The British State ‘Security Syndrome’ and Muslim Diversity: Challenges for Liberal Democracy in the Age of Terror

Stefano Bonino

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    5 Citations (Scopus)
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    Abstract

    This paper explores the securitisation of British Muslims within a global context in which tensions are reignited by the threat that Islamist terrorism, and Islam more generally, are considered to pose to the West. While Western involvement in Muslim-majority countries continues to fuel the idea of a ‘clash of civilisations’, domestic responses to terrorism and extremism take forward its rhetoric. At the heart of 15 years of wide-ranging responses lies the state ‘security syndrome’. Operating through the paradigm of risk reduction, the British state has reasserted its primary role as the distributor of security in ways that move beyond the surgical targeting of violent Islamists and their supporters and instead risk impacting on Muslims qua Muslims. Counter-terrorism and anti-extremism notions and practices that conflate security risks and cultural threats signal that Great Britain is a liberal democracy that is yet to fully foster positive inter-community relations and achieve social cohesion.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)223–247
    JournalContemporary Islam
    Volume10
    Issue number2
    Early online date4 Apr 2016
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - May 2016

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