Secular War : Myths of Religion, Politics and Violence 9781780765358, 9780857727497


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Table of contents :
Frontcover
Title
Copyrights
Contents
Acknowledgements
List of Abbreviations
Introduction
1. A Shared Cultural Palette: European Origins of British Secular Ways of War
2. Developing Secular Habits in War: the Northern Irish Troubles
3. The British Secular Habitus up to and including the 9/11 Wars
4. War in Afghanistan: From Secular Hysteresis to a Culturalist Approach, 2001–2010
5. War in Iraq: Muqtada Al-Sadr and the Question of Secular Democracy, 2003–2004
6. War at Home: Pastoral Power and Secular Regimes of Security in Britain, 2005–2010
7. Restructuring the Secular Habitus
Notes
Bibliography
Back Cover
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How have long-standing and unconscious secular assumptions about religion shaped the post-9/11 climate and its wars? Stacey Gutkowski explores this little-examined yet crucial element of British policy-making, highlighting the perceptions of Jihadism over the last decade, to draw critical conclusions about the relationship between war and the secular. She points to a surprisingly coherent body of secular beliefs that have driven policies in Iraq, Afghanistan and on counter-terrorism, and that have had mixed results – responsible for both positive strategies and tragic errors. Through previously-unexamined government documents and interviews with those close to the British government, Gutkowski looks at the decade following 9/11 with a fresh, critical eye. She argues that the embeddedness of secularism, combined with old orientalist ideas and a Christian cultural heritage, led the British to misread Islamic idioms, symbols and social structures, and make significant misjudgements. However, this secular habitus has also underpinned pragmatic support for Islamist politics and, more recently, catalysed processes of restructuring unconscious habits and assumptions. At home, she observes that this climate has triggered both new, more strident forms of nationalism as well as more constructive approaches to multiculturalism. Gutkowski is able to situate her argument in the wider Western social imaginary as she reaches back through British deployment in Northern Ireland, European imperial conquests and the Reformation, to examine the way in which warfare gradually came to be perceived as a secular project from the middle of the twentieth century. This historical context gives weight to the case she makes for these secular ways of war that became apparent after 2001, and that have informed, and misinformed, the post-9/11 era. The theory Gutkowski develops on the impact of this secular approach to warfare holds a broader global significance, and cannot be viewed as just a British phenomenon. This book addresses ongoing and critical debates, such as the ‘overreach’ of Western liberal interventionism in the Middle East, and speaks to policy-makers, security analysts and students of IR, Foreign Policy and Security Studies.

Stacey Gutkowski is Lecturer in Conflict/Post-Conflict Studies in the Middle East and Mediterranean Studies Programme at King’s College London. She holds a PhD in Politics and International Studies from Cambridge University.

Published in 2014 by I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd 6 Salem Road, London W2 4BU 175 Fifth Avenue, New York NY 10010 www.ibtauris.com Distributed in the United States and Canada Exclusively by Palgrave Macmillan 175 Fifth Avenue, New York NY 10010 Copyright © 2014 Stacey Gutkowski The right of Stacey Gutkowski to be identifi ed as the author of this work has been asserted by the author in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patent Act 1988. All rights reserved. Except for brief quotations in a review, this book, or any part thereof, may not be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher. International Library of Security Studies 5 ISBN: 978 1 78076 535 8 eISBN: 978 0 85772 749 7 A full CIP record for this book is available from the British Library A full CIP record for this book is available from the Library of Congress Library of Congress catalog card: available Typeset by Newgen Publishers, Chennai

For my parents

Acknowledgements List of Abbreviations Introduction 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

A Shared Cultural Palette: European Origins of British Secular Ways of War Developing Secular Habits in War: the Northern Irish Troubles The British Secular Habitus up to and including the 9/11 Wars War in Afghanistan: From Secular Hysteresis to a Culturalist Approach, 2001–2010 War in Iraq: Muqtada Al-Sadr and the Question of Secular Democracy, 2003–2004 War at Home: Pastoral Power and Secular Regimes of Security in Britain, 2005–2010 Restructuring the Secular Habitus

Notes Bibliography

Over the course of this research project I have accrued a large number of debts to those who provided insight, encouragement and support in its making. This research originated as a PhD project at the Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Cambridge. The book was then developed over the course of an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) post-doctoral research fellowship at the University of Sussex, and finalized at King’s College London, where I joined the Middle East and Mediterranean Studies Programme in 2011. My initial debts are to my PhD supervisor, Charles Jones, and to my secondary supervisor, Christopher Hill, for their encouragement and assistance in formulating and completing the research. My interest in the topic had been sparked as an undergraduate at Wellesley College. In the months following 11 September 2001 I was fortunate to study comparative Islamic and Western political theory with Roxanne Euben. I am grateful for her initial guidance in intellectually navigating this brave new post-9/11 world, and I would like to express my thanks to Wellesley College for providing an alumnae grant for my PhD research. The Cambridge Overseas Trust and a Mellon Fellowship from Clare Hall also financially supported this work. I also owe a great debt of gratitude to George Wilkes, for providing me the opportunity to work on a number of interesting projects with the Religion and Ethics in the Making of War and Peace Programme through the Von Hügel Institute, St Edmunds College, University of Cambridge, and for helping me to navigate those initial post-PhD months. Tarak Barkawi has provided invaluable support over the years in helping me to imagine my project in a broader and more compelling way, in providing substantial encouragement and in socializing me into academia. A generous Postdoctoral Fellowship Grant (PTA-026-27-2646/ESH046879/1) from the ESRC allowed me to complete additional research and to write this book at the University of Sussex. Prior to my arrival at Sussex I was warmly welcomed for a visiting fellowship at the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict at Arizona State University. Many thanks are due to John Carlson for making this possible, and also to Linnell Cady and Carolyn Forbes for their support while I was there. The Department of International Relations at Sussex provided a highly stimulating intellectual environment. I owe a significant debt to Shane Brighton for his mentorship during my time there, and also to Stefan Elbe for his guidance in navigating academic life. Lisa Smirl, Luca Mavelli, Antonio Cerella, Ben Selwyn, Kamran Matin, Fabio Petito, Anna Stavrianakis and Sergio Cantignani enriched my experience there personally and intellectually. At King’s College London, Rory Miller, Michael Kerr and Paul Janz have provided important encouragement in the final stages of completing the book, and I am grateful for the support of KCL in making its publication possible. Since 2008 I have been a

