The politics of voluntary and in voluntary identities: are Muslims in Britain an ethnic, racial or religious minority?


Meer, Nasar (2008) The politics of voluntary and in voluntary identities: are Muslims in Britain an ethnic, racial or religious minority? Patterns of Prejudice, 41, (5), 61-81. (doi:10.1080/00313220701805901).

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Description/Abstract

The denial that racism operates against Muslims qua Muslims has permeated public and media discourse of late. Intellectuals, commentators and legislators from across the political spectrum have explicitly rationalized this
position by distinguishing involuntary racial identities from voluntary religious identities. Meer explores the nature of Muslim identity vis-a`-vis the involuntary and
voluntary dichotomy before examining the consequences of recognizing some ‘racial’ identities in anti-discrimination formulas while ignoring others. This is followed by a short case study of some of the ‘commonsense’ arguments about race
and religion that surrounded the proposed incitement to religious hatred legislation in Britain. The findings suggest that Muslims in Britain are disadvantaged by the
operation of a ‘normative grammar’ of race that materially (in terms of legal instruments) and discursively (in terms of public and media comment) treats their racialization with less seriousness than it does that of other minorities.

Item Type: Article
ISSNs: 0031-322X (print)
Related URLs:
Keywords: anti-discrimination legislation, anti-muslim prejudice, discrimination, ethnicity, islam, islamophobia, muslims, race, racial and religious hatred act, racialization, religion
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BP Islam. Bahaism. Theosophy, etc
J Political Science > J General legislative and executive papers
Divisions: University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Social Sciences > Sociology and Social Policy
ePrint ID: 71164
Date Deposited: 26 Jan 2010
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2014 18:50
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/71164

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