chapter  13
14 Pages

Locating the British Imam: The Deobandi 'Ulama between Contested Authority and Public Policy Post-9/11

Britain's long and intimate relationship with the Indian subcontinent has resulted in the most decisive fact of British Islam: that its major historical continuities derive from the postcolonial fruits of this encounter. Three-quarters of her 1.6 million Muslims are of 'South Asian' heritage, with the major populations being Pakistani (658,000), Bangladeshi (260,000) and Indian (132,000). 1 This chapter focuses on the development of an important Sunni theological tendency (maslak) in Britain, that of the Deobandis, in terms of recasting its message of reform, taking up new social and official roles available to its religious leadership, and experiencing greater attention, both benign and hostile, after 9/11.