British Muslim Minorities Today: Challenges and Opportunities to Europeanism, Multiculturalism and Islamism



This essay explores the issues of multiculturalism, Islamism and the experiences of Muslim minorities in Western Europe and in Britain in the light of the events of 9/11 and 7 July London bombings. First, the experience of immigrants and minorities and the key historical and cultural debates in which the idea of Europe has emerged is contextualised. Second, the debate in relation to how multiculturalism in Western Europe is conceived and problematised is focused upon. Third, a detailed discussion of the British experience of multiculturalism is elaborated upon, exploring the various shifts in discourse and policy-maker thinking. Finally, suggestions for moving ahead are discussed, and how it might provide impetus to academic, governmental, civil society and practitioner action. In conclusion, it is argued that the challenges that Muslim minority youth face in Western Europe are many but not insurmountable if one takes into consideration the needs and aspirations of a society that is inclusive and forward looking but also aware of the historical and contemporaneous factors involved in the alienation and the marginalisation of variously incorporated Muslim minorities.