co-director of the Nonreligion and Secularity Research Network. Co-directors Lois Lee, Stephen Bullivant and Johannes Quack have made this fruitful scholarly endeavour personally enjoyable as well. Special thanks belong to the civil servants, politicians, armed forces personnel, religious leaders, NGO staff and independent observers, named and anonymous, who gave generously of their time by providing interviews. The Roman Catholic Church in Ireland and the Presbyterian Historical Society of Ireland kindly allowed me access to their archives in the summer of 2007. Documents from the early Troubles cited in Chapter 3 can be found in the Public Records Office, London and the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, Belfast. Thanks also go to David Herbert for allowing me to accompany him on some of his own fieldwork interviews in Manchester in the summer of 2007. This book builds on arguments I began to formulate in ‘Misreading Islam in Iraq: Secular Misconceptions and British Foreign Policy’ (Gutkowski 2011a), ‘Secularism and the Politics of Risk: Britain’s Prevent Agenda’ (Gutkowski 2011b) and ‘The British Secular Habitus and the War on Terror’ (Gutkowski 2012). I was grateful for the opportunity to present Chapter 1 to the Postcolonial Empires: Transnational Being and Ontological Politics seminar, CRASSH, University of Cambridge, and to the Nonreligion and Secularity Research Network annual conference in London in July 2012. Over the years this research has also benefited significantly from comments from Pervaiz Nazir, Duncan Bell, Alex Anievas, Glen Rangwala, Mustapha Kamal Pasha, Humeira Iqtidar, Rosemary Durward, Scott Thomas, Callum Brown, Samir Puri, Peter Dixon and anonymous reviewers. Thank you to Nadine El-Hadi at I.B.Tauris for her enthusiasm and help in bringing this project to publication. I am indebted to David Duncan for help with the final editing process. My greatest personal debts are to my friends and family, without whose sustained encouragement, humour and patience my life would be far less bright. This book is dedicated with love to my parents, Carolyn and Steve.

COIN CONTEST CONTEST 2 CPA FCO GIA HTS ISAF MENA MoD MP NCR

‘Prevent’

PVE RUC SCIRI

Counterinsurgency The United Kingdom counterterrorism strategy, 2003–08 The United Kingdom counterterrorism strategy, from 2009 Coalition Provisional Authority Foreign and Commonwealth Office (United Kingdom) Armed Islamic Group (a jihadist organization which has carried out attacks in Algeria and France, particularly active during the 1990s) Human Terrain System International Security Assistance Force (the NATO-led security mission operating in Afghanistan from 2001) Middle East and North Africa Ministry of Defence (United Kingdom) Member of Parliament (United Kingdom) New Christian Right (an umbrella term for right-wing, Christian political groups characterized by their strong support for socially conservative policies) One of the four strands of United Kingdom counter-insurgency policy from 2003, focused on preventing terrorist attacks and the jihadist radicalization of individuals. Preventing Violent Extremism (a policy iteration of Prevent) Royal Ulster Constabulary (the police force in Northern Ireland from 1922 to 2000) Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (renamed in 2007 the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, ISCI or SIIC)

As the sun set over lower Manhattan on 11 September 2001, Osama bin Laden and his Western audiences were seduced by the same myth: that the horrifying 9/11 attacks had a vaguely religious tenor. Western politicians’ mantra that this ‘was not about Islam’ seemed to many in their audiences at odds with the seemingly amorphous political agenda set out by bin Laden, overlaid by explicit if highly marginal Islamist rhetoric. The increasingly Manichean statements emanating from bin Laden and former US President George W. Bush did little to quell fears about the safety of American citizens – Muslim and non-Muslim – on their own soil. For all but a few experts in the West in 2001, jihadist political Islamism was something novel which had violently muscled its way beyond the borders of Muslim-majority states. This sense of novelty was soon reflected in Western security strategy documents as well as the explosion of books published on Islam, religion and politics in the USA and Europe.1 However, in the latter part of the past decade, this fetishization of what some call the ‘religious element’ of the 9/11 wars has gradually dissipated within Western public imaginaries.2 Its revival had come at moments of direct terrorist attack – Bali, Madrid and London. It had also been revived in particular moments of controversy and unrest, such as the Danish cartoons crisis. However, with al-Qaeda-inspired attacks largely confined to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and South Asia since 2008, and planned attacks in the US, UK and elsewhere successfully thwarted, often at their point of origin, the potency of al-Qaeda has diminished in Western public imaginaries. Some residual imagined connections between Islam and latent threat have persisted, both in Europe and the US. In the US the ‘Ground Zero Mosque’ controversy of summer 2010 and the discomfort in southern Europe with the 2011 influx of North African ‘Arab Spring’ refugees suggest that old imagined connections between Muslims and security risk have considerable staying power, beyond the threat of imminent terrorist attack.3 Still, even al-Qaeda involvement in Syria, Iraq, Mali, Yemen and Algeria, and the murder of an off-duty British soldier in Woolwich, London and the bombing of the Boston marathon have in 2013 failed to provoke a revival of pre-2008 levels of Islamophobia. In 2011–13 the global financial crisis, the Libya campaign, challenges to democratization in Egypt and Tunisia and the Syrian civil war have all usurped anti-Western jihadist terrorism in Western public imaginaries. However, it is vitally important not to read this apparent dissipation back into recent history (or indeed to presume there will not be another revival). This fixation on the ‘religious element’ played a subtle but persistent role in Western security perceptions and policy from 2001–9. A mixture of misrecognition and comprehension – of jihadism and Muslim culture more generally – had both negative and positive repercussions. This paradox is apparent in several, seemingly disparate

