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Acceptable and unacceptable forms of islam on british

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Acceptable and unacceptable forms of islam on british

  1. 1. Acceptable and Unacceptable forms of Islam on British TV Ruth Deller AHRC-funded PhD candidate, Sheffield Hallam University
  2. 2. Acceptable Islam
  3. 3. The Retreat (BBC Two, 2007)  ‘She has begun to find that the Qur’an answers many of her lifelong intellectual questions about the nature of the divine. The dream of apparently Sufi sheep has pushed her to the brink of a life-changing decision’. •Irrationality vs rationality; intellectualism •Spiritual experiences respected but challenged •Moments of transformation and conversion
  4. 4. The Retreat (BBC Two, 2007)  ‘I’ve, I dunno, I mean I feel quite kind of um, I’ve… it gives me butterflies actually even saying anything so I feel, not nervous exactly, but someone said erm, if this is the one that really feels right for you, maybe you should make some kind of um, commitment and I felt really split because on one hand I was thinking wow, you know maybe I can, you know, and that’s actually I didn’t expect it to be appealing but it did seem really exciting actually, but then on the other hand I was thinking that’s ridiculous. I’ve been here for three, three and a bit weeks. And I was worried about being a hypocrite, you know, almost pretending I’m some scholar in something I don’t…  Irrationality vs rationality  Personal/Individual  Authenticity  Experience, journey
  5. 5. The Retreat (BBC Two, 2007)  ‘Yes it’s dramatic in that I wasn’t a Muslim five minutes ago and now I am but it’s not dramatic because I’m not changing who I’m worshipping, um, and I’m not changing myself, so yeah, it just feels like a kind of natural enhancement… I’ve began to feel more and more and more accepted and familiar with Islam’. •Accepted as ‘me’ •Change/transformation – but only to a point of ‘enhancing’ life •Pluralism •Quiet, articulate, limited emotion
  6. 6. The Retreat (BBC Two, 2007)  ‘I think she’s, she’s the epitome of the English Muslim because in the United Kingdom really there’s a need to create a culture, not preserve a culture, not preserve a Moroccan or an Egyptian or a Pakistani or an Indian way, but the need to create a British Islam, which meets the spiritual needs of the British people, people in modern times’. •British/WE sensibilities •Rejection of othering and ‘excesses’– importance of assimilation •Spirituality vs religion
  7. 7. Unacceptable Islam
  8. 8. Undercover Mosque (Channel 4 Dispatches, 2007)  Video
  9. 9. Undercover Mosque (Channel 4 Dispatches, 2007) living in a multicultural society Dr Mian: You have to live like a state within a state until you take over and holy war Sh Feiz: The peak, the pinnacle, the crest, the summit, of Islam, is jihad
  10. 10. Undercover Mosque (Channel 4 Dispatches, 2007) Tonight on Dispatches – an ideology of bigotry and intolerance spreading through Britain with its roots in Saudi Arabia Sheikh Yasin: We Muslims have been ordered to do brainwashing on women’s rights Abu Usamah: Allah has created the woman deficient Sh Jibali: If she doesn’t wear hijab, we hit her gay rights Abu Usamah: take that homosexual man and throw him from the mountain
  11. 11. Undercover Mosque: The Return (Channel 4 Dispatches, 2008)  In fact, punishments like throwing homosexuals from the top of mountains are nowhere mentioned in the Koran. In fact, it’s a hardline interpretation, taught in Saudi Arabia.  Regent’s Park Mosque was set up 60 years ago to represent British Muslims to the government. It says its role is to help Muslims integrate into British society The woman’s circle does preach against terrorism and doesn’t incite Muslims to break British laws. But far from preaching integration, Um-Saleem says muslims cannot take British citizenship. Their loyalty is to Allah… And another preacher says muslims shouldn’t be living in Britain at all ‘it is not befitting for a Muslim that he should reside in the land of evil, the land of the kuffar, the land of the dibelievers. A muslim should emigrate to a Muslim country’.
  12. 12. Undercover Mosque docs (Channel 4 Dispatches, 2007/8)  Threat to British values  Saudi Arabia as the ‘enemy’  Fundamentalism vs moderate Islam  Moderate Muslim talking heads to denounce preachers  What is ‘Islamic’?  Choice of mosques that promote interfaith and multiculturalism – scaremongering?  Police investigation  Producer’s claims.
  13. 13. Conclusions

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