Back at the end of 2012, along with my colleague and long-term collaborator Arshad Isakjee, we did some research around the impact of the ‘Innocence of Muslims’ film that sparked protests around the world. Given the inherent lack of speed and urgency evident within academic publishing processes, the findings from that piece of research have just been published in the prestigious Ethnic & Racial Studies journal.
Whilst I can’t (yet) reproduce the article in full here, I have reproduced the abstract below for those who are interested. To access the article (you’ll need a subscription or it will cost you – sorry), click here.
Controversy, Islam and politics: an exploration of the ‘Innocence of Muslims’ affair through the eyes of British Muslim elites
In September 2012, a video entitled ‘Innocence of Muslims’ was uploaded to YouTube. The fourteen-minute clip featured actors playing the Prophet Muhammad, his companions and wives, and while production values were amateurish, aided by airings on Egyptian national television and others elsewhere, the video went viral. Recalling the Rushdie affair two decades beforehand, angry protests took place across the world. In the UK, the response from Muslims was markedly different. This article traces the ‘Innocence of Muslims’ affair from the eyes of those involved in formal Muslim-governmental relations. It explores what the new controversy tells us about the representation of Muslim communities in the process of political engagement since the Rushdie affair. It considers the experiential disconnect that exists between Muslim and political actors in contemporary Britain before exploring three important political factors – the cultural, representational and geopolitical – that influence and impact upon Muslim–governmental relations.
To access the full article, click here.