Visiting CERS Member Dr Ismail Patel’s Book Launch and Recording

Title: Book discussion: The Muslim Problem: From the British Empire to Islamophobia

See recording HERE

Abstract: The Muslim Problem: From British Empire to Islamophobia (Palgrave MacMillan, 2022) provides an understanding for the increasing incidences and normalisation of Islamophobia. 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. He considers Islamophobia studies as a paradigm; engages in the debate of Islamophobia as a global phenomenon, its definition and challenges Islamophobia as a reserve of the far-right. The book assesses the debate around the concept of identity and shows the colonised figure of the Muslim provided significance in constructing imperial British identity. It investigates how the signifiers of free speech, censorship and fatwa during the Satanic Verses affair were employed in problematising the figure of the Muslim. The book provides a decolonial counter-Islamophobia approach challenging Britishness’ exclusionary white symbolic content. It calls for a liberating idea of Britishness that promotes a post-racist rather than a post-race society.

Speaker Bio: Ismail Patel is the author of The Muslim Problem (2022), chairman of NGO Friends of Al-Aqsa and a visiting research fellow at CERS, the University of Leeds.