Transnational Muslim Communities: a new threat or an opportunity
As a consequence of the ‘global war on terror’ and the information and communication technologies revolution, al-Qaeda’s modus operandi and messages have become a source of inspiration and emulation for autonomous groups, as it happened for the London bombing in 2005. In other words, al-Qaeda is more of a global jihadist movement than an organization, a sort of transnational community threatening global security. In order to contain this new kind of threat, European countries, home to millions of Muslims, should assess the effectiveness of their integration models. This process is deemed necessary since the most dreadful terrorist actions perpetrated recently in New York, Madrid, and London were organized by home-grown terrorists.
Before implementing a new policy, it is advisable to understand how this transnational community is structured and operates. Transnational communities are made up of people relating to a common cultural, religious, ethnic or ideological background and they are spread in different and distant geographical areas. International flows of migration, information, and money contribute to strengthen the links between community members, who can act locally and internationally to implement their political, social or even economic agendas. Therefore, policy makers should pay greater attention to two often neglected aspects of the phenomenon: firstly the production and spread in and from the West of Islamic contents sustaining the global jihadist movement, represented by al-Qaeda; secondly the relation between the economic behaviour of Muslim migrants, the international flows of Islamic capital, and the constitution of a transnational Muslim community.
This is a relatively new subject even for sociologists and political scientists. However, policy makers should not underestimate the relevance of the issue in order to prevent Muslims from becoming ‘enemies from within’.
Author: Ermete Mariani
The Politics of Islamic Finance