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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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Islamophobia in the Construction of British Muslim Identity Politics

Islamophobia in the Construction of British Muslim Identity Politics

(p.210) Chapter 12 Islamophobia in the Construction of British Muslim Identity Politics
Muslims in Britain

Peter Hopkins

Richard Gale

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter addresses the questions about the formation of identities, contemporary experiences of Islamophobia and emancipatory politics in the lives of Muslims in Britain. It specifically presents an overview of current discussions among British Muslims about Islamophobia and its relationship to their complex identities to shed further light upon this debate around ‘identity politics’. Islamophobia provokes the constitution of assertive Muslim identities in the hegemonic public sphere. Britishness is only partly constitutive of modern Muslim identities. There was a sharp bifurcation of British Muslims into loyal moderates and disloyal radicals after 9/11, but it could not be sustained to the same degree after the emergence of a large, third space for democratic dissent that British Muslims helped to shape in the run up to the Iraq war. It is noted that Islamopobia merely creates anti-Islamophobia, and that it cannot permanently define the British Muslim experience.

Keywords:   emancipatory politics, Islamophobia, British Muslim, Britain, identity politics, Muslim identities

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