Muslim Councillor Accuses UK Border Agency of Racism

23 April 2012

Britain’s Asian Muslim community has always been on the spot due to its distinct religio-cultural characteristics and fairly large proportion among the UK minority groups. Hence they have been very often targeted by the racist and/or Islamophopic motivations stemming from members of the host society as well as various government institutions.

A recent example of this transpired when a Muslim councillor from Cardiff spoke out and accused UK Border Agency (UKBA) of indirectly discriminating against Asian Muslims. The councillor Mohammed Islam claimed that UKBA staff has been checking on the businesses of every Asian and other ethnic minorities in the area to see if they are entitled to work.

Muslims Making Britain

A one-day workshop jointly run by the AHRC-funded research projects Making Britain (http://www.open.ac.uk/Arts/south-asians-making-britain) and Framing Muslims (http://www.framingmuslims.org)

This one-day workshop will explore facets of the historical and contemporary South Asian
Muslim experience in Britain, focusing on the cultural productions of writers, artists, activists
and workers from 1870 to the present in order to explore how they have negotiated,
interacted with and sometimes resisted majority British culture; their varied and complex
identifications and affiliations; and the ways in which they might have re-imagined the nation.
By focusing on how South Asian Muslims have helped to shape British cultural and political
life across the period, this collaborative workshop will foreground the depth as well as the
breadth of their contribution to the making of Britain.

Complicating the common perception that a homogeneous British culture only began to
diversify after the Second World War, the Making Britain project explores how an early South
Asian diasporic population impacted on Britain’s literary, cultural and political life. Framing
Muslims is concerned with the cultural, artistic, social and legal structures which ‘frame’
contemporary debates about Muslims in the West. The projects share a concern with the
ways in which South Asian Muslims in Britain have been depicted in a range of discourses,
and how individuals and communities have responded to and subverted these externally
imposed definitions. Combining the contemporary focus of Framing Muslims with the
historical depth of Making Britain will enable an exploration of how representational
structures have evolved through time.

Speakers include: Humayun Ansari; Katherine Butler Brown; Aamer Hussein; Siobhan Lambert-Hurley; Salman Sayyid; Sara Wajid; Amina Yaqin

To register your interest in attending this event, or for any queries, please email: artsmaking-britain@open.ac.uk or js64@soas.ac.uk.