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.
'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, Arizona State University
'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, European University Institute
'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, 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, House of Lords