Banlieues, Islam and Radicalisation: Between Facts and Myths

Giulia Mezzetti

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in libroChapter


Between 2014 and 2015, Islamic terrorism was responsible for various events in Europe. The authors of these acts all seem to share a common characteristic: they are all second-generation immigrants, who grew up and were socialized in the European countries where these attacks took place. To these episodes of terrorism, we must add the flows of young Europeans – mainly of immigrant descent, but also some natives – towards the so-called “Islamic State” in Syria and Iraq. Such phenomena raise the issue of the motivations that drive young people of immigrant descent to adhere to Jihadism, questioning the pro-cess of migrant integration, the treatment of Muslim minorities in Europe-an societies and the efficacy of policies adopted in these domains. In France - the country that was most affected by jihadist terrorism - the debate spurred by these dramatic events focused on the “banlieues”: places characterized by significant levels of segregation and a vast socio-economic disadvantage, where religion has a peculiar importance for second-gernation Muslims. Following the tragic events of January and November 2015, some have hypothesised a correlation between the attacks and the segregation of the population of immigrant oriigin in banlieues, thus providing a geographical interpretation of the increased visibility of Islam and establishing a link between the latter and the phenomena of radicalisation and terrorism. The chapter explores the links and the reciprocal, potential connections between the living conditions of the banlieues, the forms of the so-called “religious revival” (also ultra-Orthodox) among part of the young Muslims who live there, and the phenomenon of terrorism. The aim is to distinguish between “facts” and “myths” within the public opin-ion’s representations of these issues. Firstly, it will analyse the nature of the relationship between socio-economic disadvantage and the spread of religious practices. Secondly, it will try to explore the possible existence of links between terrorism and the banlieues’ social conditions, on the one hand, and between terrorism and the increased religiosity of young Muslims, on the other.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteThe Twenty-first Italian Report on Migrations 2015
Numero di pagine16
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2016


  • Banlieues
  • France
  • Integration
  • Islam
  • Radicalization


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