(De)constructing a Dar-ul-Uloom Aalim‘s identity in contemporary Britain: overcoming barriers of access

Ahmed, Kamal ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4797-0744 and Elton-Chalcraft, Sally ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3064-7249 (2022) (De)constructing a Dar-ul-Uloom Aalim‘s identity in contemporary Britain: overcoming barriers of access. Religions, 14 (1). p. 11.

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.3390/rel14010011

Abstract

The controversial events of 2001 (9/11) and 2005 (7/7) have led Britain’s media and policy makers to view the proliferation of orthodox Islamic seminaries, Dar-ul-Ulooms (DUs), and their gradu-ates (Ulamaa) with suspicion, further exacerbating the marginalisation of an already marginalised Muslim minority within mainstream British society. Due to ethnic, sociocultural, and religious differences, the identity of Ulamaa in modern-day Britain has become increasingly complex and supposedly contradictory due to the perceived differences between orthodox Islamic values proselytised in DUs and ‘liberal’ British values. Using an interpretive phenomenological analysis, this paper reports on data collected in 2020 through three in-depth interviews with an Aalim who graduated from a DU in England after 2005. It explores how he constructs and negotiates his re-ligious and national identities. The interviews were undertaken by one of the authors, himself an Aalim, and the paper also provides reflection on the barriers of access to this under-researched group. Data suggest that although DU identity might not contradict British identity, and Islam is not seen as incompatible with British values, the perceived contradictions between DU orthodoxy and British values appear to be conflated with cultural resistances emanating from Britain’s co-lonial legacy in India; the birthplace of DUs. Thus, analysis of the data reveals, through an Aalim’s personal voice, issues of identity involving culture, religion, and community.

Item Type: Article
Journal / Publication Title: Religions
Publisher: MDPI
ISSN: 2077-1444
Departments: Institute of Education > Initial Teacher Education
Institute of Education > Primary PGCE
Additional Information: This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license.
Depositing User: Anna Lupton
Date Deposited: 22 Dec 2022 12:27
Last Modified: 13 Mar 2023 19:30
URI: https://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/6771

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