Friday, July 29, 2005

Muslim Unemployment and Alienation in Britain

Unemployment among Muslim youths is 22 percent at a time when overall joblessness is 5 percent, the lowest it has been in decades, according to Britain's Office for National Statistics. Muslims rank at the bottom in having school degrees and decent housing.

A common sight in Beeston is Pakistani youths hanging idly in clusters on street corners, chatting away in Punjabi slang. Others smoke marijuana and drink beer in Cross Flats Park, breaking sacred codes of their faith. At other times, the alienation turns violent: In 2001, young Pakistanis turned out on Bradford streets to battle the largely white police force.

Many British Muslim youths also feel like strangers in their parents' Pakistani culture. Drinking, dancing and dating women, especially white women, are frowned upon.

"We're not English, and we're not Pakistani," said Saeed Ahmed.

Sudarsan Raghavan "Friends Describe Bomber's Political,
Religious Evolution -- 22-Year-Old Grew Up Loving
Western Ways And Wanting for Little"
Washington Post July 29, 2005


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