Adjustment difficulties driving young European Muslims towards extremism, says Estonian academic ({{commentsTotal}})

The reasons for the violent attacks by Islamists are rooted in social problems, said Estonian National Defense College lecturer Holger Mölder, adding that the types of attacks which took place in Paris cannot be ruled out happening in Estonia.

He told ERR radio the first generation of Muslims made a conscious choice of leaving for the West to find a better life, but the next generation does not feel included and for them, the land of their parents is a mysterious place of which they know little.

The Islamic State (IS) has managed to create an "extremely explosive combination of misinterpretation of Islam and the Western-grown slouchy lifestyle," and social media use, Mölder said, adding that compared to al-Qaeda, IS has taken a step further.

“If the head of al-Qaeda is an academic-type al-Zawari who has trouble attracting the youth, then the IS leader, who calls himself Caliph Ibrahim, is a more soldier-like leader whose words reach young people,” he said.

Drawing a comparison with a non-religion-related social problem, Mölder said many believed school shootings were unlikely to take place in Estonia, but one did, and added there was no guarantee Islamic extremists would not organize something horrific here. Any attack might not be geared towards Estonia but could be a part of a global goal, he said.

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