Please join us for the Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE) seminar on Tuesday 28th February at 1pm in Room 2.07, Humanities Bridgeford Street Building, The University of Manchester.
Our speaker is Dr Waqas Tufail (Senior Lecturer in Criminology, Leeds Beckett University) and his talk is entitled, ‘Self Defence is No Offence: Resisting Racialization and Criminalization of Muslims in Neoliberal Britain’
Abstract: This paper presents findings from an on-going study exploring the context and aftermath of the ‘grooming’ scandals that came to dominate headlines in the popular press. The ‘grooming’ scandals referred to revelations that groups of men had been sexually abusing scores of young girls in several towns in the UK. The subsequent discourse racialized South Asian men and held the culture of Muslim communities in particular to be the main cause.
Following the emergence of the ‘grooming’ scandal, violent anti-Muslim racism has taken place on a regular basis in the towns affected. In Rotherham, 81-year old Muslim grandfather Mushin Ahmed was beaten and stamped to death by two white men who repeatedly referred to him as a ‘groomer’ during the assault. More than a dozen far-right demonstrations have taken place in Rotherham since news of the scandal broke. Multiple interviewees from within Rotherham have spoken of the town being ‘under siege’ from organised fascists. In an unprecedented move, Muslim communities within Rotherham unanimously agreed to boycott South Yorkshire police for not taking racist attacks against Muslims seriously and a national defence campaign was launched to have charges dropped against 12 local Muslim men charged with serious offences after responding to repeated instances of far-right provocation.
This paper posits that the rhetoric and actions of local liberal elites, in addition to the expected hostility from far-right and conservative agitators, served to exacerbate rather than ameliorate the targeting of Muslims with Rotherham. Using the events in Rotherham as a case study, this paper presents an in-depth, localised analysis of racial neoliberalism in Britain today where race, class, gender and anti-Muslim racism intertwine.
Dr. Waqas Tufail is a scholar activist and Senior Lecturer in Criminology at Leeds Beckett University. His research primarily concerns the policing, racialization, and criminalization of marginalized and minority communities and he has published several peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters on these topics. Waqas is currently engaged in a number of research projects including an ongoing collaboration with Professor Scott Poynting examining the criminalization of Muslim minorities in the UK and Australia. Waqas is also currently researching the history of grassroots, community based police monitoring groups in the context of anti-racism campaigns in the UK and is co-editing a book titled ‘Media, Crime, Racism’ due for release in 2017 with Palgrave Macmillan.
A light lunch and refreshments will be provided. All welcome to attend.