Back to RJ Archive

(In)security, risk, Muslim communities, policing and the ‘new terrorism.’

Ahmed, Shamila
June 4, 2015

Source: (2010) In, Katherine Doolin, et. al, eds., Whose criminal justice? State or community?. Hook, Hampshire: Waterside Press. Pp. 123-139.

The chapter explores the complexities of ‘new terrorism,’ detailing how the ‘war on terror’ has produced a disjuncture in understanding and perceptions between the state and state authorities and Muslim minorities. First, the state centric approach to ‘new terrorism’ is discussed whereby it is argued that the state management of risk and prevention of violent extremism has constructed Muslim minorities as constituting ‘the problem’ of terrorism. Second, it is explored how the ‘war on terror’ has re-configured understanding and experiences of state authorities, particularly perceptions and experiences of the police. Third, the issue of Islamophobia and racism are discussed in relation to both counter-terrorism legislation and wider societal dynamics. It is suggested that Muslim minorities’ feelings of (un)safety now include a fear of the police, with the regulatory and risk dominated framework of preventing terrorism perceived as state victimisation. It is, therefore, important to highlight that although the ‘new terrorism’ discourse, as constituted by mainstream policy makers, academics and other influential bodies, has presented the rationale of counter-terrorism legislation and policies as creating a safer society, for Muslim minorities’ this rationale has produced a sense of (un)safety. (excerpt)


Support the cause

We've Been Restoring Justice for More Than 40 Years

Your donation helps Prison Fellowship International repair the harm caused by crime by emphasizing accountability, forgiveness, and making amends for prisoners and those affected by their actions. When victims, offenders, and community members meet to decide how to do that, the results are transformational.

Donate Now