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Producing ‘internal suspect bodies’: divisive effects of UK counter-terrorism measures on Muslim communities in Leeds and Bradford

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>31/01/2019
<mark>Journal</mark>British Journal of Sociology
Issue number1
Number of pages22
Pages (from-to)261-282
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date6/04/18
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Research on UK government counter-terrorism measures has claimed that Muslims are treated as a ‘suspect community’. However, there is limited research exploring the divisive effects that membership of a ‘suspect community’ has on relations within Muslim communities. Drawing from interviews with British Muslims living in Leeds or Bradford, I address this gap by explicating how co-option of Muslim community members to counter extremism fractures relations within Muslim communities. I reveal how community members internalize fears of state targeting which precipitates internal disciplinary measures. I contribute the category of ‘internal suspect body’ which is materialized through two intersecting conditions within preventative counter-terrorism: the suspected extremist for Muslims to look out for and suspected informer who might report fellow Muslims. I argue that the suspect community operates through a network of relations by which terrors of counter-terrorism are reproduced within Muslim communities with divisive effects.