BBC Radio 4 Analysis: Conservative Muslims, Liberal Britain
You can listen to my contribution to this discussion here (link expires after 7 days)
Below is the show description, though I should add that I disagree with the premise that Muslims somehow wish to “live separately” from mainstream society and moreover that polling evidence suggests Muslims strongly identify with British values (whatever they are!).
The recent so called Trojan Horse dispute in some Birmingham schools shone a light on how separately from the liberal British mainstream a significant conservative bloc of British Muslims wants to live. Although some Muslim parents objected, most seemed happy to go along with rigorous gender segregation, the rejection of sex education and ban on music and arts lessons.
Why is it that so many British Muslims – especially from Pakistani and Bangladeshi backgrounds – seem to be converging much more slowly, if at all, on liberal British norms? Is this a problem in a liberal society and what are the future trends likely to be?
David Goodhart, of the think tank Demos, visits Leicester in search of some answers. He listens to many different Muslim voices from a mufti who advises Muslims on how to navigate everyday life in a non-Muslim society to a liberal reformer who is dismayed at seeing more women wearing the niqab.
Mustafa Malik, Director of the Pakistan Youth and Community Centre, Leicester
Saj Khan, Leicestershire businessman
Mufti Muhammed Ibn Adam, Islamic scholar, Leicester
Riaz Ravat, Deputy Director, St Philip’s Centre, Leicester
Dilwar and Rabiha Hussain, New Horizons organisation, Leicester
Gina Khan, human rights campaigner
Myriam Francois-Cerrah, journalist and PhD researcher
Jytte Klausen, affiliate professor at the Center for European Studies at Harvard University
Producer Katy Hickman.