Muslims and crime : a comparative criminological study of South Asian Muslims in Britain and Pakistan
This thesis presents a comparative criminological examination of two South Asian Muslim communities in Britain and Pakistan. The work evaluates existing data regarding South Asian Muslims and crime highlighting the fact that this remains a largely under-researched field in contemporary British criminology. The study was framed by the following objectives: • To examine issues of offending and victimization amongst South Asian Muslim communities in Britain and Pakistan; • To examine the way Islamic criminal law (al-'uqūbāt) is understood and the impact of such understanding(s) on crime and social control among the sample; • To explore the nature of Islamophobia and its impact on South Asian Muslims in Britain and Pakistan; • To draw constructive policy-orientated conclusions in relation to offending and victimization experienced by South Asian Muslims. Issues of offending and victimisation are explored via essentially qualitative primary research within two sample communities, one in Pakistan (Sharifabad) and one in England (Haslingden). More specifically the study adopted an ethnographic methodology utilising diverse data gathering techniques which included anonymous semi-structured interviews with residents and officials; questionnaires; life histories, photographic data and diary keeping strategies. The research enabled the assessment of offending and victimisation by South Asian Muslims at an individual, community and global level, providing detailed evaluation of the social reality for South Asian Muslims and crime. The research was guided by a critical race theory (CRT) perspective which helps contextualise the experiences of South Asian Muslims within an historical framework. Particular policies, legislation and attitudes during British colonial rule in India are evaluated to assess how far they have been traced into the post-colonial social terrain. In sum, this work not only provides a comprehensive evaluation of key studies in this field but represents an essential contribution to our understanding of the complexities of crime and victimisation as experienced by South Asian Muslims.