CHINO (CBSLA.com) — Leaders of a mosque in Chino said the meaning of Islam is peace, and it’s more important than ever to teach that message to young people.
“There’s no question that radicalization is happening among youth worldwide. It’s a grave concern, and it needs to be addressed,” said Ahsan Khan, President of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Los Angeles East Chapter.
Authorities said one of the two men who brutally slaughtered a priest and held church members hostage during mass in Normandy, France Tuesday was 19 years old.
According to news outlet Quartz and data from the European Union, one in four people arrested on terrorism charges last year was younger than 25 years old, compared to one in six in 2013.
The FBI pointed to violent extremists targeting young people online with slick recruitment videos and calls for action.
“I think they’re not getting any sort of guidance. They’re not getting any sort of leadership,” Khan said. “There’s vacuum of leadership within the Muslim world.”
He said his mosque community uses youth groups, anti-ISIS campaigns and public forums to offer guidance and change public misconceptions.
“When you have transparency, there’s less fear. And when there’s less fear, then you don’t get youth radicalized. They feel like they’re part of this community,” Khan added.
That’s why the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community keeps its door open, offering purpose through peace.