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Multicultural Politics

Racism, Ethnicity, and Muslims in Britain

2005
Author:

Tariq Modood
Foreword by Craig Calhoun

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Examines the modern problem of religious identity and cultural racism

Tariq Modood describes how what began as a black-white division has been complicated by cultural racism, Islamophobia, and a challenge to secular modernity. If an Islam-West divide is to be avoided in our time, Modood suggests, then Britain, with its relatively successful ethnic pluralism and its easygoing attitude toward religion, will provide a particularly revealing case and promising site for understanding.

Tariq Modood expertly combines empirical findings with theoretical observation and shows that what he has to say about Britain applies to all contemporary Western societies facing the same problems of integration and citizenship.

Krishan Kumar, author of 1989: Revolutionary Ideas and Ideals

If, as W. E. B. Du Bois observed, the problem of the twentieth century was the problem of the color line, the problem of the twenty-first century may be one that reaches back to premodernity: religious identity. Even before 9/11 it was becoming evident that Muslims, not blacks, were perceived as the “other” most threatening to Western society, even in a relatively pluralist nation such as Britain.

In Multicultural Politics, one of the most respected thinkers on ethnic minority experience in England describes how what began as a black-white division has been complicated by cultural racism, Islamophobia, and a challenge to secular modernity. Tariq Modood explores the tensions that have risen among advocates of multiculturalism as Muslims assert themselves to catch up with existing equality agendas while challenging some of the secularist, liberal, and feminist assumptions of multiculturalists. If an Islam-West divide is to be avoided in our time, Modood suggests, then Britain, with its relatively successful ethnic pluralism and its easygoing attitude toward religion, will provide a particularly revealing case and promising site for understanding.

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Tariq Modood is professor of sociology, politics, and public policy at the University of Bristol.

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Tariq Modood expertly combines empirical findings with theoretical observation and shows that what he has to say about Britain applies to all contemporary Western societies facing the same problems of integration and citizenship.

Krishan Kumar, author of 1989: Revolutionary Ideas and Ideals

Tariq Modood's penetrating insights are fully on display in this splendid book.

Lord Bhikhu Parekh, author of Rethinking Mutliculturalism

Read through to learn about clearly crucial issues.

Multicultural Review

No one can deny Modood’s intellectual force.

The Independent

An eloquent analysis of empirical and theoretical observations of multiculturalism in Britain. Modood is an expert on this topic.

American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences

Tariq Modood, a leading British sociologist, spotlights the disconnection between the brouhaha over ‘Islamic terrorism’ in Britain and the reality of British Muslim life in greater depth than any other works I have read.

Middle East Policy Council

More than anyone else, Modood has helped us to think our way out of existing paradigms in order to incorporate a sense of Muslim subjectivity.

Muslim World Book Review

Multicultural Politics is an essential book. A collection of well-linked essays.

American Journal of Sociology

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Contents

Foreword Craig Calhoun
Acknowledgments

Introduction: Racism, Asian Muslims, and the Politics of Difference

Part I. Racisms, Disadvantage, and Upward Mobility

1. “Difference,” Cultural Racism, and Antiracism
2. If Races Do Not Exist, Then What Does? Racial Categorization and Ethnic Realities
3. Ethnic Diversity and Racial Disadvantage in Employment
4. Ethnic Differentials in Educational Performance

Part II. The Muslim Challenge

5. Reflections on the Rushdie Affair: Muslims, Race, and Equality in Britain
6. Muslims, Incitement to Hatred, and the Law
7. Multiculturalism, Secularism, and the State
8. Muslims and the Politics of Multiculturalism
9. Rethinking Multiculturalism and Liberalism

Conclusion: Plural Britishness

Notes
Bibliography
Previous Publications

Index