chapter  2
British Muslims: From Cultural Assimilation to Social Integration
ByTahir Abbas
Pages 16

The majority of Muslims residing in western liberal democracies belongs to a religious minority and is of recent immigrant background. These Muslims come from very different ethnic and cultural backgrounds and include as diverse people as Bosnians, Iraqis, Somalis, Pakistanis, Iranians and Arabs. Furthermore, women in Islamic discourses play a vital role in the re-construction of Muslim religio-cultural identity and even more so in the context of an immigrant minority group. Additionally, young Muslim women living in western societies are usually represented in terms of the conflict between traditional' and western' values which facilitates an exclusivist Self-Other mutual identity construction. Relevant literature points to a link between an increased attractiveness of the Islamist vision of the Muslim Woman' construct based on the emphasis of difference and distinction through adoption of certain practices such as veiling and the context of immigrant minority cultures in multicultural societies of the West.