British Pakistani Masculinities: Longing and Belonging
The focus of this anthology on men, masculinities and religious change in twentieth-century Britain inevitably leads to the examination of connections between gender, race, ethnicity and religion with a particular focus on masculinity. Conversations in this field have already begun.2 A major change to occur in twentieth-century Britain was the influx of Pakistani immigrants. It was extremely unsettling for some to see ‘white Britain’ changing which led, in its most extreme objection, to the Conservative MP for Wolverhampton South West, Enoch Powell, making his famous Birmingham ‘rivers of blood speech’.3 Change of any sort can be simultaneously unsettling for some and welcomed by others. But dismissing the existence of the ‘other’ does not necessarily mean that they do not exist. Accepting or rejecting immigrants is never simply a goodwill gesture but always invokes a nation’s social, cultural, political and economic gains and losses. Thus current debates on the success and failure of multiculturalism frequently focused on the problems associated with Muslim integration and assimilation, in Britain in particular and Europe more generally, have led many to discuss the current situation without considering the gendered ‘baggage’ the immigrant communities brought to Britain.
KeywordsMuslim Woman Muslim Community Islamic Republic Islamic State Islamic Society
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