“The religions are engaging: tick, well done”: the invisibilisation and instrumentalisation of Muslim climate intermediaries

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‘Climate intermediaries’ are ‘go-betweens’, operating between levels of governance and/or between different types of actors. Faith-based actors (FBAs) are one populous yet neglected type of potential climate intermediary; in particular, invisibilised Muslim communities acting as climate intermediaries have been especially overlooked. In the UK, Muslims are the second largest group of religious adherents, yet are ‘othered’ and face widespread Islamophobia, alongside multiple other intersecting inequalities. Drawing from 21 interviews, we analyse Muslim climate intermediaries’ experiences with state and non-state actors. We find that in the absence of committed individuals who facilitate intermediation, invisibilisation prevents Muslim communities from acting as climate intermediaries with state actors, as they are often blocked from shaping policies effectively. This obstruction prevents these potential climate intermediaries from generating representative and/or transformative strategies for climate action, leading to fatigue, instrumentalisation, and poor policy design, such as ineffective funding schemes. Similar patterns exist when Muslim communities engage with ‘mainstream’ ENGOs, leading Muslim climate intermediaries to work in other spaces instead. We seek to redress the invisibilisation of Muslim climate intermediaries, and raise critical questions about how climate intermediaries are understood, both within the policy literature, and in policy-making circles.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPolicy Studies
Early online date27 Feb 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27 Feb 2023


  • climate change
  • climate intermediaries
  • invisibilisation
  • instrumentalisation
  • Muslims
  • othering
  • policy
  • UK

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Sustainable Consumption Institute


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