Welcome to the umma: The British state and its Muslim citizens since 9/11
Cooperation and Conflict


British Muslims are citizens of the United Kingdom and also part of a
worldwide community, the Umma, the Muslim community of the faithful.
British Muslims have both national and transnational allegiances and on
the part of the British state this has necessitated new ways of
governing its Muslim citizens. Concerns over both terrorist violence
and societal security questions regarding Muslims in the UK are both
internal and external to the state. The government has had difficulties
in finding transnational policy responses that go beyond the old
division of internal and external security. After the terrorist attacks
of 9/11, security was the main reason why the British state sought to
engage Muslims, but this has been transformed into the wider agenda of
‘community cohesion’. In tracing the Muslim groups that the government
has engaged with since 2001, I show how the issue of governing Muslims
has gone beyond concerns just about terrorism and violence to a wider
agenda that accepts British Muslims as citizens, yet at the same time
still reflects the fears of Muslim ‘otherness’. I consider how this
otherness is seen as a threat to societal security, and how the
government’s attempt to create policies to deal with such threats is
best understood as the ‘politics of unease’.

Link to the article