News / USA

US Muslims Challenged to Steer Youth Away From Violence

Graves are seen at Al-Barzakh Islamic Cemetery in Doswell, Virginia, May 10, 2013. Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev is reportedly buried there.Graves are seen at Al-Barzakh Islamic Cemetery in Doswell, Virginia, May 10, 2013. Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev is reportedly buried there.
x
Graves are seen at Al-Barzakh Islamic Cemetery in Doswell, Virginia, May 10, 2013. Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev is reportedly buried there.
Graves are seen at Al-Barzakh Islamic Cemetery in Doswell, Virginia, May 10, 2013. Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev is reportedly buried there.
Kokab Farshori

The involvement of two young Muslim men in the Boston Marathon bombing has reminded members of the American Muslim community to make greater efforts to reach out to young people who may consider taking a violent path. But they say Muslim youths should not be considered any differently than other young Americans coping with stress.

Imam Johari of the Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center in suburban Washington dismissed the idea that Muslim youth are more prone to violence, and that it takes an entire community to help young people express their feelings in a healthy way.

"There’s no such thing as a Muslim cancer, there’s no such thing as Muslim hypertension and there’s no such thing as Islamic violence," he said. "These are young people who have been caught up in something that has something to do with their own personal, emotional problems. We’re all doing what we can, but we can’t do enough. This has to be a problem that all of us solve together."

US Muslim Community Faces Challenges in Keeping Youth Off Violent Pathi
X
July 20, 2013 12:38 PM
A Pew Research survey released in August of 2011 showed 59 percent of adult Muslims in the United States are between the ages of 18 and 39, compared to 40 percent of adults in the general public. This large number of young adults means more opportunities for American Muslims. But, as VOA's Kokab Farshori explains, that brings some challenges, too.]]

Johari said he and leaders like him are spreading a message of non-violence by drawing from historical lessons.

"I tell the legacy to young people about the African Americans. If we can create social change, and it was not violence that freed the Negros," he said. "It was the willingness of the whites, the blacks and religious people and government leaders to join together and say this system is against the American Constitution and against God. And we did that."

A message of unity is not always delivered, according to Peter Skerry of the Brookings Institution. He said it can be difficult for Muslim youth to assimilate into mainstream American society because they do not always have good examples. 

"Muslim American leaders are not positioning themselves very well to speak to Muslim American youth or to Muslim Americans generally," he said. "They are twisting and contorting themselves in several different directions that just undermines their position."

Those shifting messages may be tempered by watchful eyes at home, parenting experts say. Masood Khan and his wife have four young kids, and they say they're mindful of the potential for their children to be exposed to radical influences on the Internet.

"My wife is very strict on these things, and we know what they’re doing," Khan said. "All of my four kids, two daughters and two sons, whatever they’re doing on the Internet and on computer, they’re being monitored."

Khan said parents should remain engaged with their children and that the kids should be encouraged to maintain a balance between their religious and social activities.

You May Like

Video Drug Use Rises in Afghanistan

Ninety percent of world’s heroin comes from Afghanistan More

Here's Your Chance to Live in a Deserted Shopping Mall

About one-third of the 1200 enclosed malls in the US are dead or dying. Here's what's being done with them. More

Video NASA: Big Antarctica Ice Shelf Is Disintegrating

US space agency’s new study indicates Larsen B shelf could break up in just a few years More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
July 22, 2013 2:56 AM
I agree every child has opportunities to be used to spread violence if he or she has some emotional stress. But I suppose Islamists, if they are defined as those who believe in Koran, feel inclined to deserve death in Jihad. The problem seems what means Jihad. If it is the fight whatever aginst any teachings of Allah, it would have more risks to spread violence. There are diverse beliefs around the world. Generousity as well as the loyalty to the teacings seem needed to all of us.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriagei
X
May 21, 2015 4:14 AM
The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.
Video

Video Women to March for Peace Between Koreas

Prominent female activists from around the world plan to march through the demilitarized zone dividing North and South Korea to call for peace between the two neighbors, divided for more than 60 years. The event, taking place May 24, marks the International Women's Day for Peace and Disarmament and has been approved by both Koreas. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug Use Rises in Afghanistan Following Record High Poppy Crops

Afghanistan has seen record high poppy crops during the last few years - and the result has been an alarming rise in illegal drug use and addiction in the war-torn country. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem has this report from Kabul.
Video

Video America’s Front Lawn Gets Overhaul

America’s front yard is getting a much-needed overhaul. Almost two kilometers of lawn stretch from the U.S. Capitol to the Washington Monument. But the expanse of grass known as the National Mall has taken a beating over the years. Now workers are in the middle of restoring the lush, green carpet that fronts some of Washington’s best-known sights. VOA’s Steve Baragona took a look.

VOA Blogs