New Labour’s policies to influence and challenge Islam in contemporary Britain: A case study on the National Muslim Women’s Advisory Group’s Theology Project

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@article{b2c3ea7436674be09f705b1fc63498c6,
title = "New Labour{\textquoteright}s policies to influence and challenge Islam in contemporary Britain: A case study on the National Muslim Women{\textquoteright}s Advisory Group{\textquoteright}s Theology Project",
abstract = "The creation of the National Muslims Women{\textquoteright}s Advisory Group (NMWAG) in 2008 by Britain{\textquoteright}s New Labour Government was part of a strategy which sought to engage different levels of Muslim communities beneath an overarching focus on reducing {\textquoteleft}Islamic extremism{\textquoteright}. To do so however, Government acknowledged that it would need to support Muslim women to overcome some of the constraints it believed were placed on Muslim women in contemporary Britain. Deeming theology and religious interpretation to be one of those constraints, Government saw the need to empower Muslim women to {\textquoteleft}influence and challenge{\textquoteright} religious and theological discourses as a priority. This article therefore offers a case study on a project that was commissioned by Government that sought to empower Muslim women to {\textquoteleft}influence and challenge{\textquoteright} theological interpretations in collaboration with the NMWAG. Having gained unprecedented access to the NMWAG, its activities and engagement with Government, this article presents previously unpublished findings from that project to focus on two key themes: Muslim women, their identity and position; and theology, leadership and the participation of women. Having explored these in detail, this article concludes by critically reflecting on the way in which Government engaged and interacted with Muslim women, the role and relative success of the NMWAG and, most importantly, the extent to which the NMWAG was able to {\textquoteleft}influence and challenge{\textquoteright} interpretations of Islamic theology.",
keywords = "Muslim women, Islam, political engagement, National Muslim Women{\textquoteright}s Advisory Group, extremist ideologies",
author = "Chris Allen",
year = "2014",
month = may,
doi = "10.7563/SSD_03_01_01",
language = "English",
volume = "3",
pages = "2--19",
journal = "Social Sciences Directory",
issn = "2049-6869",
publisher = "Social Sciences Directory Ltd.",
number = "1",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - New Labour’s policies to influence and challenge Islam in contemporary Britain

T2 - A case study on the National Muslim Women’s Advisory Group’s Theology Project

AU - Allen, Chris

PY - 2014/5

Y1 - 2014/5

N2 - The creation of the National Muslims Women’s Advisory Group (NMWAG) in 2008 by Britain’s New Labour Government was part of a strategy which sought to engage different levels of Muslim communities beneath an overarching focus on reducing ‘Islamic extremism’. To do so however, Government acknowledged that it would need to support Muslim women to overcome some of the constraints it believed were placed on Muslim women in contemporary Britain. Deeming theology and religious interpretation to be one of those constraints, Government saw the need to empower Muslim women to ‘influence and challenge’ religious and theological discourses as a priority. This article therefore offers a case study on a project that was commissioned by Government that sought to empower Muslim women to ‘influence and challenge’ theological interpretations in collaboration with the NMWAG. Having gained unprecedented access to the NMWAG, its activities and engagement with Government, this article presents previously unpublished findings from that project to focus on two key themes: Muslim women, their identity and position; and theology, leadership and the participation of women. Having explored these in detail, this article concludes by critically reflecting on the way in which Government engaged and interacted with Muslim women, the role and relative success of the NMWAG and, most importantly, the extent to which the NMWAG was able to ‘influence and challenge’ interpretations of Islamic theology.

AB - The creation of the National Muslims Women’s Advisory Group (NMWAG) in 2008 by Britain’s New Labour Government was part of a strategy which sought to engage different levels of Muslim communities beneath an overarching focus on reducing ‘Islamic extremism’. To do so however, Government acknowledged that it would need to support Muslim women to overcome some of the constraints it believed were placed on Muslim women in contemporary Britain. Deeming theology and religious interpretation to be one of those constraints, Government saw the need to empower Muslim women to ‘influence and challenge’ religious and theological discourses as a priority. This article therefore offers a case study on a project that was commissioned by Government that sought to empower Muslim women to ‘influence and challenge’ theological interpretations in collaboration with the NMWAG. Having gained unprecedented access to the NMWAG, its activities and engagement with Government, this article presents previously unpublished findings from that project to focus on two key themes: Muslim women, their identity and position; and theology, leadership and the participation of women. Having explored these in detail, this article concludes by critically reflecting on the way in which Government engaged and interacted with Muslim women, the role and relative success of the NMWAG and, most importantly, the extent to which the NMWAG was able to ‘influence and challenge’ interpretations of Islamic theology.

KW - Muslim women

KW - Islam

KW - political engagement

KW - National Muslim Women’s Advisory Group

KW - extremist ideologies

UR - https://wallscometumblingdown.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/ssd-chris-allen-nmwag-final-draft.pdf

U2 - 10.7563/SSD_03_01_01

DO - 10.7563/SSD_03_01_01

M3 - Article

VL - 3

SP - 2

EP - 19

JO - Social Sciences Directory

JF - Social Sciences Directory

SN - 2049-6869

IS - 1

ER -