Transgressing community: the case of Muslims in a twenty-first-century British city

Ajmal Hussain*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputChapter


This paper draws on ethnographic research carried out in Birmingham, UK - a city significant for its sizeable Muslim population and its iconic role in the history of minority ethnic settlement in Britain - to consider how associations of place and ethnicity work in different ways to inform ideas about 'Muslim community' in twenty-first-century Britain. The paper charts happenings around a local event in an area of majority Asian settlement and how representations of the area as a place of Muslim community were used to implicate it in the 'war on terror'. The paper goes on to show how this sensibility is disrupted by Muslims themselves through alternative engagements with space and ethnicity. The paper argues that these offer a ground for making Muslim community in ways that actively engage with histories and patterns of ethnic settlement in the city rather than being determined by them.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNew racial landscapes
Subtitle of host publicationcontemporary Britain and the neoliberal conjuncture
EditorsMalcolm James, Helen Kim, Victoria Redclift
Place of PublicationLondon (UK)
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-317-62916-0
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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