Religion, spirituality and social science: researching Muslims and crime

Muzammil Quraishi

in Religion, spirituality and the social sciences

Published by Policy Press

Published in print September 2008 | ISBN: 9781847420411
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303190 | DOI:
Religion, spirituality and social science: researching Muslims and crime

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Traditionally, criminological studies do not focus on faith groups. This is, in part the outcome of the way in which official criminal statistics are classified. This is also reflective of the traditional dominance of race relations and ethnicity paradigms in social sciences. The rapid increase of Muslim male prisoners in Europe and the 9/11 incident brought the faith paradigm into criminology. Such a paradigmatic shift prompted an increase in the academic inquiry on Muslim people and communities within criminology. This chapter discusses some of the specific difficulties of crime research on Muslim populations while emphasising the importance of Islamic jurisprudence and culture to criminological enquiry. The first section of the chapter discusses general issues on criminological research on Muslim populations. It also includes a short overview of prominent studies in this area. The second section tackles the author's research in Pakistan and North West England which was undertaken in 1997 and 2000. The final section evaluates the author's experiences of researching Muslim male prisoners in the UK. In this chapter, it is argued that makers of identity such as faith and religion are legitimate factors in shaping the research interaction. It is also argued that social sciences need to accept faith-based perspectives and religious affiliation as important to research processes and relationships.

Keywords: criminological studies; faith groups; Muslim male prisoners; faith paradigm; criminology; criminological research; Muslims; faith; faith-based perspectives; religious affiliation

Chapter.  5707 words. 

Subjects: Sociology of Religion

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