Islam and the Liberal State

National Identity and the Future of Muslim Britain

«Stephen Jones has produced the first book of its kind, a work that considers the interaction of political liberalism with actual lived Islam in Britain. Islam and the Liberal State is both an urgent read in these populist times and a far-reaching vision for a better future.»

National identity and liberal democracy are recurrent themes in debates about Muslim minorities in the West. Britain is no exception, with politicians responding to claims about Muslims’ lack of integration by mandating the promotion of ‘fundamental British values’ including ‘democracy’ and ‘individual liberty’. Les mer
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Om boka

National identity and liberal democracy are recurrent themes in debates about Muslim minorities in the West. Britain is no exception, with politicians responding to claims about Muslims’ lack of integration by mandating the promotion of ‘fundamental British values’ including ‘democracy’ and ‘individual liberty’.

This book engages with both these themes, addressing the lack of understanding about the character of British Islam and its relationship to the liberal state. It charts a gradual but decisive shift in British institutions concerned with Islamic education, Islamic law and Muslim representation since Muslims settled in the UK in large numbers in the 1950s. Based on empirical research including interviews undertaken over a ten-year period with Muslims, and analysis of public events organized by Islamic institutions, Stephen Jones challenges claims about the isolation of British Islamic organizations and shows that they have decisively shaped themselves around British public and institutional norms. He argues that this amounts to the building of a distinctive ‘British Islam’. Using this narrative, the book makes the case for a variety of liberalism that is open to the expression of religious arguments in public and to associations between religious groups and the state.

It also offers a powerful challenge to claims about the insularity of British Islamic institutions by showing how the national orientation of Islam called for by British policymakers is, in fact, already happening.

Fakta

Anmeldelser

«Stephen Jones has produced the first book of its kind, a work that considers the interaction of political liberalism with actual lived Islam in Britain. Islam and the Liberal State is both an urgent read in these populist times and a far-reaching vision for a better future.»

«Amidst an avalanche of books on Muslim Britain, this deeply pondered work breaks new ground. It brings together two academic disciplines, usually kept apart, political theory and the empirical study of Muslims. Its major empirical contribution is to demonstrate how in the last twenty years, Muslim organisations have undergone significant religious change, to enable a shift from isolation to engagement with wider society.»

Philip Lewis, author of Islamic Britain (2002)

«“Islam and the Liberal State should be adopted as the new introductory text book on Islam in Britain for undergraduates.”»

Yahya Birt

«'In Islam and the Liberal State, Stephen H Jones carefully interrogates and challenges the social and political hierarchies that disparage Islam and Muslim in Britain. He urges a transformation in how Islam is perceived in relation to the ‘liberal’ British state, authoritatively unpicking complexities in both. Methodologically-robust, reflective, critical and knowledgeable, this incisive yet nuanced book makes valuable contributions to the academic study of Islam and Muslims and nation states. Through the discussions it provokes in the public square, it will also influence everyday politics of being or perceiving Islam in Britain.'»

Sariya Cheruvallil-Contractor, Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations, Coventry University, UK

Innholdsfortegnelse

List of Abbreviations
Glossary of Non-English Terms
Preface and Acknowledgements
1. Introduction: Islam, Liberalism and the Nation–State
2. The Shifting Foundations of Islamic Britain
3. Islamic Education: Schooling for Naql-heads?
4. What is the Future for Muslim Personal Law in Britain?
5. Muslims and the State: Neither Agents nor Enemies
6. Conclusion
Notes
Bibliography

Om forfatteren

Stephen H. Jones is Lecturer in the Department of Theology and Religion, University of Birmingham, UK. He was General Secretary of the Muslims in Britain Research Network between 2017 and 2020. He is a sociologist of religion who writes about Islam in the UK, Islamophobia, and religion and politics.