Wandering Lonely in a Crowd: Reflections on the Muslim Condition in the West is a timely collection of essays, articles, lectures and short stories that have been written during the Bush years, a time of political uncertainty for British Muslims after 2001. They cover the themes of integration, community cohesion, terrorism, radicalisation, cultural difference, multiculturalism, identity politics and liberalism. Imtiaz responds to the predicament of being a Muslim in modern Britain. Beginning with a raw and unedited response to the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and ending with Obama's election, these pieces cover the numerous facets of the debate that surrounds British Muslims today. The book sets out a narrative for these years and a response that argues that British Muslims should move away from identity politics towards Islamic humanism.
S.M. Atif Imtiaz has worked in Equalities for the National Health Service, holds a doctorate in social psychology from the London School of Economics, and is a longstanding community activist.
"Imtiaz is telling us to wake up to some tough global realities. Islam matters, more than anything else. Not just because it offers the most compelling and widely-followed alternative to turbo-capitalism, but because it does so on the basis of monotheism, history's most powerful idea. In these essays, spanning British and global Islamic issues of burning moment, Imtiaz reminds us that God has not gone away."
- Abdal Hakim Murad, Dean, Cambridge Muslim College
"From student radicalism in the nineties to Muslims at the centre of a national security policy in the 2000s, Atif Imtiaz's generation has had to confront issues of identity, belonging, loyalty, commitment and their faith in much harsher, more polaraised terms than most. A careful thinker, drawing inspiration from many different sources including, of course, his Islamic faith, Imtiaz is one of those who is exploring and articulating what a twenty first Western expression of his religion might mean."
- Madeleine Bunting, associate editor and columnist, The Guardian
"Atif Imtiaz's collection of talks and essays are theoretically informed, practically directed at improving the well-being of Muslims through their own learning and action as well as through the benefits of fully becoming part of British society. His wisdom is offered in a simple, direct, accessible prose, presented sometimes in the form of a talk, sometimes as conversational biography. His combination of experience and social concern makes him a thoughtful British Muslim figure who speaks to all concerned with the place of Muslims in the West."
- Professor Tariq Modood, University of Bristol and author of
Multiculturalism: A Civic Idea (2007)
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