Engaging with the Muslim Community in Cardiff
A Study of the Impact of Counter-Terrorism Research
Keywords:anti-Muslim hate, counter-terrorism, engagement, Muslim communities, research methods
Since the 9/11 attacks in 2001, there have been a number of terrorist suspects arrested in the UK, but ¾ of those people are released without charge (Choudhury & Fenwick 2011). This has led to claims from within these communities that counter-terrorism legislation is both heavy handed and counter-productive. This article presents findings from a pilot research project that examined how best to engage with Muslim communities and to examine perceptions from these communities with regards to counter-terrorism legislation. There were two aims for the pilot study. The first was to provide members of the Muslim community in Cardiff with information about the nature of the study, its objectives and the individuals who would be undertaking the research. The second, following from the first, was to assess the feasibility of different methods of undertaking the research with representatives of Cardiff’s Muslim communities. This in turn would help address issues such as how to gain access to participants; how to obtain informed consent for participation in the research; identifying appropriate methods of data collection; appropriate venues for the fieldwork; identifying ethical concerns arising from the research; and identifying any risks to participants and researchers arising from the research, as well as the strategies needed to overcome these risks. This was a qualitative case study which utilized grounded theory principles to generate a theoretical model and involved interviews with 6 people and a focus group consisting of 3 people. In short, this study offers a blue print for further research into the impact of counter terrorism legislation on Muslim communities in Cardiff and makes a unique contribution to the literature on Muslims in Britain as well as counter terrorism studies as Cardiff’s Muslim communities remain under-researched.
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