Extremists focus attention on young Muslim women to recruit
A growing number of young Muslim women are being ‘groomed’ by extremists, according to a new government document published today.
The women are being sought out by radicals linked to al-Qa’eda, intent on recruiting young, vulnerable people in Britain, the guidance claims.
The news comes after government guidance aimed at clamping down on extremism on university campuses.
Government ministers have warned that higher education establishments face a ‘serious but not widespread’ threat from radical groups. However they maintain there is ‘no single profile’ of any potential converts.
The document revealed: ‘They are likely to be generally younger than 30 and male, although the number of women who support and participate in violent extremism is increasing.’
The review follows the conviction of Samina Malik, the ‘lyrical terrorist’ who worked at WH Smith at Heathrow airport and wrote poems about the beheading of unbelievers and martyrdom. She received a suspended sentence last year.
However the government advice did stress ‘the vast majority of Muslims’ in Britain rejected violent extremism but stressed that academics should be conscious of the ‘recruitment and grooming process’ used by extremist groups at universities.
Bill Rammell, the higher education minister, maintained that open discussion on controversial issues was the ‘most effective way’ of tackling radical views among students.