ABSTRACT

This chapter delves into the identification process of Muslims in London. It explores the process through which the category of Muslim came to prominence in the public sphere. In doing so, the chapter first discusses the discourse on British Muslim identity, i.e., how Muslim consciousness started to take shape from the 1960s onwards and the shift from race to religion. The salience of religious identity among Muslims in the diaspora is undeniable. There is a spectrum of British Muslim identities, within which individuals negotiate religious identity. Different categories which emerged in this study range from pious Muslims who see religious identity in a community-oriented sense, to cultural Muslims who believe in the privatization of religion, to ex-Muslims who no longer identify as being Muslim. The chapter offers insight into how young Muslims practise a de-ethnicized Islam as well as how Muslim women negotiate their identity in a diaspora context. Young Muslims in Britain can be seen differentiating between religion and culture to situate themselves in the Western context. It includes a discussion on the re-intellectualization of Islamic discourse and how young Muslims search for unorthodox ways and media for religious articulation. This chapter highlights how young British Muslims have tried to adapt Islam in tandem with British society in terms of Muslim chaplains, Hijabi Barbies, student Islamic societies, etc.