Philadelphia Immigration Lawyers: Anti-Immigrants Sentiments May Increase Radicalization

National security experts have raised concerns about extremists from Europe and Asia coming to the United States as refugees. As a result of this concern, many Muslim immigrants feel harassed, ostracized and have been categorized as radicals. New research from the University of Maryland shows that Muslim immigrants who are isolated and made to believe that they do not belong in America may actually increase the possibility for them to support radical movements. The study, which has been published in a prominent behavioral science journal, was written by a current Stanford University Research Scientist and Professor.

Hundreds of Muslims living in the United States were asked about their cultural experiences in the country, their categorization as cultural minorities and their feelings of exclusion based on religion. The participants were then asked how they felt about radical groups and radical causes. The vast majority of Muslims in the study said that they do not support Islamist extremism, but many of the participants feel marginalized and culturally misidentified. The research found that when Muslims living in the United States feel torn between cultures, they feel a lack of meaning in their lives. When a lack of meaning encompasses a person, the individual has a greater probability of supporting radicalized movements. Radical movements can be seen as a source of meaning and purpose for a person who lacks both.

The research also found that people who feel excluded or discriminated against because of their religious identity experience a threat to their sense of purpose. According to the study findings, discrimination based on anti-Islamic sentiments may actually be counterproductive in the efforts to reduce terrorism amongst immigrants and may make people more likely to support radical causes. The research author suggests that Muslims in the United States want to blend their culture with American culture, but that anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant sentiments makes that task more difficult. The study recommends improving the integration process for Muslim immigrants to decrease the risk of immigrants in the United States from becoming radicalized.

The University of Maryland study also found that people who felt well integrated were less prone to radicalization. The study makes a specific point intended for policymakers and laypeople to not confuse assimilation and integration. Assimilation is pressure towards immigrants to adopt to the American culture and lifestyle, while simultaneously abandoning their heritage and homeland culture. Integration is the encouragement of immigrants to call themselves American, but also to be prideful of their own culture and religious preferences. The study suggests that policies that embrace integration may be helpful in reducing the radicalization of Muslim immigrants.

Philadelphia Immigration Lawyers at Surin & Griffin, PC, Defend Immigrants Facing Discrimination in the United States

If you, a loved one or someone you know is an immigrant to the United States and is facing discrimination or persecution, contact our knowledgeable team of Philadelphia immigration lawyers at Surin & Griffin, PC. We help immigrants with a wide variety of difficulties that they may face in regards to citizenship, threats of deportation and illegal discrimination. Call us at 215-925-4435 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.