Prevent Watch

‘Muslim integration’: Differences in attitudes towards ‘Britishness’

reported to prevent islamophobia
Muslim integration is a subject rife with negative rhetoric, which has been justified by the perception that “Muslims don’t integrate” – however this journal article rejects and challenges this notion. Published in the Sociological Review in June 2015, this paper begins from the fact that the rate of integration of Muslims has not been empirically established and remains poorly described. Into this gap, authors Saffron Karlsen and James Nazroo explore whether there are variations in levels of “Britishness” and perceptions of the compatibility between Britishness and other cultural/religious identities among different minority groups in England and Wales. They also examine the impact of racialisation and other forms of social and economic exclusion on Muslim perceptions of “Britishness”. Importantly, the paper highlights that:
  • descriptive and multivariate analyses of Citizenship Survey data showed that 90 per cent of Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs and Christians felt part of Britain;
  • Muslims were more likely than Caribbean Christians to report a strong British identification;
  • Muslims (along with Hindus and Sikhs) were more likely to recognise potential compatibility between their beliefs and other aspects of national identity;
  • the strength of feeling in terms of “Britishness” was associated with age, gender, and generation; and
  • the risk of racist victimisation was a determining factor in feelings of “Britishness”.
Of relevance to the alienating nature of Prevent is that this paper concluded that “greater recognition must be given to the impact of social exclusion on the ability of ethnic and religious minority groups to feel part of British society, and also to the strong claim to Britishness made by Muslim people in England”.
The full journal article is available HERE. Related resources Browse our Resource archives for more relevant research and opinion.    

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