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Title: Islamophobia and the emergence of Muslim political identity
Author: Patel, Ismail Adam
ISNI:       0000 0004 8509 0825
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2019
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The literature on Islamophobia in Britain has been on the increase since the Runnymede Trust defined the term in 1997. Researchers have provided a wealth of data on incidences, typology of tropes, social consequences and institutional variations. Related to this, studies on Muslim political identity have considered Muslim political activism, sectarian divisions and the notion of Islam as a threat to the West. This thesis advances on these ideas and concurs with studies that show the Satanic Verses affair of 1989 was significant in problematising Muslimness. However, it diverges from approaches directly correlating Muslim demands and actions in the Satanic Verses affair resulting in Islamophobia and the emergence of Muslim political identity. The thesis explores Islamophobia and the problematising of Muslim identity as a political construct at the juncture of a crisis in British identity. It considers Britishness in relation to Muslimness while being informed by Critical Muslim Studies approach that is nourished by postcolonialism, decolonial thought and anti-foundationalism. Critical Muslim Studies affords a means to articulate a challenge to positivism and oriental perspectives, placing the problematised Muslim identity at the centre of the narration. The thesis analyses abstracts of theses on Islamophobia submitted to British universities to review the methodologies, disagreements, convergence and prevalence of research topics on the subject. The role of the empire in the construction of British imperial nationalism is assessed from the National Archive documents and a critique of relevant literature. From here, an evaluation is made of the impact of the collapse of empire on Britishness and on British Muslims as a postcolonial people. The thesis shows that the collapse of the empire is concomitant to a paradigm shift in Britishness, a fracturing of black identity, the demise of multiculturalism as a political horizon, the emergence of Islamophobia and the politicisation of Muslimness. The thesis proposes that the use of the term problematisation more adequately reflects the marking of differences when compared to race and racialisation. It introduces the term scotoma, which is neither a blind spot nor a lacuna but rather a shortcoming arising from a hegemony of Orientalist and Eurocentric perspectives. It considers Islamophobia through the work the term does in providing meanings and as politically constituting Muslimness. In considering anti-Islamophobia measures, a decolonial disobedience attitude is proposed. Finally, a crisis of Britishness is understood as the foundation in the emergence of Muslim political identity.
Supervisor: Sayyid, S. ; Bagguley, P. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available