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You Are Our Future! Muslim Youth Cultures in Germany and Salafi ‚Pop-Jihad‘

By Claudia Dantschke.


For many adolescents living in Germany labelled as “Muslim Kids“, religion is an important part of their identity. However, only a small minority defines themselves primarily by their religious background. The author shows that the segment of these primarily religiously defined Muslim adolescents actually splits in many different subcultural milieus. The religious orientations align with different confessions, internalised dogmatics, political and ideological positions and therefore form a very diverse and complex field. These different scenes are partially strictly separated from each other but overlap in other cases. In general the Muslim youth movement is very dynamic and fluent and constantly readapts to the changing surrounding environment. As Salafi and Jihadi groups and milieus have tried to utilize or occupy Muslim youth groups and currents for their own cause, an in-depth analysis about both parts is necessary to fully understand Jihadi recruitment strategies and radicalization processes, to correctly assess the threat of Jihadi home-grown terrorism and to be able to identify possible partners against Jihadism within the Muslim community in Germany. This Working Paper presents an overview about Muslim youth cultures and their relationships to Salafism in Germany. The author draws her main arguments from over a decade of practical work – counselling families, coaching institutions and working with drop outs from the radical Jihadi milieu. The Working Paper aims to be an introduction into the field of Salafism in Germany and will be followed by other complementing studies. 

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