Neither Muslim nor Other: British Secular Muslims

Ziv Orenstein, Itzchak Weismann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Secular Muslims constitute a significant group within the Muslim population of the UK, though under the prevalent multicultural policies their voice is often ignored. This article introduces some of the more outspoken secular, ex-Muslim, and atheist British Muslims and analyses their positions toward major issues that preoccupy the Muslim community and society at large. The secularists are highly critical of multiculturalism for creating mutually hostile communities controlled by conservative religious leaders. In the heated public debate on Islamism, they oppose both its militant and its more pragmatic versions. They are strongly opposed to religious terrorism, and also to the imposition of Sharia law, the wearing of hijab, and separate Islamic schools, though they may differ as to the right ways to combat them. Caught between Islamism, which is often supported by the radical left, and the far right, Muslim secularists are among the staunchest supporters of universal human values and of integration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)379-395
Number of pages17
JournalIslam and Christian-Muslim Relations
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 University of Birmingham.


  • Great Britain
  • Islamic schools
  • Islamism
  • Islamophobia
  • Muslim women
  • Secular Muslims
  • multiculturalism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Religious studies
  • Political Science and International Relations


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