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On British IslamReligion, Law, and Everyday Practice in Shari'a Councils$
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John R. Bowen

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780691158549

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691158549.001.0001

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Islamic Topographies

Islamic Topographies

(p.25) Chapter 3 Islamic Topographies
On British Islam

John R. Bowen

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines a second kind of pathway, one concerning ideas and practices of religion and politics. In India, British rule both validated religious governance of family affairs and drove Islamic leaders to carve out their own spaces for teaching, learning, and the administration of Islamic law. In postcolonial Britain, the same logics of religious governance and autonomy facilitate efforts to transpose Islamic institutions to London or Birmingham. British Islamic actors have employed three distinct processes to create these spaces: they reproduce South Asian religious differences in Britain, they adapt Islam to the opportunity structures found in Britain, and they maintain transnational ties to religious or political movements elsewhere. To some degree, these three processes—reinforcing boundaries, adapting locally, maintaining transnational ties—figure in all Islamic actors' practical schemas for shaping British Islam.

Keywords:   Islamic law, postcolonial Britain, religious governance, autonomy, Islamic institutions, London, Birmingham, British Islam, Islam, transnational ties

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