Rowman and Littlefield International

Essays on Secularism and Multiculturalism

By Tariq Modood

5 Reviews

In this collection of essays Tariq Modood argues that to grasp the nature of the problem we have to see how Muslims have become a target of a cultural racism, Islamophobia.

Ebook ISBN: 9781785523175 Release date: Apr 2019
£24.95 €34.95 $38.00
Hardback ISBN: 9781785523182 Release date: Apr 2019
£80.00 €112.00 $120.00
Paperback ISBN: 9781785523199 Release date: Apr 2019
£24.95 €34.95 $39.95

Pages: 262


Whether the recently settled religious minorities, Muslims, in particular, can be accommodated as religious groups in European countries has become a central political question and threatens to create long-term fault lines.

In this collection of essays, Tariq Modood argues that to grasp the nature of the problem we have to see how Muslims have become a target of a cultural racism, Islamophobia. Yet, the problem is not just one of anti-racism but of an understanding of multicultural citizenship, of how minority identities, including those formed by race, ethnicity and religion, can be incorporated into national identities so all can have a sense of belonging together. This means that the tendency amongst some to exclude religious identities from public institutions and the re-making of national identities has to be challenged. Modood suggests that this can be done in a principled yet pragmatic way by drawing on Western Europe’s moderate political secularism and eschewing forms of secularism that offer religious groups a second-class citizenship.

Introduction / Part I: The Racialisation of Muslims/ Muslims as ‘Race Relations’ Actors / 1. Racism, Culturalism and Cultural Racism / 2. Ethno-Religious Assertiveness out of Racial Equality / 3. Censor or Censure: Maintaining Civility / 4. Hate Speech: The Feelings and Beliefs of the Hated / 5. Islamophobia and the Struggle for Recognition / 6. Pointing to a Multicultural Future: Rethinking Race, Ethnicity, Religion and Britishness / Part II: Multiculturalism and Secularism / 7. Multicultural Citizenship and the Shari’a Controversy in Britain / 8. Muslims, Religious Equality and Secularism / 9. Moderate Secularism, Religion as Identity and Respect for Religion / 10. Is There a Crisis of Secularism in Western Europe? / 11. State-Religion Connections and Multicultural Citizenship / 12. Multiculturalizing Secularism

Tariq Modood is Professor of Sociology, Politics and Public Policy and the founding Director of the Centre for the Study of Ethnicity and Citizenship at the University of Bristol and the co-founder of the international journal, Ethnicities. He has held over 40 grants and consultancies, has over 35 (co-)authored and (co-)edited books and reports and over 200 articles and chapters. He was a Robert Schuman Fellow at the European University Institute for part of 2013-15, a ‘Thinker in Residence’ at the Royal Academy of Flanders, Brussels in 2017.

He is highly committed to public engagement. His work is frequently cited by policy-makers and practitioners and on several occasions has influenced policy. His impact case study, ‘
Influencing law, policy and public discourse on the accommodation of Muslims in Britain’ was one of three which collectively were ranked as 3rd in the UK by the Sociology 2013 REF.

He was awarded a MBE for services to social sciences and ethnic relations in 2001, was made a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in 2004 and elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 2017. He served on the Commission on the Future of Multi-Ethnic Britain, the National Equality Panel, and the Commission on Religion and Belief in British Public Life.

His latest books include
Multiculturalism: A Civic Idea (2nd ed; 2013); and as co-editor Multiculturalism Rethought (2015), Multiculturalism and Interculturalism: Debating the Dividing Lines (2016) and The Problem of Religious Diversity: European Problems, Asian Challenges (2017). His website is

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5 Reviews

Tariq Modood has long been one of Britain’s leading commentators on the challenges of multiculturalism. These have only become more acute as they have become entwined with a shifting landscape of religious commitments. In these essays, Modood brings his wise voice to the confusing mixture of claims about secularism, religious liberty, and ethno-religious identity.

Craig Calhoun, Professor of Social Sciences, Arizona State University, USA

Tariq Modood is one of the foremost thinkers on multicultural citizenship in Europe and globally, combining conceptual rigour with empirical sensitivity in his work. This book offers a precious collection of his conceptual and empirical insights as they have evolved in the last decade, in the midst of important political and scholarly contestations of multiculturalism. The book is a must-read for both scholars and students in the field of ethnicity and citizenship.

Anna Triandafyllidou, Professor at the Global Governance Programme (GGP) of the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies (RSCAS), European University Institute, Ryerson University, Canada

An engaged and theoretically nuanced rendering of the multicultural vision that builds bridges between seemingly divergent points of view. Taking the anxieties of the majority seriously and affirming the value of a secular framework, it spells out what equal citizenship entails in a deeply diverse society.

Gurpreet Mahajan, Professor of Political Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University

Over the years, Modood has been reflecting deeply on complex issues raised by secularism and multiculturalism, and has emerged as a major theorist. These essays amply justify his reputation and are a most welcome addition to the growing body of literature.

Bhikhu Parekh, Fellow of the British Academy and House of Lords

Modood’s Essays on Secularism and Multiculturalism is a rich assembly of chapters that reflect the last decade and a half of his intellectual development as he continues to deepen the discussion. Although virtually all chapters are republications of earlier work, the book is not simply a compendium of existing material. His original introductory essay makes plain that its purpose is to outline his view of the relationship between secularism and multiculturalism, primarily in Britain, but with evidence and extensions to the rest of Europe and beyond. The book therefore has a coherent organisational logic that connects it all the way back to Modood’s earliest work.

Tariq Modood has long been one of the most insightful and original voices in discussions about multiculturalism. For those not familiar with his work, this book is an ideal point of entry into his thinking. Even for those who have followed Modood over a longer stretch of time,
Essays on Secularism and Multiculturalism provides a rewarding overview of the central elements of his public political philosophy.

Erik Bleich, Middlebury College

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