Reflections on the Radicalisation of Black British Youth

Posted on July 23, 2013by israelolofinjana

Gathering at St Pancras Church Hall last Wednesday (17 July), I was one of many church leaders meeting to consider the issues around why young black British boys are being radicalised.

The conference lamented that the Church, including the black majority churches in the UK, have failed young black men.

The informative event tried to discuss issues that perhaps the government will not really want to address regarding the two boys suspected of murdering Lee Rigby on 22 May. The two boys in question are both of Nigerian background and parentage, but born in this country. They were also of Christian background before converting to Islam.

Richard Reddie, who has written a book about why many young black men of Christian background have converted to Islam, told the gathering that many of the boys he met felt that Christianity with a white blue eyed or fair Jesus gave them no sense of resonating with black identity. Reddie explained that many of these boys appear to have found an identity in Islam which they couldn’t find in Eurocentric Christianity.

The  masculinity factor may also be problematic.   It appears that our churches have been feminised to the extent that many of our young boys find their camaraderie elsewhere, such as gangs, terrorist groups and so on.