Multicultural NationalismIslamophobia, Anglophobia, and Devolution

Multicultural NationalismIslamophobia, Anglophobia, and Devolution

Asifa M. Hussain and William L. Miller

Print publication date: 2006

ISBN: 9780199280711

Publisher: Oxford University Press


This book is a pioneering study of how multiculturalism interacts with sub-state nationalism in Britain. It gives equal attention to Scotland’s largest ‘visible’ and ‘invisible’ minorities: ethnic Pakistanis (almost all of them Muslim) and English immigrants; and to the Islamophobia and Anglophobia of majority Scots. Rising Scottish self-consciousness could have threatened both these minorities. But in reality, problems proved to be solutions, integrating rather than alienating. In the eyes of the minorities, the devolution of power to a Scottish Parliament has made Scots at once more proud and less xenophobic. English immigrants also felt that devolution has defused tensions, calmed frustrations, and forced Scots to blame themselves rather than others for their problems. Muslims suffered increased harassment after 9/11, although less in Scotland than elsewhere. Consciously or unconsciously, they continued to use Scottish identities and even Scottish nationalism as tools of integration. Conversely, nationalism in Scotland did not increase the majority’s Islamophobia as it did in England and elsewhere. The book is based on extensive quotations from focus-group discussions with minorities, in-depth interviews with elites, and statistical analysis of large-scale surveys of minorities and majorities.