sphere (Bauman, 1991; Habermas,
1992; Schnapper, 2002). Lately there has been a demand to discard or radically
revise state multiculturalism as traditionally practised and to recognize, not just
tolerate, new religious identities. This has upset the status quo accommodation
of ethnic identities and changed the traditional political left/right divisions in
European politics. What is being challenged here, through culture, is the historical identity of the nation itself.
Nation versus state
In Britain, multiculturalism has been officially accepted since the 1970s as a
the twenty-first century, the shrinking of the
welfare state combined with the “war on terrorism” has effected a change in both
official and popular attitudes towards minorities that threatens to eradicate the
hard-won gains of the last three decades.
Hybridity, in late-twentieth-century Europe, had worked well with the policies of “multiculturalism”, which acted as (safe) discourses about race. For
example, in Britain, multiculturalism (as state policy)1 and hybridity (as identity)
had become part of the state’s apparatus in “dealing with” its minorities. This
Politics in Mid Twentieth-Century Britain: Adultery in Post-war England’, History
Workshop Journal 62(1) (2006), 86–115; S. Brooke, ‘Gender and Working Class Identity
in Britain during the 1950s’, Journal of Social History 34(4) (2001), 773–95.
M. Grimley, ‘The Church of England, Race and Multiculturalism, 1962–2012’ in J.
Garnett and A. Harris (eds), Rescripting Religion in the City: Migration and Religious Identity
in the Modern Metropolis (Farnham: Ashgate, 2013), chapter 12; Panikos Panayi, An
Immigration History of Britain: Multicultural Racism since 1800 (Harlow
United States and 7 July 2005 in London led to a rollback of some of these gains. Both events provoked questions anew about Islam
and Britishness, with some on the right debating Muslims’ ability to coexist,
some questioning whether Britishmulticulturalism had led to a lack of integration and others insisting that violence wasn’t a natural part of Islam.
Two organizations in the 1990s, one independent and one governmental,
were central to the public debate that accompanied this change. The Runnymede
Trust, a research and public policy agency established in 1968 and
Britain, on the other hand, sees a commitment to “liberty” as the defining quality of national identity. British leaders and academics as diverse as
Gordon Brown, the former prime minister, and historian Linda Colley have
unanimously identified love of liberty as a cornerstone of British values (Joppke,
Women as citizens175
2009). Regarding the split between public and private spheres, the British have
championed the cause of non-statism and autonomy of action and belief within
the private sphere over the centralized statist policies of France. British