Key Issues that Impact on British Muslim Identity Today

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n Britain there is an increasing number of Muslims in the community, it is now at a point where the young, British born, Muslims outnumber those who have migrated to the contry. (Anwar, 2008: 133) Yet, Muslims are often identified as being foreign, not truly British. This has a strong impact of British Muslims identity because they are not identified as British by others in the community. This is just an example of the way issues impact British Muslim Identity. Many issues hold sway over how Muslims are viewed in Britain today, they affect the perceived identity of British Muslims. This essay will look at how link between Muslims and terrorism and women being coerced affect British Muslim identity today.

The first issue addressed in this essay is the role of women in Islam. “Muslim women are having to confront not only the sexist assumptions from within their own communities … but also from British society as a whole.” (Butler cit Gilliat-Ray,2010: 215) This statement shows that women are facing sexist assumptions not only within the home but also from British citizens who presume that they are being forced into wearing the veil and following Islamic law because their husbands demand it, when more commonly women are following Islam because they want to. By having this presumption of Muslim women it is impacting on their identity, Britain has assigned Muslim women with the role of the victim, often pitied, this is a negative stereotype which can affect their lives. One of the most controversial issues for Muslim women is their choice to wear the veil. “The Qur’an does not impose any general religious obligation for women’s clothing but gives simple guidelines for social decency.” (Kung, 2007: 622)It is not commanded in the Qur’an...

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...itiated - Continuum

Denny, F. 2006 - An Introduction to Islam - Pearson Prentice Hall

Gilliat-Ray, S. 2010 - Muslims in Britain - Cambridge University Press

Home Office. 2000 - Proscribed Terrorist Organisations - [Internet]. Avalable from: [assessed 06/05/14]

Kung, H. 2007 - Islam: Past, Present and Future - Oneworld Publication

Peppiatt, R. 2011 - Women and Islam: The Rise and Rise of the Convert - [Internet]. Avalable from: [assessed 06/05/14]

Rippin, A. 1990 - Muslims: Their Religious Belief and Practices - Routledges

Wadud, A. 1999 - Qur’an and Woman: Rereading the Sacred Text from a Woman’s Perspective - Oxford University Press.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that muslims are often identified as being foreign, not truly british, which has a strong impact on british muslim identity.
  • Analyzes the role of women in islam, stating that the qur'an does not impose any general religious obligation for women's clothing, but gives simple guidelines for social decency.
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