The Role of Religious Institutions in Constructing Minorities' Religious Identity

  • Ghalia Sarmani

Student thesis: Phd


The presence of a significant number of Muslim communities and the way members of those communities construct their religious identity in a non-Muslim society needs to be evaluated via different types of researches. The issue of identity formation and the process of identity construction have become increasingly significant in a world as globalized yet diversified as it is today. Caught in the contradictory flux of homogenization and increasing diversity and heterogeneity whether or not Muslim minorities make a conscious effort to understand and manage their situation, the process of identity construction and maintenance goes on vigorously within those communities. Therefore the present study tries to examine the role of Islamic religious institutions - mosque in constructing the religious identity of Muslim minorities in Britain. Several studies have previously sought to examine the religious institutions and its reproduction role in constructing religious identity, typically by looking at the shaping and negotiation of sub generation religious identities in hybrid or multicultural spaces. This thesis has added to this literature by examining one of the famous Sunni mosques in Manchester to draw attention to the ways in which, this institution negotiates, and responds to Muslim minority requirements in constructing Islamic identity. Simultaneously mosques reproduce and protect culture and ethnicity. Furthermore, the thesis moves away from that culture and ethnicity approach, to focus on British mainstream schools that are more often than not, overlooked. Students are at a stage of expanding their knowledge about their own religion. However; Muslim parents' and students' anxieties towards religious identity are still worth examining. This thesis has therefore explored the MIC Qur'an School. This has been important for understanding the various ways of bringing up new Muslim generations and how the MIC Qur'an School has managed to transmit this identity via teaching the Qur'an and Islamic studies.
Date of Award31 Dec 2014
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorPeter Mcmylor (Supervisor) & Virinder Kalra (Supervisor)


  • Qur’an Teaching
  • religious identity
  • culture and ethnicity
  • minorities
  • Qur’an school

Cite this