Institutional Scholarship

Social Cohesion or Isolationism In London’s Islamic Faith Schools

TriCollege Digital Repository

Title: Social Cohesion or Isolationism In London’s Islamic Faith Schools
Author: Steinberg, Drew
Advisor: Johnson, Terrence L.
Department: Haverford College. Dept. of Religion
Type: Thesis (B.A.)
Issue Date: 2009
Abstract: My thesis will focus on the central question, how does Britain’s liberal pluralism confuse moderate and puritan Islam? The British Muslim community faces the issues of integration and assimilation as well as matters of cultural retention. The problems that the community faces are similar to any other immigrant population; however, the Muslim community derives from diverse immigrant groups, unlike the majority of settler populations. To be more specific, the British Muslim community does not solely identify as Sunni or Shi’i. Furthermore, individuals within the community do not all originate from the same geographical location. Therefore, Britain defining its Muslim community as one entity is inaccurate. Britain confusing the distinguished identities of its Muslims enhances the problems that the Muslim community faces with the issues of assimilation and cultural retention. British Muslims have difficulty identifying themselves as British and or Muslims due to the rest of British society and the British government. Questions arise about the Muslim community’s identity, especially with regards to British citizenship. Furthermore, British Muslims debate their cultural identity due to the discrimination and judgment they receive from the rest of British society. However, British Muslims decided to uphold their religious beliefs and values through private education for their children. Islamic faith schools in Great Britain, London particularly, appear to represent moderate Islam through stimulating the education of their children to become exemplar Muslims and students. The schools tend to follow British national curriculum, yet, the schools ability to disregard certain topics, Holocaust education and comparative religion, demonstrate how the schools provide a false sense of identity and solidarity with the rest of British society. The Islamic faith schools, according to Western society, dangerously promote a mechanism of isolation, thus undermining the schools’ liberal intentions. As a country with limited pluralism, Britain is open to the varying religious and ethnic cultures within its society. However, Britain does not favor such cultures refraining from joining and partaking in its own culture and society. Therefore, issue arises with Islamic faith schools, since the schools appear to promote a false solidarity as well as nurture the idea of isolation from the rest of British society. I intend to prove that British society does in fact have difficultly differentiating between moderate and puritan Islam, which creates the discrepancy between Islamic faith schools representation of themselves and British society’s view of these schools.
Subject: Islamic education -- Great Britain
Subject: Muslims -- Great Britain -- Public opinion
Subject: Muslims -- Ethnic identity
Terms of Use:
Permanent URL:

Files in this item

Files Description Size Format
2009SteinbergD_release.pdf ** Archive Staff Only ** 26.33Kb PDF
2009SteinbergD.pdf Thesis 442.2Kb PDF


Steinberg, Drew. "Social Cohesion or Isolationism In London’s Islamic Faith Schools". 2009. Available electronically from

This item appears in the following Collection(s) Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as


Advanced Search


My Account