UK Muslims Reconsider the Compatibility of Secularism and Islam

22 May 2012

 

Living in a secular environment has been a challenge for Muslims in the West. Islam is a religion that does not accept the separation between the public and private space. Thus it expects believers to adhere to its rules regardless of their environment; this inevitably positions it in a fundamental conflict with the secular system that has been fashioned to keep religion out of the public space.

 

However, recently the rigid interpretation of secularism has been put to question. Prominent scholars like Tariq Modood (1997, 2005) have suggested that secularism and Islam can co-exist provided that the former soften ups its radical discourse on religion and tries to recognize and support the religious needs of people.

 

The article published by Tehmina Kazi further examines the issue in the light of recent events and research and examples from the past, in order to find answers regarding the compatibility of the two concepts.

Multiculturalism Debate Boiling in UK After Cameron’s Speech

7 February 2011

After Prime Minister David Cameron declared that the model of multiculturalism at state level has failed, a heated debate has sprung up. Tariq Modood writes a fervent plea for multiculturalism and shows some of the many examples of where it is already in practice. The Independent reports of attacks from Muslim groups and the Labour Party on the Prime Minister, who is said to be “livid” about the reactions. The BBC gives a feature of what different parties of the debate and academics understand by “multiculturalism”, while the New Statesman calls Cameron’s remarks cynical, but also shows disappointment with the Labour Party’s response. The Financial Times and a Daily Telegraph blog acknowledge the importance of the Prime Minister’s speech as a warning against Islamic extremism.