Securitizing the Educated Muslim: Islamophobia, Radicalization and the Muslim Female Student

Part of the Palgrave Politics of Identity and Citizenship Series book series ( CAL)


This chapter focuses on the ‘securitized’ Muslim student, portrayed as an intelligent yet vulnerable individual, susceptible to radical ideologies of extremist groups. This susceptibility has drawn universities into an Orwellian framework of monitoring and surveillance, creating greater insecurity for and about Muslim students. The chapter explores such narratives of insecurity placed within the wider discourse of radicalization and Islam. The narratives reveal how the fear of the radical Muslim student has implicated Islamic Student Societies (ISocs), with ISoc sisters particularly experiencing Islamophobia within and outside the university. Their accounts illustrate how Muslim students are not only under suspicion, but are also suspicious of being watched, spied on, or feared by fellow students.


Social Cohesion Muslim Woman Muslim Community Taboo Word Student Society 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Ahmad, F. (2001) Modern traditions? British Muslim women and academic achievement. Gender and Education, 13 (2), pp. 137–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Allen, C. (2014) ‘Operation Trojan Horse: examining the ‘Islamic takeover’ of Birmingham schools,’ The Conversation. (Accessed 11/10, 2015).
  3. Association of Chief Police Officers. (2012) Prevent, Police and Universities Guidance for Police Officers and Police Staff to Help Higher Education Institutions Contribute to the Prevention of Terrorism. UK: Office of National Coordinator Prevent.Google Scholar
  4. Barnes, H. (2006) Born in the UK: Young Muslims in Britain. London: The Foreign Policy Centre.Google Scholar
  5. BBC News. (12/05/2011d) Protestors call for reinstatement of Dr Rod Thornton. BBC News. [Online]. Available from: (Accessed 03/15, 2013).
  6. Birt, Y. (2010) Governing Muslims After 9/11. In Thinking Through Islamophobia Global Perspectives, eds. S. Sayyid and A. Vakil, London: Hurst & Co. (Publishers) Ltd, pp. 117–128.Google Scholar
  7. Blackstone, T. and Hadley, R. (1971) Student Protest in a British University: Some Comparisons with American Research. Comparative Education Review, pp. 1–19.Google Scholar
  8. Boren, M.E. (2001) Student Resistance: A History of the Unruly Subject. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  9. Brown, E.K. and Saeed, T. (2015) Radicalization and counter-radicalization at British universities: Muslim encounters and alternatives. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 38 (11), pp. 1952–1968.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Burgat, F. (2008) Islamism in the Shadow of Al Qaeda, translated by P. Hutchinson. USA: University of Texas Press.Google Scholar
  11. Duffy, D. (2009) Alienated radicals and detached deviants: what do the lessons of the 1970 Falls Curfew and the alienation–radicalisation hypothesis mean for current British approaches to counter-terrorism? Policy Studies , 30 (2), pp. 127–142.Google Scholar
  12. Dodd, V. (22/09/2015) ‘School questioned Muslim pupil about Isis after discussion on eco-activism,’ The Guardian, Available from: (Accessed 11/13, 2015).
  13. Dodd, V. (04/08/2010b) List sent to terror chief aligns peaceful Muslim groups with terrorist ideology. The Guardian. [Online]. Available from: (Accessed 08/07, 2012).
  14. Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS). (17/01/2015) Press Releases FOSIS Expresses Concern over Consequences of Counter-Terrorism & Security Bill on UK Campuses. Available from: (Accessed 05 March, 2015).
