Uneasy Alliances: British Muslims and Socialists since the 1950s

Shain, Farzana. 2009. Uneasy Alliances: British Muslims and Socialists since the 1950s. Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics, 25(1), pp. 95-109. ISSN 1352-3279 [Article]

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The recent coalition between British Muslims and socialists, formed by the Respect Party in 2004, has provoked fierce debate about the extent to which the two ideologies of Islam and communism can actually work together. Yet since the 1950s, and even before this, Muslims, initially as part of a wider Asian struggle, worked closely with socialists to campaign against social exclusion, poor working and housing conditions, racist immigration laws and violent racist attacks. These earlier alliances, involving trade unionists and Asian workers in the 1960s and 1970s and youth movement activists and socialist groups in the 1970s and 1980s, were built on a secular basis, but were also often fractious with deep-rooted racism penetrating and undermining them. Recent economic, political and social conditions have brought Islamic identities to the fore and have also created the basis for a new and controversial alliance between British Muslims and the Left.

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Educational Studies


13 March 2009Published

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10 Jul 2020 10:46

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10 Jul 2020 10:46

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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