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Muslim Britain: communities under pressure
edited by Tahir Abbas
Zed Books | March 2005 | ISBN 1842774492
Recommended by Huda Jawad:
The publication of this book is a timely and relevant one. Though it talks about and discusses events before the London bombings of 7 July 2005, it provides real insight into the complexities and personalities of the south Asian Muslim communities; particularly Pakistani and Bangladeshi.
The book is in four parts and its inter-disciplinary approach is what gives it the edge to other books in the genre of British Islam. Topics range from the historical and social background of Islam and its presence in the UK, the sociological concepts and phenomena of Islamophobia, identity politics and multiculturalism, and an explosive section on media representation of Islam. Specific issues include attitudes to jihad, Pakistanis in Northern Ireland, and the personal turmoil that Bangladeshi women went through as a result of post-9/11 reactions, both from within and outside the community.
The breadth of subject matter, variety of expertise and insightful analysis are the qualities that impressed me about this book. Particular credit should be given to the editor, Tahir Abbas for managing to squeeze quite a lot in, bringing together a varied collection of essays and managing to make sense of them so that the flow from one part to the next is natural and seamless. This book is no bed time story but the issues it analyses relate to the current nightmare British Muslims are living.
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About the author: Since 2003, Tahir Abbas has been director of the Centre for the Study of Ethnicity and Culture at Birmingham University. He has written and co-authored numerous articles on race equality, ethnicity, multiculturalism. He is currently writing a monograph on British Islam: The Road to Radicalism (Cambridge, 2006) and working on two research projects, both on British Muslims, funded by the Department of Health and the Heritage Lottery Fund. He is a regular commentator in the media, including Sky News, BBC News and BBC Asian Network.
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