Racialization, Islamophobia and Mistaken Identity: The Sikh Experience, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Racialization, Islamophobia and Mistaken Identity

The Sikh Experience, 1st Edition

By Jagbir Jhutti-Johal, Hardeep Singh


192 pages | 4 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9780815352624
pub: 2019-07-29
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Exploring the issue of Islamophobic attacks against Sikhs since 9/11, this book explains the historical, religious and legal foundations and frameworks for understanding race hate crime against the Sikh community in the UK.

Focusing on the backlash that Sikhs in the UK have faced since 9/11, the authors provide a theological and historical backdrop to Sikh identity in the global context, critically analysing the occurrences of Islamophobia since 9/11, 7/7 and most recently post-Brexit, and how British Sikhs and the British government have responded and reacted to these incidents. The experiences of American Sikhs are also explored and the impact of anti-Sikh sentiment upon both these communities is considered. Drawing on media reporting, government policies, the emerging body of inter-disciplinary scholarship, and empirical research, this book contributes to the currently limited body of literature on anti-Sikh hate crime and produces ideas for policy makers on how to rectify the situation.

Providing a better understanding of perceptions of anti-Sikh sentiment and its impact, this book will of interest to scholars and upper-level students working on identity and hate crime, and more generally in the fields of Religion and Politics, Cultural Studies, Media Studies, and International Studies.


"Racism in Britain has become nastier since the EU Referendum and the election of President Trump. This book shows the impact on the Sikh community and reminds us that well intentioned policies have ignored this significant faith community." - Right Hon Fiona Mactaggart formerly Home Office minister and MP for Slough

"Since 9/11 the government and the general public have not realised how often it has been Sikhs who have borne the brunt of many Islamophobic attacks. Thank you, Jagbir Jhutti-Johal and Hardeep Singh for outlining and contextualising so many incidents. The time may now be closer when Sikhs receive the sort of support already currently available to Jews and Muslims." - Eleanor Nesbitt, Professor Emeritus, Warwick Religions and Education Research Unit, University of Warwick, UK

"While Sikhs have a long history in the region, this is the first book to examine critically how Sikh bodies have been racialized from a British perspective. This is a massive contribution to our understanding of the British Sikh experience, particularly as it relates to the modern period, and it has important resonance for scholars in various fields, from religious, ethnic, and diaspora studies to political science and anthropology." - Simran Jeet Singh, New York University, US

"I fear perpetrators of hate crime are unlikely to read this book, but those who might do something about its existence – teachers, policy makers, police and members of the media – should read it. This highly accessible, meticulously documented volume fills a gaping hole in the all-too-common ignorance and religious illiteracy to be found in contemporary society." - Eileen Barker, Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the London School of Economics and founder of INFORM.

Table of Contents

Foreword: Lord Singh of Wimbledon, Director of the Network of Sikh Organisations (NSO)


Chapter 1: The Evolution of the Sikh Dharam and Identity

Chapter 2: Sikhs in Britain Post 9/11

Chapter 3: UK - Do Sikhs count?


About the Authors

Jagbir Jhutti-Johal is a Senior Lecturer in Sikh Studies in the Department of Theology & Religion at the University of Birmingham.

Hardeep Singh is a freelance journalist, Deputy-Director for the Network of Sikh Organisations and Assistant Editor of the Sikh Messenger.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Religion and Politics

This series aims to publish high quality works on the topic of the resurgence of political forms of religion in both national and international contexts. This trend has been especially noticeable in the post-cold war era (that is, since the late 1980s). It has affected all the ‘world religions’ (including, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism) in various parts of the world (such as, the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, South and Southeast Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa).

The series welcomes books that use a variety of approaches to the subject, drawing on scholarship from political science, international relations, security studies, and contemporary history.

Books in the series explore these religions, regions and topics both within and beyond the conventional domain of ‘church-state’ relations to include the impact of religion on politics, conflict and development, including the late Samuel Huntington’s controversial – yet influential – thesis about ‘clashing civilisations’.

In sum, the overall purpose of the book series is to provide a comprehensive survey of what is currently happening in relation to the interaction of religion and politics, both domestically and internationally, in relation to a variety of issues.

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