The Battle for British Islam

The Battle for British Islam

Reclaiming Muslim Identity from Extremism

9780863561597 September 2016 Paperback 256pp

About the Book

Across Britain, Muslims are caught up in a battle over the very nature of their faith. And extremists appear to be gaining the upper hand. Sara Khan has spent the past decade campaigning for tolerance and equal rights within Muslim communities, and is now engaged in a new struggle for justice and understanding – the urgent need to counter Islamist-inspired extremism.

In this timely and courageous book, Khan shows how previously antagonistic groups of fundamentalist Muslims have joined forces, creating pressures that British society has never before encountered. What is more, identity politics and the attitudes of both the far Right and ultra-Left have combined to give the Islamists ever-increasing power to spread their message.

Unafraid to tackle some of the pressing issues of our time, Sara Khan addresses the question of how to break the cycle of extremism without alienating British Muslims. She calls for all Britons to reject divisive ideologies and introduces us to those individuals who are striving to build a safer future.

About the Author

Sara Khan is one of the UK’s leading Muslim female voices on countering Islamist extremism and was appointed as Lead Commissioner for Countering Extremism in 2018. A long-standing, award-winning human rights campaigner, in 2008, she co-founded Inspire, a non-governmental women’s rights and counter-extremism organisation, of which she is director. The winner of a Marie Claire Future Shapers Award in 2016 and selected as one of BBC Woman's Hour's Top 10 Influencers in 2015, she has written for numerous publications, including The Guardian, Daily Telegraph and New York Times, and has been interviewed on BBC Radio 4's Today Programme, CNN's Amanpour, Sky News and Channel 4 News, among others.
Tony McMahon is an independent consultant working with the UK Government and civil society groups on counter-extremism projects. For the last fifteen years, he has advised Government, global companies and community groups on communications strategies. He is a former Financial Times magazine news editor and BBC news producer. He has been a Labour Party activist for thirty-five years, selected as a candidate in Hammersmith on two occasions. His other publications include Original Rude Boy and No Place To Hide, which was shortlisted for the 2011 Best Sports Biography prize and longlisted for the 2010 William Hill prize.


'An important book from a tireless campaigner'
Mishal Husain

‘Sara Khan is a fearless and principled voice in the struggle for the soul of Islam. Everyone who cares about combatting prejudice should read her, befriend her and fight alongside her.’
Nick Cohen

‘Vital … a clear-eyed denunciation of Salafist Islam … a hugely well-informed intellectual and political journey.’

‘This is an important book full of compelling, disturbing and inspirational material, required reading to understand what is happening in our midst and what we can do about it.’
Justin Marozzi, Sunday Times

‘[The Battle for British Islam] deserves a wide readership’
Francis Wheen, Mail on Sunday

‘Khan’s book is an eloquent and necessary exposition of the state we’re currently in, and a plea for understanding and unity in the fight against extremism – whether it’s the far-right or Islamism which is so against our interests, and should be so alien to socialism done properly. It is essential reading for feminists and lefties.’
Morning Star

‘Thoughtful and detailed … the perfect introduction to those who engage with British Islam, extremist or not, and who want a roadmap. A must read … This is a courageous book which gives the reader the tools to identify competing voices for the British Muslim identity.’

‘A wake-up call'
New Humanist

'A fascinating book [by] one of the UK’s most influential counter-extremism voices'
Dermot Murnaghan, Sky News

‘An impressive book … [This] book deftly examines the roots and growth of Muslim extremism in the UK and would have been invaluable for that alone. But it stands for something more. It is a powerful cri de coeur. British society, Khan urges, must stand with reforming Muslims otherwise “extremists are the ones who will be left to define British Islam”.’
Times Literary Supplement