New study shows young British Muslims better-integrated than their parents

London, UK - Most Muslim students in Britain are more likely to join Amnesty International than Al-Qaeda, according to a study published yesterday.

British universities are not hotbeds of Islamic radicalism in spite of fears about the rise of campus extremism, according to the report by Cambridge University.

Earlier this year, the Government issued guidelines for university staff on how to combat the threat of violent extremists targeting university campuses as potential breeding grounds for new recruits.

The new study, based on interviews with students in London, Cambridge and Bradford, found little evidence of any threat, suggesting such fears have been exaggerated.

Instead, the report describes young Muslims as better integrated into British society than their parents and with a stronger sense of national identity.

Many Muslim students are instead hostile to political Islam and they voiced concern for human rights, particularly in Muslim countries. “The findings show that the young Muslims best-equipped to lead radical opposition to Western society are also among the least inclined to do so,” said Dr June Edmunds, from the University of Cambridge’s Centre for Development Studies.

“Although a minority have extreme political views, most are concerned about human rights and social democracy. The UK in particular now hosts a new generation of Muslims who are more confident of their national identity and more politically-engaged than their parents.”

It found that while Muslim students in the West are often regarded as prime targets by extremists, many in fact have a stronger sense of civic responsibility and British identity than their elders.

More than half described themselves as British, and 91 per cent either as British or “British-hyphenated” – for instance, British-Pakistani. Although a majority were members of student Islamic organisations, these were mostly moderate groups without international links. Their favourite websites included BBC News.