New Book: Tahir Abbas, “Islamic Radicalism and Multicultural Politics”

The expression of an Islamic political radicalism in Britain has been one of the most dramatic developments in recent decades. Islamic Radicalism and Multicultural Politics explores the nature of this phenomenon by analysing the origins of Islam and its historical contact with Western Europe and Britain, and the emergence of Islamic political radicalism in the Muslim world and in the West.

Tahir Abbas draws on historical analysis and contemporary case studies to explore the post-war immigration and integration of Muslim groups, the complex relations that exist between a secular liberal Britain and a diverse but multifaceted Islam, and the extent of social and economic inequalities that affect Muslims as individual citizens and in local area communities. He shows how violent extremism among British Muslims is in reality influenced by a range of issues, including the factors of globalisation and contemporary politics, media and culture. Analysing and dissecting public policy, Abbas offers suggestions for tackling the major social, political and economic questions facing British Muslims in the post-7/7 era.

An important contribution to the study of religion, ‘race’ and ethnicity in modern Britain, this accessible work will be of interest to anyone working in the field of Islamic studies, sociology and political radicalism.

*Reviews*

‘Much of the commentary on Islam today is shrill and one-dimensional which further widens the gap between Muslims and non-Muslims. Because Tahir Abbas’ Islamic Radicalism and Multicultural Politics is reasoned, scholarly and aims to provide historical context it is a powerful corrective. Being both British and Muslim allows him to present us with a truly insider’s account.’ – Professor Akbar Ahmed, Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies, American University

‘In the face of so many superficial denunciations of radical Islam in Britain, Tahir Abbas provides an account that is both broad in its historical coverage and profound in its social analysis. In his sweep of several centuries of South Asian Islamic thinking, Abbas includes the conflicts engendered by British colonialism, and the complex processes of immigration and settlement in Britain. He is especially good in his own speciality, the patterns of inequality in education and in the labour market, through which he shows how the global growth in radical thinking can articulate with domestic social disparities. Here is a distinctive voice entering the debate.’ – John R. Bowen, Washington University in St. Louis.

‘Terrorist incidents have created controversy about Islam and Muslims, and British Muslims have been part of this debate. Media and lay people take a very superficial view and blame Islam and Muslims for radicalisation. This book is an in-depth study of the causes of radicalisation of a section of British Muslims. It is a very useful study indeed and all those who want to understand this complex phenomenon should read the book: Dr Abbas has done a good job!’ – Dr. Asghar Ali Engineer, Centre for Study of Society and Secularism, India

‘A remarkable book, well researched, comprehensive in its coverage and highly relevant to contemporary British political concerns.’ – John Rex, Professor Emeritus, Department of Sociology, Warwick University

New Book: Islamophobia: The Challenge of Pluralism in the 21st Century

Islamophobia has been on the rise since September 11, as seen in countless cases of discrimination, racism, hate speeches, physical attacks, and anti-Muslim campaigns. The 2006 Danish cartoon crisis and the controversy surrounding Pope Benedict XVI’s Regensburg speech have underscored the urgency of such issues as image-making, multiculturalism, freedom of expression, respect for religious symbols, and interfaith relations. The 1997 Runnymede Report defines Islamophobia as “dread, hatred, and hostility towards Islam and Muslims perpetuated by a series of closed views that imply and attribute negative and derogatory stereotypes and beliefs to Muslims.” Violating the basic principles of human rights civil liberties, and religious freedom, Islamophobic acts take many different forms. In some cases, mosques, Islamic centers, and Muslim properties are attacked and desecrated. In the workplace, schools, and housing, it takes the form of suspicion, staring, hazing, mockery, rejection, stigmatizing and outright discrimination. In public places, it occurs as indirect discrimination, hate speech, and denial of access to goods and services.

This collection of essays takes a multidisciplinary approach to Islamophobia, bringing together the expertise and experience of Muslim, American, and European scholars. Analysis is combined with policy recommendations. Contributors discuss and evaluate good practices already in place and offer new methods for dealing with discrimination, hatred, and racism.

http://www.oup.com/us/catalog/general/subject/ReligionTheology/Islam/?view=usa&ci=9780199753659

Table of Contents
Foreword Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Secretary General of the Organization of
Islamic Conference
Introduction John L. Esposito

THE CONTEXT OF ISLAMOPHOBIA

1. Ibrahim Kalin, “Islamophobia and the Limits of Multiculturalism”
2. Jocelyne Cesari, “Islamophobia” in the West: A Comparison Between
Europe
and America”.

CASE STUDIES

3. Sam Cherribi: Islamophobia in Germany, Austria and Holland
4. Tahir Abbas, “Islamophobia in the UK: Historical and Contemporary
Political and Media Discourses in the Framing of a Twenty-First century
Anti-Muslim Racism
5. Mohamed Nimer, “Breaking the Vicious Cycle of Islamophobia and
Anti-Americanism”
6. Sherman A. Jackson, “Muslims, Islam(s) and Race in America”

MANIFESTATIONS

7. Sunaina Maira, “Islamophobia and the War on Terror: Youth,
Citizenship,
and Dissent”
8. Juan Cole, “Islamophobia and American Foreign Policy”
9. Anas Shaikh Ali, “Islamophobic Discourse Masquerading as Art and
Literature: Combating Myth through Progressive Education”
10. Kate Zebiri, Orientalist Themes in Contemporary British Islamophobia
11. Peter Gottschalk and Gabriel Greenberg, “From Muhammad to Obama:
Caricatures, Cartoons, and Stereotypes of Muslims”

Muslim Geographies

Speakers include: Tahir Abbas, Ziauddin Sardar, Claire Dwyer, Sarah Glynn, Peter Hopkins, Arun Kundnani, Reina Lewis, Anoop Nayak, Rachel Pain, Jane Pollard…

This event aims to provide a forum for debate about spaces that shape Muslim lives: 


  •   Everyday spaces: campus, home, street, city, workplace, etc
  • National and transnational spaces
  •  Past and present, real and imagined spaces
  •   Geographies of connection, relationships with non-Muslims
  •   Establish informed dialogue between Muslims and non-Muslims, and between academics and activists
  • The format includes:

  •   Presentations by researchers, panel discussions, round-table debate
  •   Lunch and drinks reception
  •   Public lecture and debate by Tahir Abbas and Ziauddin Sardar
  •   Invitation to participate
  • Abstracts for short presentations or other forms of participation such as proposals for panels are invited; Informal participation is also encouraged: simply register and attend.

    Deadline for receipt of participation proposals: Fri 7 December, 2007*

    Pre-registration required for catering and room planning; registration free before January 31; £10 thereafter.

    Convened by Richard Phillips (University of Liverpool), Naima Bouteldja (Transnational Institute) and Jamil Iqbal (Leeds Met University).

    Merseyside Maritime Museum, Albert Dock, (Liverpool)