phenomena: • In 2006 and 2007 thousands of Iraqi civilians (approximately 50 per day) died by extrajudiciary killings, most carried out by sectarian Shi‘a ‘death squads’. This led to Sunni reprisals and a descent into civil war. While many internal factors led to this breakdown, the sometimes tacit American preference for working with secular politicians led the Coalition to underestimate the appeal of the militias for those impoverished by the Coalition invasion and subsequent fragmentation of the Iraqi state. This also contributed to an underestimation of the broader appeal of Shi‘a Islamist political parties, who capitalized on the popular revival of Shi‘a identity following the collapse of the Ba’athist regime. • While torturing prisoners at Abu Ghraib, US soldiers capitalized on Iraqi cultural and religious mores to intensify the torture’s psychological effects.4 • Throughout the 1990s the British security services allowed the formation of camps on UK soil to train fighters to attack targets in Muslim countries, and radical clerics were permitted to preach in British mosques. When the British government was approached by British Muslims for assistance in expelling radical clerics, they were told that such matters were private, religious ones, best dealt with by the mosques themselves. • US and British Christian military chaplains had some successful engagements with Afghan mullahs on matters of shared ethical and humanitarian concern, between 2006 and 2009. These, in turn, eased relations between soldiers and locals.5 Understood on their own, these events seem to defy any comparison. These four disparate phenomena contributed to vastly different consequences, in the short and long term – consequences that do not have analytical, political or ethical parity. The US tendency to deal with the Sunni, Shi‘a and Kurds as political blocs catalyzed the civil war, as did its occupation of the country and other, Iraqi-driven factors. Abu Ghraib was the horrific brainchild of a few rogue soldiers, though it provoked widespread attacks on occupying Coalition troops. British Muslims were radicalized by sources other than the clerics the government was reluctant to help remove. Chaplaincy activities were supplementary to discussions commanding officers had with local leaders, and these achieved some positive results for Afghans, as well as force protection. These four phenomena were also driven by seemingly different logics: respectively, a primordialist understanding of sectarian loyalty in Muslim-majority societies; Orientalist stereotypes about the sexualization and religious sensitivities of Muslim men; liberal commitments that religion is a private, communal matter for immigrant communities; and Western, culturally Christian beliefs that even in contexts of violent military occupation, the world’s religions have much in common and religious leaders can help their flocks to rise above the fighting. However, on closer inspection, the logic driving these four phenomena starts to break down somewhat. At the heart of these logics are Western Orientalist stereotypes about how ‘Muslims’ are and how they behave by virtue of their religion and culture. These stereotypes are double-edged swords: they propel presumptions of ‘Muslims’ as communally minded and deeply conservative as much as they do more vicious, imperialist constructions of Muslims as violent and ‘sexually deviant yet vulnerable’.6 Further, at the heart of these logics are double-edged Western myths about religion more generally: first, that it is a

private matter and that all religions are, fundamentally, the same; and second, more insidiously, that religion fuels primordialist violence and that the liberal, secular West can discipline non-Christian religions away from their innate primitivism and create good multicultural citizens. An emerging body of scholarship, influenced by Edward Said’s Orientalism, has been concerned with how perceptions of Muslim cultural difference as Otherness has facilitated the actions of the USA and its allies in the 9/11 wars.7 Scholars have begun to examine carefully how stereotypes of Arabs and Muslims, many of them rooted in old European imperialist tropes, have impacted the conduct of the USA and its allies. However, while constructions of race, culture, ethnicity and religion overlap and interact in important ways, I argue that we should resist the analytical tendency to elide Islam fully into race, ethnicity and culture because of the particular ambiguity of religion in Western cultural imaginaries.8 This ambiguity suggests that Islam plays a very particular role in securing the logic of the 9/11 wars. In the mainstream contemporary Western imaginary, religion inspires both nostalgia and irritation, warmth and unease. Religion is simultaneously conceived as dangerously irrational and a source of enduring social values, a bulwark against increasingly cold, atomized modern life in the West. During the 9/11 wars, the ambiguity of religion in the Western social imaginary both supported and undermined Orientalist constructions of the Muslim Other, as well as the confirmed jihadist. Additionally, as the empirical case study will indicate, the ambiguity of religion in the Western imaginary has produced a certain ambivalence towards the Muslim Other (as well as towards the Self), which has mitigated many possible ill effects as much as it has provoked them. This ambiguity, ambivalence, multiplicity and heterogeneity is made possible by the emergence of the West into what Charles Taylor calls ‘a secular age’, where religion persists, more strongly in some corners than in others, only as one option among many possible worldviews.9 This book looks seriously at the implications of this secular age for encounters in Iraq, Afghanistan and Europe during the 9/11 wars, as an invitation to a wider scholarly conversation about the relationship between war and the Western secular. I suggest that while there is no such thing as ‘secular war’ per se, and the 9/11 wars should not be read as a Western attempt to impose its secular vision on the Muslim-majority world, there have been important Western secular ways of war, habits of doing and behaving in war, that became apparent after 2001. War is an intense intercultural, inter-societal and often inter-religious encounter, which transforms the societies taking part through the encounter. It mobilizes deeply held identities and values but, in the process, makes and unmakes difference between societies and cultures; it is a form of interconnection.10 Scholars of European empire have explored the role of Christianity in facilitating conquest and in disciplining Others into good imperial subjects, through an alliance with emerging political liberalism. Imperial encounters with non-Christian Others in turn reconfigured Christianity in Europe.11 Scholars have studied the role of Christianity in European war up to the Second World War, the persistence of Christian echoes in 18th and 19th century European nationalisms as well as liberalism, and the relationship between religious symbolism, leaders and institutions and war in the Global South up to the present day including, more recently, American evangelical discourse as mobilized by former US president George W. Bush during the 9/11 wars. However, this narrative presumes a gap at the heart of the European experience which does not exist. The post-Enlightenment eclipse of Christianity as the primary framework of the European social imaginary did not leave a gaping black hole where Christianity used to be. But nationalism and other

