Criminalising Muslim Minorities

Photo by David Holt, 5 May 2014. Via Creative Commons.

Following Post-war immigration to many Anglophone countries (the UK, Australia, and elsewhere) ‘othered’ immigrants have encountered common expectations to assimilate, and prove it. A failure or refusal to integrate has, historically, been viewed as deviant. However, this has been tempered by notions of cultural pluralism and official multiculturalism in recent years.

At critical junctures, however, the demands to ‘integrate’ become ever more present. Research, by Waqas Tufail and Scott Poynting, demonstrates how young British Muslims have become the subject of ‘increasingly oppressive assimilationist and socially controlling forms of integrationism’.

Drawing upon interviews with 20 young Muslims in and around Manchester, UK, Tufail and Poynting demonstrate the experiences of living amid heightened Islamaphobia. This has become particularly acute with over-reporting and stereotyping on issues such as ‘ethnic gangs’, ‘ethnic gang rape’, Islamist ‘radicalisation’ or ‘terrorism’. At these points, previously ‘social democratic and egalitarian’ state approaches to ‘integration’ are often supplanted for demands that Muslims should prove their assimilation. Further, their interviewees reported that this populist reporting culminated in numerous harmful repercussions, including being targeted for unwarranted and humiliating police attention.

Their article was first published in the International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy (2013, Vol, 2, No 3:43-54). You can read it in full, here.

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