|dc.description.abstract||The past three decades have seen increasing interest in the integration of Muslims
as the most visible ethno-religious minority group in Britain. Previous research
reported that Muslims in northern parts of England, for instance, had developed
separate rather than integrated lives (Cantle 2001: 9). Though more recent surveys
have reported an emerging change in such trends (Simpson 2012), Muslims in the
Scottish context established a more mixed and integrated way of living with the
majority from the outset, (Hussain and Miller 2006: 19) which was associated partly
with the smaller population of Muslims in Scotland (Penrose and Howard 2008: 95).
This qualitative research looks at the different identity negotiation and integration
strategies of Muslims, and introduces the idea of ‘Halal integration’ which entails
fitting into society while maintaining religious identity. This refers to the life of
many Scottish Muslims, Halal Scots, who integrated into many aspects of Scottish
society whilst maintaining their religious identity and practices. One example of such
integration was the construction of hybrid or multiple social identities that constitute
both Scottish and Muslim identity (Saeed et. al. 1999: 836; Hussain and Miller 2006:
150; Hopkins 2008: 121). Other examples were adopting alternative ways of
socialising such as meeting at cafés, running family and social events in non-alcoholic
environments, and taking part in voluntary and charitable work. This study,
thus, explains important barriers and pathways to Muslims’ integration in Scotland.
The research involved 43 semi-structured interviews with Muslims who were
differentiated by generation and gender. Most existing studies of Muslims in
Scotland have focused on major urban areas such as Edinburgh and Glasgow
(Hopkins 2004; Hussain and Miller 2006; Virdee et. al. 2006; Kyriakides et. al.
2009). My study will therefore extend such research by comparing the experiences of
Muslims across Scottish major cities and small towns. It will thus deepen our
understanding of Muslims in Scotland. This thesis suggests that even though religion
played an important role in their integration and identity negotiation, other factors
such as nationality, ethnicity, racism and Islamophobia also played a significant part.
It also suggests an emerging shift in the second generation Muslims’ economic,
educational and social integration into Scottish society.||en