What explains the appeal of radical Islam to some of Europe’s Muslims?

The Economist looks at some psychological and sociological explanations of the appeal of Islamism to some of Europe’s Muslims.

“[A]lthough paths to extremism vary widely, they tend to follow certain social and psychological patterns. Frequently, a young Muslim man falls out of mainstream society, becoming alienated both from his parents and from the ‘stuffy’ Islamic culture in which he was brought up. He may become more devout, but the reverse is more likely. He turns to drink, drugs and petty crime before seeing a ‘solution’ to his problems—and the world’s—in radical Islam. . .

Another French ‘Islamologue’, Antoine Sfeir, has identified relations between the sexes as a big factor in the re-Islamisation of second-generation Muslims in Europe. Because young Muslim women often do better than men at adapting to the host society (they tend to do better at school, for example), old patriarchal structures are upset and young men acquire a strong incentive to reassert the old order.”