A study published last year in the Economic Journal found that the spike in anti-Muslim backlash after 9/11 led to a decline in assimilation rates in American Muslim communities.
This study has been used by liberal cities and governments to suggest that when Muslims feel more isolated, they tend to become more radicalized and more likely to commit acts of terrorism.
The problem of alienation is particularly acute in Europe, where there are large populations of Muslim immigrants concentrated in ethnic enclaves, who suffer discrimination and lack economic opportunity. “A territorial, social, ethnic apartheid has spread across our country,” is how French Prime Minister Manuel Valls described the situation in January after the Charlie Hebdo attacks. “For some youths living in France, the situation can quickly become a recipe for radicalization”.