13 Brown J. World Aff. 101 (2006-2007)
The Risk of Radicalization and Terrorism in U.S. Muslim Communities

handle is hein.journals/brownjwa13 and id is 355 raw text is: The Risk of Radicalization and Terrorism
in U.S. Muslim Communities
The George Washington University
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
THE UNITED STATES HAS BEEN remarkably free of terrorist attacks by Muslim-Ameri-
cans, in contrast to Western Europe where the latest attacks have been carried out by
Muslim 6migr&s and recent descendants of Muslim 6migr&s. Is the United States, as
some have suggested, relatively immune to the Islamist extremism wracking Europe
because of its more diverse traditions, or is terrorism in the United States just late in
developing, and soon to explode?
In evaluating the risk of Muslim radicalization in the United States, it is important  101
to observe that the majority of U.S. Muslims are members of diasporic communities.
In this paper, the spectrum of Muslim diasporas is first reviewed. We conclude that
there is not just one, but rather a variety of Muslim diasporas in both Europe and the
United States, each of which must be considered in its own unique cultural, social
and political context. Consideration is also given to Muslim converts with no previ-
ous familial or associational ties to Muslim states, and therefore no ties to traditional
Muslim diasporas.
Following is analysis of the radicalization of Europe's Muslim diasporas. It is
estimated that some 80 percent of new recruits to the global Salafi jihad are children
and grandchildren of Muslim 6migr&s who have felt alienated from their host cultures.)
This alienation is the driving force behind not only Islamist radicalization but also the
radicalization that results in more quotidian political and social violence. While the U.S.
tradition of diversity may have slowed or deterred the radicalization of Muslim 6migr&s
in the United States, this review suggests reasons to believe that the phenomenon now so
threatening in Europe could become more threatening in the United States as well.
JERROLD M. POST is director of the Political Psychology Program at the George Washington University
(GWU). He is also a professor of psychiatry, political psychology, and international affairs at GWU's El-
liott School of International Affairs. GABRIEL SHEFFER is a professor at the Political Science Department
at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Copyright  2007 by the Brown Journal of World Affairs


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