Producing ‘internal suspect bodies’: divisive effects of UK counter‐terrorism measures on Muslim communities in Leeds and Bradford

Research on UK government counter‐terrorism measures has claimed that Muslims are treated as a ‘suspect community’. However, there is limited research exploring the divisive effects that membership of a ‘suspect community’ has on relations within Muslim communities. Drawing from interviews with Brit...

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Published in:The British journal of sociology
Main Author: Abbas, Madeline-Sophie (Author)
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
Published: 2019
In:The British journal of sociology
Year: 2019, Volume: 70, Issue: 1, Pages: 261-282
Online Access: Volltext (Resolving-System)
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Summary:Research on UK government counter‐terrorism measures has claimed that Muslims are treated as a ‘suspect community’. However, there is limited research exploring the divisive effects that membership of a ‘suspect community’ has on relations within Muslim communities. Drawing from interviews with British Muslims living in Leeds or Bradford, I address this gap by explicating how co‐option of Muslim community members to counter extremism fractures relations within Muslim communities. I reveal how community members internalize fears of state targeting which precipitates internal disciplinary measures. I contribute the category of ‘internal suspect body’ which is materialized through two intersecting conditions within preventative counter‐terrorism: the suspected extremist for Muslims to look out for and suspected informer who might report fellow Muslims. I argue that the suspect community operates through a network of relations by which terrors of counter‐terrorism are reproduced within Muslim communities with divisive effects.
ISSN:1468-4446
DOI:10.1111/1468-4446.12366