Identity, Islamism and politics
The state as actor
in Islam and identity politics among British-Bangladeshis
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This chapter examines the role of the British state in facilitating the salience of Islamic identity among the community, especially enabling Islamists to gain prominence within the community. The empirical data are organized around two topics: race and immigration policy, and foreign policy. The chapter demonstrates that among four phases of immigration policies: the era of hostility, the era of assimilationism, the era of multiculturalism, and the era of faith and social cohesion, the most recent has facilitated the rise of Islamists within the Bangladeshi community. The chapter argues that British foreign policy is not only about the ongoing wars in the Middle East and South Asia, but about a wide array of policies pursued over a long period, most importantly the government’s approach to issues perceived as important by the Muslim community.

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