UK Counter-Terrorism Strategy and Muslim Diaspora Communities

The ‘Securitisation of Integration’ 1

Authored by: Tahir Abbas

Routledge Handbook of Political Islam

Print publication date:  December  2011
Online publication date:  March  2012

Print ISBN: 9780415484732
eBook ISBN: 9780203154144
Adobe ISBN: 9781136577239

10.4324/9780203154144.ch18

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Abstract

It is true that the nature of the Muslim experience in Britain has transcended traditional markers of ‘race’ and ethnicity in relation to discussions of difference and commonality, but who exactly are these groups (Abbas 2009)? There are approximately 2.4 million Muslims in Britain, making up around 4 per cent of the population of the UK. They hail from all the corners of the globe, although around one-half are South Asians with one-third of all Muslims likely to be Azad Kashmiri in origin. The other major South Asian Muslim groups in Britain are the Sylhetis (Bengalis), Gujeratis (East African Indian, or Indian) and Punjabis (Pakistanis). There are also many Arab Muslims, particularly in West London, as well as Turkish Muslim communities in parts of North London that generally remain invisible from political, media and cultural discourses in relation to the ‘Muslims in Britain’. The origins of some Yemeni and Somali communities have over 100 years of history, although in recent periods Somalis and Sudanese have come to Britain fleeing persecution and seeking asylum. Around 15 per cent of all British Muslims are Shi’a in origin, reflecting the wider global diversity of Shi’a Islam.

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