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Aziz, Mohammed Abdul (2018) The Integration of Muslims in Britain : An account and analysis of the legal and non-legal equality and security initiatives during the New Labour years of 1997-2010, British Muslim engagement with them and their impact on Muslim integration in British society. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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There is a significant body of literature already on British Muslim integration. This study delves deeper into the integration impact of New Labour (1997-2010) on British Muslims. The study selects a range of legal and non-legal initiatives from the equality and security policy domains; situates them in their policy contexts; critically traces their development; examines Muslim engagement with them; and considers their impact on Muslim integration vis-à-vis three core principles in liberal democracies – liberty, equality and fraternity. The study employs a three-part methodology: an investigation of the relevant open-source literature; an examination of several important archives; and 16 semi-structured interviews of prominent Muslims during New Labour’s years in government. This study finds that British Muslim engagement took place in a myriad of ways. On legal provisions to promote religious equality, Muslims often led the initiatives and mostly achieved what they sought. Regarding non-legal equality measures, Muslim leadership was engaged with some initiatives and less with others, though individual Muslims at various levels significantly shaped them to Muslim needs. On the legal provisions to promote security, Muslims learnt with time to challenge the provisions – and, working with others, achieved some key successes. With non-legal security measures, there was considerable Muslim engagement, but often delivering very different motives and results than intended by government. The overall conclusion of this study is that whilst New Labour’s equality initiatives had immense potential to integrate British Muslims, they took too long to come and remained unknown and inaccessible to most. On the other hand, the security initiatives were more forthcoming, and the strong narratives around them resulted in great alienation of Muslims – in terms of their perceptions of the liberty, equality and fraternity afforded to them. There is much learning in this study for equality and security work to improve the integration of Muslims and others.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses
Supervisors Name: Martin Lau
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 07 Feb 2020 11:46

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