  15. Githens-Mazer, J. (2012) The rhetoric and reality: Radicalization and political discourse. International Political Science Review, 33 (5), pp. 556–567.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Githens-Mazer, J. (2010a) Rethinking the causal concept of Islamic radicalisation. Political Concepts: Committee on Concepts and Methods Working Paper Series Montreal: International Political Science Association.Google Scholar
  17. Githens-Mazer, J. (2010b) Mobilization, Recruitment, Violence and the Street: Radical Violent takfiri Islamism in Early Twenty-First-Century Britain. In The New Extremism in 21st Century Britain, eds. R. Eatwell and M.J. Goodwin, UK: Routledge, pp. 47–66.Google Scholar
  18. Githens-Mazer, J. and Lambert, R. (2010b) Why conventional wisdom on radicalization fails: The persistence of a failed discourse. International Affairs, 86 (4), pp. 889–901.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Glees, A. and Pope, C. (2005) When Students Turn to Terror. Terrorist and Extremist Activity on British Campuses. London: The Social Affairs Unit.Google Scholar
  20. Halliday, F. (2002) Two Hours that Shook the World September 11, 2001: Causes and Consequences. London: Saqi Books.Google Scholar
  21. Halsey, A.H. and Marks, S. (1968) British student politics. Daedalus, 97 (1), pp. 116–136.Google Scholar
  22. Hamid, S. (2007) Islamic Political Radicalism in Britain: The Case of Hizb-ut-Tahrir. In Islamic Political Radicalism. A European Perspective, ed. T. Abbas, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press Ltd, pp. 145–159.Google Scholar
  23. Hanjra, F. (22/04/2010) Student Islamic societies are radical, not extremist. The Guardian. [Online]. Available from: (Accessed 04/27, 2010).
  24. Her Majesty’s Government (HM Government). (2015a) Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015. Available from: (Accessed 03/28, 2015).
  25. Her Majesty’s Government (HM Government). (2015c) Prevent Duty Guidance: for Higher Education Institutions in England and Wales. UK: Crown.Google Scholar
  26. Her Majesty’s Government (HM Government). (2011a) Prevent Strategy. UK: Crown.Google Scholar
  27. Her Majesty’s Government (HM Government). (2011c) Report to the Home Secretary of Independent Oversight of Prevent Review and Strategy by Lord Carlile of Berriew Q.C. UK: Crown.Google Scholar
  28. Home Affairs Committee. (2012) Roots of Violent Radicalisation. Nineteenth Report of Session 201012, Volume 1. London: The Stationery Office Limited.Google Scholar
  29. Johnson, D. (2006) Education and Radicalisation. St Antony’s College, University of Oxford.Google Scholar
  30. Jones, S. (14/09/2011) Student in al-Qaida raid paid £20,000 by police. The Guardian. [Online]. Available from: (Accessed 03/05, 2012).
  31. Kundnani, A. (2012a) ‘Radicalisation: the journey of a concept,’ Race & Class, 54 (2), 3–25.Google Scholar
  32. Kundnani, A. (2015) A Decade Lost. Rethinking Radicalisation and Extremism. UK: Claystone.Google Scholar
  33. McGarry, R. and Mythen, G. (03/03/2015) Beware the security creep into British universities, The Conversation. Available at: http://the (Accessed 03/10, 2015).Google Scholar
  34. Newman, M. (07/01/2010) Universities should not besecurity establishments’, say experts on terror. Times Higher Education. [Online]. Available from: (Accessed 02/09, 2011).
  35. O’Duffy, B. (2008) Radical atmosphere: explaining Jihadist radicalization in the UK. Political Science and Politics, 41 (1), pp. 37–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Office for Public Management and Hussain, S. (2009) The Experiences of Muslim Students in Further and Higher Education in London. London: Greater London Authority.Google Scholar
  37. Patel, I.A. (2007) The Scales for Defining Islamic Political Radicalism. In Islamic Political Radicalism. A European Perspective, ed. T. Abbas, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press Ltd, pp. 42–53.Google Scholar
  38. Ramesh, R. and Halliday, J. (24/09/2015) Student accused of being a terrorist for reading book on terrorism, The Guardian. Available from: (Accessed 03/02, 2016).