political ideologies, even those with universal claims, did not comprehensively displace Christianity, despite the echoes of Christianity in many of them. This dovetails with another gap. There has been a persistent tendency in scholarship and the wider public imaginary to presume that secularization produces the absence or negation of religion, or the exclusion of it from the political sphere. In recent years some scholars have made significant gains in demonstrating, theoretically and empirically, that this is not the case – that the Western secular is a full category in its own right, with a rich multiplicity of practices, worldviews and politics, which are more than simply antireligious, or demanding separation from religion, or a reworked version of Christian echoes.12 Over the past decade the social sciences, including International Relations (IR), have seen a dramatic rise in interest in secularism (as a political doctrine) and secularization (as a related historical process), building on groundwork laid in the 1990s by Talal Asad, William Connolly and José Casanova.13 IR scholars have been interested in how the Western experiences of social secularization and political secularism have responded to the systemic, practical and ideological challenge of global jihadism. Since the middle of the twentieth century, secularism has acted as a form of political authority in communist states and in post-colonial regimes bent on rapid modernization fuelled by nationalism. In states including Atatürk’s Turkey and Nasser’s Egypt, state control – often repression – of religion was a significant factor in regime consolidation.14 Elizabeth Shakman Hurd and William Cavanaugh have observed that, during the same period, Western secular political traditions have also operated as a form of political authority in global affairs, particularly directed towards the Muslimmajority world.15 These arguments built on empirical arguments about the myth of confrontation between Islam and the West, (but also overlooked instances where the balance of power has not favoured the West, as in oil relations).16 However, using a detailed empirical account from lived phenomenology rather than political tradition, this book suggests that the violent encounter between culturally Christian Western secular actors and Muslim-majority societies and actors produces far more messy, ambiguous, fluid and reciprocal results than Hurd’s and Cavanaugh’s accounts suggest.17 During the wars of European empire, intimate, violent conflict both made and unmade cultural difference.18 Similarly, during the 9/11 wars Western secular presumptions about Islam’s failure to conform to Western standards have been both made and unmade. In the emerging literature about secularism in IR, war is often treated as an abstract backdrop. The events of 9/11 and subsequent jihadist terrorist attacks on Western targets are treated as new catalysts within a long history of political encounters, some of which have been violent. This book aims to reclaim war as a central object of enquiry, whose primary ontology is fighting, and then to ask: What does the secular, as it has evolved in the West, do to warfare and, in turn, how does war make and unmake the taken-for-granted secular habits of everyday Western life and politics?19 Critically, what do the textures of these processes look like for the individuals and groups en-framed by traditions of Western secularism? How do these individuals and groups mediate and problematize these frames, feeding them back up to state and then global levels? I also argue explicitly against the Clash of Civilizations and the idea that ‘Islam’ is homogenous. This book argues in parallel with, but explicitly against, Carl Schmitt’s association of war with the secularization of the modern global order.20 For Schmitt, with the dissolution of the medieval Christian order in Europe – in which a shared moral, legal and political order provided important constraints on warfare – the enemy became ‘eternal, quint-essentially the “Other”’ and, along with

