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Title: British Muslims and the anti-war movement
Author(s): Peace, Timothy
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Editor(s): Peace, T
Citation: Peace T (2015) British Muslims and the anti-war movement. In: Peace T (ed.) Muslims and Political Participation in Britain. Routledge Studies in Religion and Politics. London: Routledge, pp. 124-137.
Issue Date: 2015
Date Deposited: 13-Aug-2015
Series/Report no.: Routledge Studies in Religion and Politics
Abstract: First paragraph: On 15th February 2003 demonstrations were held around the world to oppose the invasion of Iraq, a global event considered to be the ‘largest protest event in human history' (Walgrave and Rucht 2010). The demonstration held in London attracted an estimated 2 million people which dwarfed the previous mass rallies of British political history including the Chartists, the Suffragettes, and anti-Vietnam war protestors (Gillan et al 2008). This anti-war movement ‘generated not just the biggest demonstrations in British history but also an unprecendented outbreak of direct action, including the biggest wave of school walkouts' (Nineham 2013). Ten years on, it was claimed that this mass protest ‘defined a generation', as for many it was the first time they had taken to the streets (Barkham 2013). Images from that day show a sea of people with various placards that were handed out. Alongside those prepared by the Daily Mirror newspaper and the Stop the War Coalition (StWC), the main organiser of the event, some of the most ubiquitous were those belonging to the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB). This is just one indication of the role that British Muslims played in both the organisation and participation of the anti-war march that day. Indeed, while it is impossible to garner exact figures, it is certain that this was also the largest mobilisation of British Muslims. Many of them had travelled from all over the country, often on specially organised coaches, in order to make their voice heard in the capital. Others participated in demonstrations in towns and cities up and down the country. Yet the involvement of British Muslims in the anti-war movement goes beyond their participation in that worldwide day of action. They were involved in the movement from the very founding of the StWC, at a time when the war in question was the invasion of Afghanistan. They also continued to be a part of the movement long after the invasion and occupation of Iraq had begun.
Rights: This item has been embargoed for a period. During the embargo please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study. Published in Muslims and Political Participation in Britain by Taylor & Francis. This is an electronic version of a book chapter published in Peace T (ed.). Muslims and Political Participation in Britain. Routledge Studies in Religion and Politics, London: Routledge, pp. 124-137. Muslims and Political Participation in Britain can be found online at:

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