  39. Rehman, J. (2007) Islam, “war on terror” and the future of Muslim minorities in the United Kingdom: Dilemmas of multiculturalism. Human Rights Quarterly, 29 (4), pp. 831–878.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Rootes, C.A. (1980) Student radicalism: Politics of moral protest and legitimation problems of the modern capitalist state. Theory and Society, 9 (3), pp. 473–502.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Roy, O. (2007) Islamic Terrorist Radicalisation in Europe. In European Islam Challenges for Public Policy and Society, eds. S. Amghar, A. Boubekeur and M. Emerson, Brussels: Centre for European Policy Studies, pp. 52–60.Google Scholar
  42. Saeed, T. and Johnson, D. (2016) Intelligence, global terrorism and higher education: Neutralising threats or alienating allies? British Journal of Educational Studies, 64(1), pp.37–51.Google Scholar
  43. Saeed T. (forthcoming) Muslim Narratives of Schooling in Britain: From “Paki” to the “Would-Be Terrorist”. In Education, Neo-liberalism and Muslim Students: Schooling aSuspect Community’, eds. M.M. Ghaill, and C. Haywood, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  44. Said, E. (1994) Culture and Imperialism. London: Vintage Books.Google Scholar
  45. Secretary of State for the Home Department. (2012) The Government Response to the Nineteenth Report from the Home Affairs Committee Session 2010–12 HC 1446 Roots of Violent Radicalisation. UK: The Stationery Office Limited.Google Scholar
  46. Sedgwick, M. (2010) The concept of radicalization as a source of confusion. Terrorism and Political Violence, 22 (4), pp. 479–494.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Sondy, A. De (2013) British Pakistani Masculinities: Longing and Belonging. In Men, Masculinities and Religious Change in Twentieth-Century Britain, eds. L. Delap and S. Morgan, UK: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 252–278.Google Scholar
  48. Song, M. (2012) Part of the British mainstream? British Muslim students and Islamic student associations. Journal of Youth Studies, 15 (2), pp. 143–160.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Spalek, B. (2007) Disconnections and Exclusion: Pathways to Radicalisation? In Islamic Political Radicalism. A European Perspective, ed. T. Abbas, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press Ltd, pp. 192–206.Google Scholar
  50. Stemmann, J.J.E. (2006) Middle East Salafism’s influence and the radicalization of Muslim communities in Europe. MERIA, 10 (3), pp. 1–14.Google Scholar
  51. Strabac, Z. and Listhaug, O. (2008) Anti-Muslim prejudice in Europe: A multilevel analysis of survey data from 30 countries. Social Science Research, 37 (1), pp. 268–286.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Sutton, R. (13/12/2012) FOSIS must do more to demonstrate its rejection of extremist narratives. HuffPost Students. [Online]. Available from: (Accessed 15/12, 2012).
  53. The Centre for Social Cohesion. (2010a) Radicalism on UK Campuses a Comprehensive List of Extremist Speakers at UK UNIVERSITIES. London: The Centre for Social Cohesion.Google Scholar
  54. Thornton, R. (2011) Counterterrorism and the neo-liberal university: Providing a check and balance? Critical Studies on Terrorism, 4 (3), pp. 421–429.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Townsend, M. (14/07/2012) Policemade upevidence again Muslim student. The Guardian. [Online]. Available from: (Accessed 02/16, 2013).
  56. Tyrer, D. (2003) Institutionalized Islamophobia in British Universities. Degree of Doctor of Philosophy. Institute of Social Research, University of Salford.Google Scholar
  57. Tyrer, D. and Ahmad, F. (2006) Muslim Women and Higher Education: Identities, Experiences and Prospects. A Summary Report. Liverpool John Moores University and European Social Fund. Oxford: Oxuniprint.Google Scholar
  58. Universities UK. (2011) Freedom of Speech on Campus: Rights and Responsibilities in UK Universities. London: Universities UK.Google Scholar
  59. Vertigans, S. (2007) Routes into ‘Islamic’ terrorism: Dead ends and spaghetti junctions. Policing, 1 (4), pp. 447–459.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Wieviorka, M. (2004) The making of differences. International Sociology, 19 (3), pp. 281–297.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Wiktorowicz, Q. (2004) Joining the Cause of Al-Muhajiroun and Radical Islam. The Roots of Islamic Radicalism conference, Yale University.Google Scholar
  62. Wiktorowicz, Q. (2005a) Radical Islam Rising: Muslim Extremism in the West. USA: Rowman & Littlefield.Google Scholar
  63. Wiktorowicz, Q. and Kaltenthaler, K. (2006) The rationality of radical Islam. Political Science Quarterly, 121 (2), pp. 295–319.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lahore University of Management SciencesLahorePakistan

Personalised recommendations