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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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Young people and faith activism: British Muslim youth, glocalisation and the umma

Young people and faith activism: British Muslim youth, glocalisation and the umma

(p.143) Eight Young people and faith activism: British Muslim youth, glocalisation and the umma
Faith in the public realm

Richard Gale

Therese O’Toole

Policy Press

This chapter examines a case study of faith activism among young Muslim men in UK. It explores how faith identity frames the public engagement and political activism of the British Muslim youth. The case study presented herein arises from a two-year qualitative study of black and minority ethnic young people's political engagement, particularly of a locally-based Muslim ‘justice movement’. In this chapter, the manner with which the faith identity and values influenced the political activism and the different scales to which this is expressed by these young men are explored. Attention is particularly given to the notion of ‘glocalised’ political sensibility which shapes their political concern and the terrains on which they are active. Apart from exploring the intersections between local and global terrains on which they are active, the chapter also reflects on how the identification with umma (the global community of Muslims) forms a significant dimension of young Muslim's renegotiation of their identities in relation to familial and cultural heritage and their localised living experience. This chapter begins with a discussion on the ways in which young British Muslims have featured in the public domain before it discusses the recent research on the forms of political and public engagement in Muslims, specifically on contemporary expressions of global Islam. The chapter ends with a discussion on how young activists relate to the public sphere by focusing on their personal engagement with faith and how this informs their identities and political action.

Keywords:   faith activism, young Muslim, faith identity, public engagement, political activism, British Muslim youth, Muslim justice movement, glocalised political sensibility, umma

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