Assess The Practice Of Religion For Minority Ethnic Groups

1194 Words5 Pages
Assess the view that, for minority ethnic groups, the practice of religion and membership of religious groups is mainly in the form of cultural defence (33 marks) The term ethnic minority describes a group of people that are part of a community with shared characteristics. These groups tend to hold their religious faith as an important part of their identity. Due to the increase of immigrants, mainly Asians, Pakistanis, Indians, Bangladeshi and Caribbean migrants, Britain soon became known for its cultural diversity and religious pluralism. Many sociologists associate religion strongly with the idea of cultural defence and the practice of religion in turn strengthens the feeling of cultural defence. However, the view fails to recognise the…show more content…
Furthermore, there is a growth of Mosques and temples, there are now over 1,700 of these over Britain, the same amount of Church of England churches closed down between 1969 and 2005. Bruce claimed that the practice of religion in minority ethnic groups is a form of cultural defence. This means that religion is being used as a way of bringing together a community in defence of a larger threat- the majority. Bruce sees religion for minority ethnic groups as a means of solidarity and pride. This boosts the individual’s self-esteem and promotes community cohesion. Mirza supports this view with her research on identity amongst young Muslims. She demonstrates how the later generations of young Muslims have created a strong identity within Islam as a form of cultural defence against British foreign policy. Muslims saw British foreign policies at the beginning of the 21st century, such as the Iraq and Afghanistan invasions, as anti-Islamic. To defend themselves against these Western ideas they reasserted the defence of their culture and religion. Mirza found that 37% of 16-24 year old Muslims prefer Sharia Law to British Law today. Furthermore, she found that many young women choose to wear the hijab. This is evidence to show that some minority ethnic…show more content…
As Western Culture tries to influence Islamic countries through globalisation and more Muslims live within the Western world, religious features such as clothing can be used to defend their culture. For example, the veiling of Muslim women can be used in a positive way. This can, for them, protect their culture by re-asserting their culture and having religious clothing on in public. Helen Watson who studied veiling concluded that women are using it as a reaction against an increasingly pervasive Western culture. Therefore, it can be said that religion can be used as a form of cultural defence against the rapidly increasing West. The use of religion as a cultural defence is very evident in modern times with the rise of Fundamentalism. Those from ethnic minorities opposing Western values so much that they are willing to kill others and themselves to prove this. The clash of civilisations has been evident between Islam and the West for hundreds of years but became known throughout the world after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Fundamentalists are using religion to defend their culture in a negative way and have thus created a stigma for ethnic minorities. This stigma then makes them want to defend their culture

More about Assess The Practice Of Religion For Minority Ethnic Groups

Open Document