Sufi Politics in Britain: the Sufi Muslim Council and the 'silent majority' of Muslims
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Journal of Islamic Law and Culture
This article presents and analyses a new public Muslim voice that emerged in the political aftermath of the terrorist attacks in London in July 2005, in which the government reviewed its relations with Muslim communities. The Sufi Muslim Council (SMC) immediately attracted attention and criticism when it was launched in 2006, but it has not been studied in detail before. This article addresses the SMC's publicized self-presentation at the time of the launch, which contentiously identified itself against a broad definition of ‘extremists’ and adopted the language of the government. An interview with the SMC spokesperson and attendance at several public events arranged by the SMC from 2006 to 2009 are the basis of further analysis. The SMC's effort to establish a coalition of Sufi communities, previously lacking in Britain, is discussed. It is concluded that a combination of the circumstances at hand and the framing of the SMC's project, including the focus put on what the various communities shared, made this effort at least temporarily successful. An important feature in this framing was focus on the common Sufi practice of venerating the prophet Muhammad.
- Philosophy and Religion
- Sufi Muslim Council
- preventing violent extremism
- Muslim politics
- ISSN: 1528-817X