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Islam on Campus: Contested Identities and the Cultures of Higher Education in Britain

Research output: Book/Report/ProceedingsBook

  • Alison Scott-Baumann
  • Mathew Guest
  • Shuruq Naguib
  • Sariya Cheruvallil-Contractor
  • Aisha Phoenix
Publication date16/10/2020
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages288
ISBN (print)9780198846789
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Islam on Campus explores how Islam is represented, perceived, and lived within higher education in Britain. It considers the changing nature of university life, and the place of religion within it. Even while many universities maintain ambiguous or affirming orientations to religious institutions for reasons to do with history and ethos, much western scholarship has presumed higher education to be a strongly secularising force. This framing has resulted in religion often being marginalised or ignored as a cultural irrelevance by the university sector. However, recent times have seen higher education increasingly drawn into political discourses that problematize religion in general, and Islam in particular, as an object of risk.

Using the largest data set yet collected in the UK, Islam on Campus explores university life and the ways in which ideas about Islam and Muslim identities are produced, experienced, perceived, appropriated, and objectified. The volume considers the role universities and Muslim higher education institutions play in the production, reinforcement, and contestation of emerging narratives about religious difference. This is a culturally nuanced treatment of universities as sites of knowledge production, and contexts for the negotiation of perspectives on culture and religion among an emerging generation. This collaborative study demonstrates the urgent need to release Islam from its official role as the othered, or the feared. When universities achieve this we will be able to help students of all affiliations and of none to be citizens of the campus in preparation for being citizens of the world.