developments in weaponry and contact with non-Europeans, international politics for Schmitt became ‘a never-ending state of hostility’.21 Schmitt’s conclusions are normatively unsettling, as well as unconvincing because they are simply not borne out empirically. However, what Schmitt did usefully point to is some relationship between war and secularization in the West. This begs further scrutiny. Several scholars have already pointed to an intimate relationship between security and secular politics and worldviews. For example, Pinar Bilgin has argued that Turkish secularism was invoked historically by Kemalist elites as a security referent against, among other things, European encroachment.22 Luca Mavelli has argued against the Westphalian myth that the secular state made the world more secure, positing that the liberal secular state is just as much ‘an agent of insecurity’, and that secularization is an essential part of the genealogy of security.23 This book builds on these insights, asking what the consequences are for war as social practice. It speaks to an ongoing scholarly conversation in International Relations about religion and war. How religion matters in warfare is still in the early stages of IR theorization. While the relationship between religion and warfare had persisted as an (albeit unfashionable) topic in history as a scholarly discipline, the study of contemporary political Islamism from the 1970s to the end of the 1990s was largely confined to specialist area studies of the Middle East and South Asia. The 9/11 wars revived wider interest within the Western academy, and it became a topic of intense interest in Security Studies for the first time. Scholars have begun to debate whether the impact of religion is causal or constitutive, and have attempted to theorize how, when and where this impact is felt. For example, Hassner has suggested that religion’s role is constitutive, providing legitimacy for weapons and targets, timing and location of confrontations; in shaping the experience of soldiering, and tactical and strategic calculations; in shaping conceptualizations of victory and defeat; and in prolonging the duration of conflict.24 This book picks up this conversation, and asks the same questions of Western secular(s). This book asks several central questions: What happens when secular people go to war as secular people, with conceptions of time, space, ontology, history, epistemology, phenomenology, authority, subjectivity and aesthetics which are, in this full sense, secular, albeit informed by religious cultural heritage? And what happens when they go to war with people who may have very different or hybrid positions on these matters? Under what circumstances do these things matter? What happens to identities, practices and politics, on both sides? What do these wars look and feel like phenomenologically to the people fighting them? How is what happens at the level of ideas and identity cross-cut or undercut by the imperatives of power politics, material circumstances and the empirical contingencies of war? What are the myriad macro-mezzo-and micro-implications for wars between the Global North and South, and in turn for the global order? These are large questions, and this book drills down deeply into one small corner of this conceptual landscape to begin the conversation. One significant factor behind the seemingly disparate phenomena noted at the start of the chapter are the taken-for-granted habits of secularity which heavily condition life and politics in the West. These habits are embodied, aesthetic and – like many facets of modernity for those who live in it – largely unconscious. These habits have developed alongside and in turn made possible multiple forms of political secularism in the West. State secularism as a set of political arrangements has in many cases (though not all) made possible peaceful pluralism, freedom of worship in the private sphere for those who desire it, and freedom from religious authority for those who reject it. However, as suggested above, in the context of the 9/11 wars Western secular habits have

not been entirely benign or peaceful in their wartime effect, because of the ways in which ‘Islam’ is considered to be somehow out of step with these habits, socially and politically. As a case study, this book asks: How might unconsciously secular sensibilities and habits of relating to and being in the world have influenced British security logic during the 9/11 wars? How have these cultural impulses been supported or problematized by liberal assumptions about religion and politics? How have stereotypes about how Islamist actors behave been cross-cut or undercut by the necessity of alliance-building and appreciation of complexity on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan, and within the al-Qaeda franchise? And how were these constitutive of the British sociocultural experience during those wars? British strategic difficulties during the 9/11 wars have been widely attributed to insufficient resources and a lack of recent experience in responding to the kinds of security threats posed by the insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan and in the al-Qaeda network. While this is true, this book contends that cultural habits were also relevant. The British secular habitus comprises an ‘unstable mix’ of impulses of liberal political tradition, cultural Christianity, post-imperial pluralism and casual indifference towards religion. During the 9/11 wars conscious liberal tolerance, pragmatism and rationality vied with murkier, more abstract and less conscious cultural forces within the British social imaginary, of which policy-makers and implementers were a part: myths about Muslim violence, nostalgia for Christianity and casual indifference towards religion. This book does not attempt to provide a comprehensive explanation for why the UK went to war or what its personnel did during those wars. Based on the information currently available to scholars, it does not make claims that liberal, secular habits were the sole or even most important factors behind early psychological and strategic advantages enjoyed by the Taliban, Iraqi militias and terrorist groups inspired by al-Qaeda. Nor does it attempt to assess the complex texture of Western relations with Muslim-majority states, which are based on geostrategic, security and economic imperatives. Where these are concerned, some Muslim-majority states (particularly in the Gulf) hold the upper hand. Rather, its purpose is to notice something interesting about the social experience of the 9/11 wars, which may have broader implications beyond the specific UK case study. To put the point a different way: think of how little we would understand of the First World War if we only had its battlefield assessments, and not its poetry.

Secular Habitus and Warfare In addition to a focus on war-as-fighting I also add to the conversation in IR an understanding of the secular as a set of sensibilities, practices and habits, building on Pierre Bourdieu’s conception of the habitus. Thompson has described Bourdieu’s conception as ‘a set of dispositions which incline agents to act and react in certain ways’, not all of which are fully conscious.25 Bourdieu himself has called the habitus ‘the system of structured, structuring dispositions … which is constituted in practice and is always oriented towards practical functions’.26 Regarding the secular as a sensibility or habit, I understand this as comprising the aesthetic distinctions, emotions and cosmologies made possible by the shift towards a human-centred ontology and epistemology in European modernity, identified by Taylor in A Secular Age.27 Borrowing Hirschkind’s description of Asad’s conception, I understand the secular ‘as a concept that articulates a constellation of institutions, ideas, and affective orientations that constitute an important dimension of what we call modernity and its defining forms of knowledge and

