British Islam: The Road to Radicalism

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9780521670791: British Islam: The Road to Radicalism
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The emergence of Islamic political radicalism has been one of the most dramatic developments in post-war British society. Focusing on post-war immigration and integration, British Islam explores the ways in which Muslim groups have arrived and formed communities, and traces the origins of violent extremism influenced by Islamism.

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'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' British Islam 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 of British Islam.' 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 and author of Why the French Don't Like Headscarves

'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 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

'At long last we have a book which not only sets out the theological and historical underpinnings of Islam, but takes that background into the context of debates in today's world. This is an essential work for all those wanting to understand what drives Islamic political radicalism and why this matters to us in the West. Tahir Abbas' analysis is aided by an elegant and authentic voice, in contrast to plethora of similar works in this field. A 'must read' for the uninitiated as well as the experts.' Baroness Falkner of Margravine

'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

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The emergence of Islamic political radicalism has been one of the most dramatic developments in post-war British society. British Islam explores the context behind this phenomenon, focusing on post-war immigration and integration, the complex relations that exist between Britain and Islam and the true extent of social and economic inequalities that affect Muslims. Tahir Abbas examines the historical development of the Islamic world, the effect of British imperialism and colonialism and the nature of interaction and conflict between Britain and Islam. He studies the origins of violent extremism influenced by Islamism as well as the role the media plays in perpetuating negative views of Muslims. Abbas concludes by offering suggestions for tackling the major social, political and economic questions facing British Muslims in the post-7/7 era. This is an important contribution to the study of religion, 'race' and ethnicity in modern Britain.

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