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Muslims in BritainRace, Place and Identities$
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Peter Hopkins and Richard Gale

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780748625871

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748625871.001.0001

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Muslims and the Politics of Difference

Muslims and the Politics of Difference

(p.193) Chapter 11 Muslims and the Politics of Difference
Muslims in Britain

Peter Hopkins

Richard Gale

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter addresses issues regarding multiculturalism. European anxieties and phobias in relation to immigration and cultural diversity focus on Muslims more than on any other group. The relation between Muslims and the wider British society and the British state has to be seen in terms of the developing agendas of racial equality and multiculturalism. A key indicator of racial discrimination and inequality has been numerical under-representation. It is shown that while Muslims raise distinctive concerns, the logic of their demands often mirrors those of other equality-seeking groups. The issue between ‘equalising upwards’ and ‘equalising downwards’ is about the legitimacy of religion as a public institutional presence. The emergence of Muslim political agency has thrown British multiculturalism into theoretical and practical disarray. The political integration or incorporation of Muslims has become the most important goal of egalitarian multiculturalism and is pivotal in shaping the security of many people across the globe.

Keywords:   British multiculturalism, cultural diversity, Muslims, Muslim political agency, British state, racial equality, racial discrimination, religion

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