practice – both religious and nonreligious’.28 ‘Secularism’, ‘secularization’, ‘secular’, ‘secularity’, ‘nonreligion’ and ‘religion’ are essentially contested concepts, all of which come with a great deal of referential baggage, as they ‘are emblems of intense historical conflicts and transformations’.29 Shah and Philpott have identified nine ‘senses’ of secularism and secularization that are relevant to International Relations: as a descriptor for extramonastic affairs; as a process of differentiation, or integration; as a state where faith is one of many available options, or where large numbers cease to believe; as a decline in practice but not necessarily belief; as a process of differentiation towards eventual extinction; as a form of regime suppression of religion; or as ‘an ideology or a set of normative beliefs that advocates the sequestration of religion from other spheres of life’.30 In recent years scholars have emphasized the multiplicity of political secularisms and lived secularities, and some, such as Iqtidar and Ozyurek, have contributed significant empirics and theoretical innovation to understanding these ongoing dynamics outside of the West.31 In recent years scholars of International Relations have explored secularism as a political tradition and set of institutional and discursive arrangements that condition domestic affairs inside and outside the West, and which have repercussions in international affairs at global, regional and state levels.32 Building on the work of Talal Asad and William Connolly, Luca Mavelli has drawn attention to the secular as an episteme which conditions European perceptions of Islam as Other and threat, and which has implications for politics.33 While IR scholars have focused on secularism as a political tradition or epistemic framework, less attention has been paid in the discipline to global trends of personal and collective nonreligiosity and their political relevance as part of the story of secularism, secularization and global affairs.34 In parallel, primarily in Sociology and Anthropology, scholars have been engaging in ‘breaking open the secular’ to explore how religious and nonreligious individual and collective experience informs what people experience and practice as ‘the secular’.35 Nonreligion is important to the study of global politics, as it is a subject position held by surprisingly large numbers; for example non-theism(s) (a subcategory of nonreligion) rank fourth among world belief systems, after Christianity, Islam and Hinduism, geographically concentrated in Europe, East Asia, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.36 This book attempts to bring these two conversations together, showing how the micro level is conditioned by and also informs macro political traditions, which under certain conditions penetrate upwards, manifesting themselves at global level, including acting as a form of productive power within global politics.37 This book contributes additional layers of analysis to the ongoing conversation in IR. How Western secular political traditions shape global affairs or how religio-political actors respond to this shaping is far from straightforward. Actors within secular traditions experience, action and resist those traditions and worldviews within which they work, and the ‘recipients’ of these traditions also resist, acquiesce to and problematize them in multiple ways. IR has also had a tendency to privilege the Western secular as the object of scholarly explorations, over and above non-Western, culturally non-Christian forms. Security Studies as a sub-discipline of IR has a particular knack for fixating on salient threats to the USA and its allies. In this case, while Area Studies, Religious Studies, Anthropology and Sociology have long-standing disciplinary interests in what religion might be and in how religious people experience their existence, IR has a particular interest – for better or for worse – in what religion does and, usually, what it does to the West.38 Unfortunately this very necessary provincialization of the Western secular, its implications for the

relationship between war and the secular, lies outside the scope of this book. So does an exploration of nonreligious practices and worldviews and patterns of separation of religion and politics in Muslimmajority states in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) and beyond.39 I understand the varieties of the Western secular as combinations of explicit thought and unconscious impulse, a combination captured by literary theorist Raymond Williams’s formulation ‘structures of feeling’.40 They are ways of thinking about the world, but also a ways of being in and relating to the world. This understanding of the secular draws inspiration from Connolly’s identification of secularity in the ‘infrasensible’ and ‘visceral register’, as well as Hirschkind and Mahmood’s work on the embodied, quotidian practices of piety.41 Though unconscious emotion and impulse have been largely unexplored within the International Relations conversation about secularism and global politics, there has been increasing recognition that subjective and collective emotion plays a key role within international politics, particularly in conceptions of safety, trust and fear.42 Experimental psychologists have shown that emotions are pivotally important to subjective experiences of nonreligiosity/secularity, as much as they are to religiosity.43 For example, the freedom to exercise one’s own will without religious repression and confidence in one’s own rational opinions are widely cited as emotional reactions by the nonreligious. Talal Asad and Charles Hirschkind have also advanced the notion that the secular is not only cognitive, but embodied.44 The secular as I understand it comprises a set of habits, many of which are common within but not exclusive to the West. These are: a human-centred epistemology and worldview, underpinned by an appreciation for science and technology as advancing many ontological certainties; the possibility of utilitarian or human virtue-based approaches to public and private ethics; alternative sources for political legitimacy and aesthetics beyond religious institutions or doctrine; and the reconstitution of religion in private life, or as Taylor puts it, ‘a new placement of the sacred or spiritual in relation to the individual and social life’.45 Borrowing a phrase from Katznelson and Stedman Jones, the secular habitus in the West has become ‘a background condition for all’.46 I follow Ninian Smart’s six dimensions of ‘religion’: ritual, mythic or narrative, experiential and emotional, ethical and legal, and social and material.47 However I also understand the formulation of ‘religion’ as discrete activity separate from culture and politics to be a recent invention of the modern West, as is the mutual dependency of ‘religion’ and ‘the secular’ and the notion that practices or sensibilities can easily be categorized as ‘religious’ or ‘nonreligious’.48 Why is this conception of the secular analytically useful? Within Security Studies there has been a growing conversation in recent years about how Bourdieu’s theory of practice might best be deployed to account for change and stasis in the international system. This has tended to focus on the ability of various categories of security actors (defence intellectuals, private military corporations) to shape the ‘field’ of security practice by setting parameters for patterns of behaviour (habitus).49 Though the habitus has received slightly less attention, in IR it seems to me a useful tool, compelling in its flexibility, for understanding the contradictions and paradoxes of actor behaviour in war. Wars are, after all, rife with messiness and hypocrisy. For Bourdieu, the habitus is largely unconscious. Actors act without ‘necessarily “knowing what they are doing” (in the sense of being able to adequately explain what they are doing)’.50 As Asad has pointed out, the secular is an embedded part of the modern experience, one which we feel but of which we are not fully cognizant. Similarly, scholars have argued that latency is important to an

