Tariq Modood


Tariq Modood is Professor of Sociology, Politics and Public Policy and the founding Director of the Centre for the Study of Ethnicity and Citizenship at the University of Bristol. He has researched and published extensively on the politics of being Muslim in the West and co-founded the international journal, Ethnicities. He is a regular contributor to the media and policy debates in Britain, was awarded a MBE for services to social sciences and ethnic relations in 2001 and elected a member of the Academy of Social Sciences in 2004. His recent publications include Multicultural Politics: Racism, Ethnicity and Muslims in Britain (Edinburgh University Press, 2005), Multiculturalism: A Civic Idea, (Polity, 2007); and as co-editor, Multiculturalism, Muslims and Citizenship: A European Approach (Routledge, 2006) and Secularism, Religion and Multicultural Citizenship (Cambridge University Press, November 2008). University of Bristol

Articles de l'auteur


Cycnos | Volume 25 n°2 - 2008

Multicultural British Citizenship and Making Space for Muslims

The 7 July 2005 London bombings have clearly raised the question of the limits of Britain’s multicultural society. It remains however to be seen whether or not its hallmark has been separation. After all, ‘Citizenship (…) consists of a framework of rights and practices of participation but also discourses and symbols of belonging, ways of imagining and remaking ourselves as a country and expressing our sense of commonalities and differences, and ways in which these identities qualify each other and create – or should create – inclusive public spaces.’ This is all the more inevitable as all social groups (the Muslim community to begin with) are characterized by internal diversity. Religious fundamentalism e.g. ‘cannot be equated with the participation of religious groups in multicultural citizenship’. It is absolutely crucial, indeed, to bear in mind that most forms of protest by Muslims, like the emergence of Muslim minority organizations campaigning for equality (with a view to promoting integration, not separation), are grounded in British political discourses and notions of citizenship. The danger of separation is even less of a threat if representation is understood as being ‘a democratic constellation of organizations, networks, alliances and discourses’. Furthermore, though some argue that the multicultural and the national are incompatible, it is necessary, when integration is aimed at, to offer something ‘strong, purposive and inspiring to integrate into’ (i.e. not just a set of core values, but something that promotes inclusion through positive difference). Either that or meaning-conferring identities will be found elsewhere. Integration therefore is not just a minority problem.

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