The Muslim Problem: From the British Empire to Islamophobia

We are pleased to announce the publication of a new book by Ismail Patel a visiting Research Fellow at University of Leeds.

 The Muslim Problem: From the British Empire to Islamophobia

Ismail Adam Patel

Visiting Research Fellow at University of Leeds and the Chair of UK based NGO Friends of Al-Aqsa

“This book is a notable work of scholarship which approaches one of the most misunderstood subjects of our time with learning, compassion and wisdom.”

Peter Oborne. An award-winning writer, journalist and broadcaster.

“A new voice in Critical Muslim Studies… An impressive book which is both passionate and persuasive in arguing for a paradigm shift in our understanding [of Islamophobia].”

-Ian Law. Emeritus Professor, University of Leeds and Research Professor, Södertörn University.

“This is an outstanding and thought-provoking book that provides a critical investigation into the contours of British Muslim identity.… This book is a much-needed intervention that delivers an innovative and refreshing approach on questions concerning Muslimness, Britishness and racism.”

Dr Katy P. Sian. Senior Lecturer in Sociology, University of York.


Topics Discussed:

Islamophobia, Britishness, Muslimness, Identity Formation, Critical Muslim Studies, Anti-Islamophobia Approaches, British imperial identity, Post-colonial British crisis.

About the Book

This book explains the increasing incidences and normalisation of Islamophobia, by analysing the role of signifiers of free speech, censorship, and fatwa during the Satanic Verses affair in problematising the figure of the Muslim. Ismail Patel develops the notion of Islamophobia not as a continuation of the antagonistic relation from the British Empire but as a postcolonial reformulation of the figure of the Muslim.

The book views Islamophobia studies as a paradigm, engages in the debate of Islamophobia as a global phenomenon, investigates the contestation over its definition and challenges the view of Islamophobia as a reserve of the far-right. It assesses the debate around the concept of identity and shows how the colonised figure of the Muslim provided significance in constructing British imperial identity. The book provides a decolonial, counter-Islamophobia approach that challenges Britishness’s exclusionary white symbolic content. It calls for a liberating idea of Britishness that promotes a post-racist rather than a post-race society.

Theoretically rich in analysis, this book will contribute to discussions of identity formation, Britishness, Islamophobia and counter-Islamophobia. It will be helpful to students and researchers across history, politics, sociology, cultural studies, literary studies, and anthropology.

To read the introduction visit:

If you wish to contact the author or want a free copy of the book for review, please email