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Prevent-ing Muslimness in Britain: The Normalisation of Exceptional Measures to Combat Terrorism

Prevent-ing Muslimness in Britain: The Normalisation of Exceptional Measures to Combat Terrorism AbstractThis paper argues that the Prevent strand of the British counter-terrorism strategy (CONTEST) and the related normalisation of exceptional measures to combat terrorism have had a significant impact on the ways in which Muslim communities can play out their Muslimness in Britain. State treatment of Muslims as a suspect community facilitates the (re)production of widespread Islamophobia that penetrates the social fabric and reinforces a popular image of Muslims as folk devils of late modernity. Those Muslims who exhibit popularly understood signifiers of their identity (e.g.: skin colour, beard, hijab) risk becoming an easy, immediate target for state discrimination and social prejudice. After exploring how this vicious cycle is produced and reproduced at both the macro-(state) level and the meso/micro (community and individual) level, some tentative recommendations will be provided. These recommendations advocate for: preventative measures that are grounded on bottom-up approaches and that are able to empower Muslim communities; the promotion of a better, more nuanced understanding of Islam within broader society; and a reflection on the philosophical ideas of difference and diversity as they relate to the coexistence of pluralistic, multi-ethnic communities within post-modern, global societies. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs Taylor & Francis

Prevent-ing Muslimness in Britain: The Normalisation of Exceptional Measures to Combat Terrorism

Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs , Volume 33 (3): 16 – Sep 1, 2013
16 pages

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References (87)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
© 2013 Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs
ISSN
1469-9591
eISSN
1360-2004
DOI
10.1080/13602004.2013.853977
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

AbstractThis paper argues that the Prevent strand of the British counter-terrorism strategy (CONTEST) and the related normalisation of exceptional measures to combat terrorism have had a significant impact on the ways in which Muslim communities can play out their Muslimness in Britain. State treatment of Muslims as a suspect community facilitates the (re)production of widespread Islamophobia that penetrates the social fabric and reinforces a popular image of Muslims as folk devils of late modernity. Those Muslims who exhibit popularly understood signifiers of their identity (e.g.: skin colour, beard, hijab) risk becoming an easy, immediate target for state discrimination and social prejudice. After exploring how this vicious cycle is produced and reproduced at both the macro-(state) level and the meso/micro (community and individual) level, some tentative recommendations will be provided. These recommendations advocate for: preventative measures that are grounded on bottom-up approaches and that are able to empower Muslim communities; the promotion of a better, more nuanced understanding of Islam within broader society; and a reflection on the philosophical ideas of difference and diversity as they relate to the coexistence of pluralistic, multi-ethnic communities within post-modern, global societies.

Journal

Journal of Muslim Minority AffairsTaylor & Francis

Published: Sep 1, 2013

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