Engaging with the Muslim Community in Cardiff

A Study of the Impact of Counter-Terrorism Research


  • Imran Awan Birmingham City University
  • Sara Correia Swansea University




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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Author Biographies

Imran Awan, Birmingham City University

Dr Imran Awan is Senior Lecturer in Criminology and Deputy Director of the Centre for Applied Criminology at Birmingham City University. His research interests include examining issues related to counter-terrorism policies, Muslim communities, cyber-extremism and Islamophobia. He is co-editor of the books, Policing Cyber Hate, Cyber Threats and Cyber Terrorism (Ashgate, 2012) and Extremism, Counter-Terrorism and Policing (Ashgate, 2013).

Sara Correia, Swansea University

Sara Correia is a PhD Candidate at the College of Law and Criminology, Swansea University, Wales, UK. Sara was awarded a Masters of Science by Research for a project about counter-terrorism based research and has since been awarded an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) studentship to undertake a PhD in the area of fraud and cybercrime in Wales. Her research interests include crime in cyberspace, terrorism studies and civil liberties.


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How to Cite

Awan, I., & Correia, S. (2016). Engaging with the Muslim Community in Cardiff: A Study of the Impact of Counter-Terrorism Research. Fieldwork in Religion, 10(1), 43–64. https://doi.org/10.1558/firn.v10i1.22203