understanding of religiosity and all its modalities, of which secularity is but one. They have called this latency ‘subterranean religiosity’, ‘customary religion’, ‘implicit religion’, ‘diffuse religion’ and ‘conventional religion’.51 It seems that secular modalities also exhibit customary, implict qualities, discernable through methods of radical interpretation.52 Its ability to account for unconscious, socialized, hybrid notions is one of the great advantages of using the habitus as a theoretical frame, as the empirical case study will make clear. However, Bourdieu’s account is not entirely deterministic. He also leaves open the possibility that individuals self-consciously seek to transcend their comfortable habits, particularly in moments of crisis. He notes, ‘we can always say that individuals make choices as long as we do not forget that they do not choose the principles of these choices’ (italics mine).53 This chimes with insights from constructivist security scholars that culture and identity are not destiny. For example, leaders strategically capitalize on international norms and their respective domestic cultures to ‘redefine the limits of the possible’.54 The habitus does not prescribe a course of action, but rather delineates a flexible repertoire of possible actions. These look natural and reasonable to their actors, consistent with what both Gramsci and Geertz refer to (in slightly different ways) as ‘common sense’.55 Like Gramsci’s account of common sense, Bourdieu also conceives of the habitus as conditioned by social power. Different habits of speech and behaviour form among particular social classes or groups. The habitus makes possible processes of social judgment or distinction.56 Bourdieu characterized distinction as a process of aesthetic social judgment and separation from the vulgar Other, made within a context of power.57 The act of making a distinction is an act of productive power, as the habitus is ‘as an acquired system of generative schemes …’ (emphasis mine).58 For Bourdieu, dispositions entail both thinking and feeling, somewhere between explicit thought and emotive impulse. This chimes with insights from the strategic culture literature that security thinking is not merely intellectual but operates on three levels: cognitive (empirical and causal beliefs), evaluative (values and moral judgments) and expressive/affective (emotional attachments, identity, loyalty, ‘feelings of affinity, aversion or indifference’).59 As a collective social experience of death and injury, war is a deeply emotional practice, propelled by conceptions of heroism, fear, solidarity and greed. Similarly, the secular is in important ways constituted emotionally and not just intellectually. Understanding the cultural habitus of security practitioners can help to explain why state behaviour persists over time. For example, during the Cold War, the USA formed alliances with regimes it saw as necessary to the protection of democratic states from the global spread of communism. These regimes included dictatorships with terrifying records of abusing and disregarding human rights. While this is attributable to the USA’s history of interpreting its political interests in terms of a wider and wider geographical spread (pace the Truman, Eisenhower and Nixon doctrines), this was ballasted by socially embedded fears of communist takeover. Bourdieu’s social theory has a lot to recommend it when it comes to explaining global affairs, particularly in terms of opening up the ‘black box’ of the state. But my account here is meant to reflect not the richness of Bourdieu’s composite theory, but rather a borrowing and transformation of his insights. There are drawbacks to unmediated deployment of Bourdieu’s concepts for the analysis of international security. For example, it is unclear in his account how actors learn and adopt new strategies. In International Relations, such a mechanism is integral for understanding systemic changes, particularly among groups of policy-makers.60 Another difficulty is the relationship between field and

habitus, which, for Bourdieu, are interrelated. But it is not entirely clear how the ‘field’ of security – and practices within it – relates to society as a whole. Bourdieu’s explanation of the field is ambiguous. In his conception, fields have varying remits. A field can be a particular situation (for example, the office politics of a particular firm) as well as a more general conception (the social field, the economic field). It is unclear how Bourdieu thought fields related to one another, and what might determine which habitus might take precedence over another where two fields intersect. This ambiguity is difficult if we want to make sense of how security actors relate to wider society, behave in and affect the world. Security is after all a human practice. Its actors – soldiers, diplomats, states, NATO – are not hermetically sealed off from the wider cultures of which they are a part. As analytical apparatuses, ‘groupthink’ and ‘strategic culture’ also fall into a similar trap, leaving us with the impression that security professionals talk only among themselves and not friends and family and never read a newspaper or switch on the television.61 This is not, I think, a fatal flaw, as Bourdieu’s habitus bears a strong resemblance to another concept deployed by constructivist theories of IR: the security imaginary. As Pretorius and Muppidi have suggested, the security imaginary denotes how members of a diverse society collectively think about ‘threats’ to their society, and how to resist those threats.62 It is thus often, though not exclusively, preoccupied with the Others from whom those threats are thought to emanate. Pretorius calls the security imaginary ‘a structuring principle of the common understandings that make security practices possible in a society’.63 It is a potent feature of diverse but collective social life, substantiated through political and social discourse. The security imaginary of a state is in turn constituted by and embedded within associated webs of meaning found within wider society. These webs of meaning are enabled by ‘the ways people imagine their social existence’ collectively: the social imaginary.64 Pretorius has emphasized that security is not merely the preserve of civil servants, professors of security studies or the CEOs of arms manufacturers, but is a common practice. State security practices are facilitated by the opinions, fears and desires of ordinary citizens. The security imaginary – more than other theoretical approaches to intersubjectivity in policy-making such as groupthink and strategic culture – provides an effective theoretical device for situating policy-makers within a wider society and collective history. Citizens of powerful states exert, in their own small ways, global influence. International norms – including those that govern warfare – are informed by the strategic mindset of policy-makers from powerful states. These are not (always) so different from the wills of their citizenries. Anthropologist Mary Douglas has demonstrated that risk and danger are culturally embedded and mediated concepts.65 However, this conception of the imaginary is slightly vague about the social mechanisms by which shared attitudes are translated into state action. Taylor conceives of the social imaginary as the ways people imagine their social existence, how they fit together with others, how things go on between them and their fellows, the expectations that are normally met, and the deeper normative notions and images that underlie these expectations.66 However, in between generally held social attitudes and state practice there are the institutions of governance, whereby some citizens make security decisions while the majority do not. For example, Hurd has referred to a ‘secular social imaginary’, but does not elaborate how this works.67 This is where the harnessing of the concept to the habitus comes in, and the intersection between the secular habitus and the security habitus. It provides a mechanism whereby generally held social attitudes (security habitus) permeate the thinking-

and-doing of security practitioners (security habitus). Importantly, this process is often unconscious and pre-reflective. As we will see in the British case, security practitioners have been conditioned by their social experience despite efforts to be more reflective about their own actions.

