I’m pleased to announce the publication of a new co-authored article with my University of Birmingham colleague, Surinder Guru. Published by Sociological Research Online, the full paper is available free by clicking here.

The abstract for the article is reproduced below:

Established in 2008 and launched by the then Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, the National Muslim Women’s Advisory Group (NMWAG) brought together 19 British Muslim women to advise Government on ways to empower Muslim women and increase their participation in civic, economic and social life. This article critically considers the NMWAG as a vehicle for improving how government sought to engage Muslim women within the context of a political and policy agenda that sought to prevent violent extremism. The article begins with a consideration of the ways in which women’s groups – including those which might represent more than one constituency, BME women for instance – have traditionally emerged and mobilised as a means of advocating and lobbying on behalf of those they represent. From here, the article considers how government has engaged with faith communities, paying particular attention to governmental dialogue with Muslims, the reasons for this, and where – if at all – Muslim women have featured. From here, the article approaches the way in which the establishment of the NMWAG is anomalous in comparison to historical processes, putting forward some observations and theories to explain why this might have been so whilst also considering the impacts – both potential and actual – within the context of the post-9/11 era. In conclusion, this article considers the impact of the NMWAG as a means of improving learning about the role and process of governmental engagement.

The article draws on our experience of running a project in collaboration with the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and the now defunct National Muslim Women’s Advisory Group (NMWAG). This has been problematic for some. Even before it was published, some chose to voice their opposition. Some sent me personal emails requesting the article wasn’t published while others posted abusive comments on my personal Facebook page making various inaccurate and quite unfair accusations.

It is interesting that all of this occurred before the article was published.

Feel free to make up your own mind now that it’s freely available.

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