An Examination of Partnership Approaches to Challenging Religiously-Endorsed Violence involving Muslim Groups and Police.

Lead Research Organisation: University of Birmingham
Department Name: Institute of Applied Social Sciences


In the UK, the notion of 'community engagement' features significantly in government policy, practice and discourse. Underpinned by the principle of 'active citizenship' whereby individuals are encouraged to volunteer their services and participate in, and contribute to, civil society, communities are viewed as an important resource for tackling social problems like crime or anti-social behaviour, by working with state organisations.

Over the last decade or so, policy makers have become increasingly interested in encouraging faith communities to work in partnership with statutory agencies. In a post-September 11th 2001, July 7th 2005 and July 21st 2005 context, engagement with Muslim communities has taken on added significance, as counter-terror approaches being implemented by Government stress the importance of the involvement of Muslim communities in helping to combat extremism. However, engagement with Muslim groups for the purposes of counter-terrorism raises many issues.

This study proposes to explore how Muslim groups work through partnerships with the police to engage their communities in challenging religiously-endorsed violence. In particular, the study will look at discourses of 'extremism', how these are constructed and used, and how Muslim groups can challenge religiously, or other, endorsed violence in counter-terror partnerships developed between themselves and the police, the structures and processes of Muslim/police partnerships, to examine the meanings that Muslim groups and police officers have of 'community engagement', and the wider social and political factors that impact upon engagement processes.


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