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British Muslims

New Directions in Islamic Thought, Creativity and Activism

Philip Lewis, Sadek Hamid
Foreword by Baroness Warsi

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Explores how a new generation are redefining what it means to be a Muslim in Britain today

A new generation of Muslims – activists, academics, religious scholars and professionals – are drawing on contemporary reformist thinking emerging from outside their parents' or grandparents' tradition and are using this to inform their activism. This positive new thinking is traced as it impacts and shapes the burgeoning field of Muslim women’s activism, the formation of religious leaders, what is to count as ‘Muslim politics’, the dynamics of de-radicalisation and what has been dubbed the ‘New Muslim Cool’ in music, fashion and culture.

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CHAPTER 1: Muslims in Britain: A Changing Landscape

CHAPTER 2: The Islamic Seminary: Between Crisis and Renewal

CHAPTER 3: Engaging Democracy and Debating Islam

CHAPTER 4: Radicals, Extremists and Terrorists: Contextualising the Challenge of Radicalisation

CHAPTER 5: Creating Culture: Emergence of the New "Muslim Cool"


An Annotated Bibliography

About the Author

Philip Lewis is the author of Islamic Britain, Religion, Politics and Identity among British Muslims (2002) and Young, British and Muslim (2007). Before retiring, he spent 15 years teaching MA modules on ‘Islam in the West: the challenge to co-existence’ and ‘Religions, conflict and peacemaking in a post-secular world’ in the Peace Studies Department at Bradford University, as well being the Inter-Faith Adviser to Bishops of Bradford for almost thirty years.

Sadek Hamid is Senior Researcher at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies at the University of Oxford. He has written widely about British Muslims, young people and religious identity formation. He is author of Sufis, Salafis and Islamists: The Contested Ground of British Islamic activism, (2016), Editor of Young British Muslims: Between Rhetoric and Real Lives (2017) and co-editor of Youth Work and Islam: a Leap of Faith for Young People (2011).


‘A timely antidote to the, arguably, twisted characterisation and popular perception of British Muslims in circulation.’
- Professor Humayn Ansari, Royal Holloway
‘The central argument of British Muslims is the way that Muslims in Britain are engaging with Islam through English, the language of their new home… The authors explain that the use of English as a new language through which to engage with Islam is not inherently unique and is a part of a larger historical trajectory of Islam being embraced by a diverse range of distinct cultures leading to its expression in different languages…To demonstrate this, they provide examples of the way that Muslims in Britain are expressing their practice of Islam through art and activism…Considering the light the book throws on the burning issues in British society that directly impact Muslims such as those of Islamophobia, identity, immigration, extremism, terrorism, and integration, it is required reading for anyone - especially journalists, policy makers, and scholars wishing to understand modern British society.’
- Akbar Ahmed, American University, Washington, DC, Daily Times of Pakistan
‘Innovative, informative, and incisive, this book is a must-read for anyone interested in Muslim-Christian relations.’
- Simon Valentine, Church Times

From generation Jihad to generation M, this book attempts to get inside the minds and lives of young British Muslims to provide a complex and nuanced picture dispelling the one-dimensional simplistic narrative we are more accustomed to.

- Sayeeda Warsi, The Right Honourable Baroness Warsi

'If you teach Islam to GCSE students, then I think you should definitely buy, read and use this book…Your work will be enriched. Your students will benefit.'

- Janet Dyson, REtoday

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