite in demand as he spoke not only English but 3 or 4 other languages common in the Middle East) The daughter was a classmate of mine in several political science classes and also was a good friend. She was also one of the most beautiful women Ive ever met. In a bikini, she could turn the head of every man at the pool or on the beach.
All of the family loved this country as much as you or I. Im sure living under Saddam made them love freedom all the more and hate groups that are just as evil like the radicals in Iran and Al-Qaeda.
Assimilated? You mean like that terrorist wannabe kid at the Suadi run high school in Virginia? I no longer believe that the ordinary moderate Muslim would call the police if he or she overheard a terror plot at the mosque. The moderates are just going to sit and wait to see how it all turns out.
Which just goes to show that she and her brother are not, I repeat NOT, real muslims. They might delude themselves into thinking so, but the briefest scanning of the koran would show them otherwise. This girl would be insta-stoned in any muzzy country in the world for appearing in a bikini, after the obligatory gang rape for being a whore of course. Her brother would and may suffer a much worse fate if the religion of peace gets its hands on him.