Worth a Look: Sufis, Salafis and Islamists – The Contested Ground of British Islamic Activism

5 Star, Religion & Politics of Religion
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Sufis, Salafis and Islamists: The Contested Ground of British Islamic Activism

The Arabic terms Islamism, Salafism, Jihadism and Wahhabism have acquired currency in the English language and are synonymous with violent Muslim extremism.  But what do they actually mean? Why does Muslim religious conservatism and radicalisation appear to be on the increase?  What long term impact could they have on Western societies?  In this unique, ground breaking book – British Muslim academic Sadek Hamid evaluates the impact of three globally influential religious paradigms by using the UK as a case study. He devotes a chapter to each of the four faces of faith-based activism: reformist Islamist, radical pan-Islamist, Salafi and neo-Sufi by tracing their intellectual genealogies and explaining how these trends migrated, evolved and integrated into British society.

By analysing primary sources and using first-hand participant observations, he contextualises how young British Muslims participate in collective faith-based activism and highlights the differences between ‘islamicisation’ and ‘radicalisation.’  He also introduces the key individuals that  have shaped religious currents in the UK and illustrates how second and third-generation Muslim Britons negotiated debates about maintaining religious identity, develop solidarities with transnational political struggles, differentiate claims over religious authenticity and group priorities—factors which have all converged to define what it means to be a Muslim in Britain today.  He concludes by highlighting how new emerging Islamic trends are synthesising   the best elements of Western and Muslim civilisation and outlines some of the challenges that lie ahead. The book will be essential reading for media professionals, policy-makers, academics, students and general readers alike.

Author Bio:                                                                                                        

Sadek Hamid is currently a British Academy Postdoctoral Research Fellow and Lecturer in Islamic Studies at Liverpool Hope University. He has written widely about British Muslims, young people and religious activism and is the editor of Young British Muslims: Between Rhetoric and Real Lives (2016) and co-editor of Youth Work and Islam: a Leap of Faith for Young People (2011).

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