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Faith in the public realmControversies, policies and practices$
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Adam Dinham, Robert Furbey, and Vivien Lowndes

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9781847420305

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847420305.001.0001

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‘Soft’ segregation: Muslim identity, British secularism and inequality

‘Soft’ segregation: Muslim identity, British secularism and inequality

(p.41) Three ‘Soft’ segregation: Muslim identity, British secularism and inequality
Faith in the public realm

David Cheesman

Nazia Khanum

Policy Press

The current controversies on faith in the public realm have been stirred by historical and contemporary events and developments relating specifically to Islam and the perceptions of and by Muslim people in the UK and worldwide. This chapter offers the perspectives of two Muslim authors on the Muslim experience in the cultural context of Britain where public faith is often met with hostility and unease. It specifically explores the concept of soft segregation in Muslim communities and argues that two features of the contemporary British culture hinder the development of a society fully inclusive of Muslims. These two features which impede the development of mutual understanding are: firstly, the suspicion of Islam and, secondly, the suspicion of public expressions of religious faith. This chapter begins by providing a brief profile of Muslims in Britain. It then proceeds by discussing Muslim identities and concludes by discussing secularism to which the Muslims are trying to adjust.

Keywords:   controversies on faith, Islam, Muslim, UK, public faith, soft segregation, Muslims in Britain, Muslim identities, secularism

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