The Al-Qaeda Threat as Hysteresis As a theoretical frame to interpret the British case, the habitus has several advantages. First, it facilitates clear links between ideas and practice. It also provides a theoretically robust framework linking ideas, practices and the history and materialities that produce them. Though Bourdieu rejects any sense of the habitus as deterministic, he does suggest why actor behaviour is slow to change – because the habitus is subject to hysteresis (or time lag) and also because it is reproduced largely unconsciously.68 Hysteresis occurs when ‘the environment [it] actually encounter[s] is too different from the one to which [it is] objectively adjusted’. In Bourdieu’s conception, hysteresis is most often seen at a crisis point. Further, Bourdieu has suggested that under conditions of hysteresis, or lag, the parameters of the habitus are ‘most clearly seen’.69 This would seem to ring true in the case of the 9/11 wars. Though Western security analysts improved significantly over the course of the past decade and were able to head off many attacks, the persistence and adaptability of terrorists and insurgents has proved challenging. Though most attacks in Europe and the USA have been prevented since 2005, actors inspired or supported by al-Qaeda have managed to capitalize on the counterinsurgencies in Afghanistan and Iraq and to exploit strategically ambiguous and fractured security environments in Syria, Pakistan, Yemen, Mali and Somalia. One element in this was the lag while top-heavy post–Cold War security apparatuses adjusted to the more flexible strategic movements of terrorism, counterinsurgency and guerrilla warfare. But this is not the only reason. Western security services were ill-prepared in 2001 to read the dynamics of jihadist Islamism as a threat to their interests. Even given the al-Qaeda successes of the 1990s, they seriously underestimated the extent to which localized jihadist politics would be able to project itself around the world via the technologies of globalization. As they scrambled to learn more, myths were allowed to persist, most famously about a Clash of Civilizations that would seriously challenge American hegemony.70 This mythology of a violent Clash was fuelled by the refraction of the long-standing Western myth of religious violence through the lens of a late twentieth-century secular habitus.71 This was a myth because jihadist political Islamism – of the al-Qaeda brand or any other devised – has yet to pose a realistic threat to the current liberal, secular global order.72 Two modalities of non-jihadist political Islamism emerged in the twentieth century to disrupt the nation-state model: a Qutbian conception of a politicized umma and an Iranian synthesis of revolutionary state power with transnational Shi‘ism.73 Neither has yet succeeded. The neo-caliphate has not been realized; Iran has had difficulty exporting its brand of revolution beyond Hizbollah, which has become less revolutionary over time. Ideologues of al-Qaeda and other jihadist persuasions have never mounted an intellectually sophisticated programme for a shift in regional, let alone global, order. Materially speaking, though radical jihadism has become a globalized phenomenon, it is globally archipelagic.74 Nationalist jihadist forces which have invoked an Islamist idiom have achieved certain military victories of varying duration – Ibn al Saud established the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on the back of conquest,

Hezbollah understands Israeli withdrawal from southern Lebanon as primarily its own doing, the Armed Islamic Group of Algeria (GIA) drew government forces into a sustained confrontation and, following International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) withdrawal, the Taliban may again militarily dominate Afghanistan. However, with the exception of Saudi Arabia, they have not managed to transform these victories into real political systemic change on the scale of, for example, governance in Iran. And the Islamic Republic is not even the regional power it has longed to be, let alone a global hegemon. But of course myths have only loose acquaintance with fact. A more limited Western anxiety about jihadist terrorism was, however, not entirely baseless. Al-Qaeda attacks on US targets in the 1990s demonstrated that its threats were not geographically confined but archipelagic in character, fuelled by a strategic shift to the Far Enemy in the global jihadist imaginary following disappointments in the MENA, Chechnya and Bosnia.75 This global jihadist imaginary originated during the Soviet–Afghan war, but found focus in the 1990s via the participation of international jihadists in the conflicts in the Balkans and Chechnya. The shift to the Far Enemy fashioned by al-Qaeda ideologies was fuelled by a more widely held discourse in Muslimmajority countries and the West (beyond the actual and potential jihadists) of indignation against an ongoing US military presence in Saudi Arabia following the Gulf War and its continuing support for Israel, as well as its support for authoritarian regimes and the economic hegemony of Big Oil. These factors within the global system were not likely to go away quickly, which provided fuel for indignation. But this anxiety about the strategic ability of jihadists to randomly strike Far Enemy civilians should have been limited at most. Still the rush to interpret 9/11 as an epic Clash of Civilizations was an unfortunate mistake made by US and European policymakers in the aftermath of the attacks. Nonetheless, attacks and attempted attacks on US and European soil did indeed produce significant social trauma, interpreted within those societies as a cultural as well as material trauma, a ‘crisis point’ in Bourdieusian terms. Why was this so? After all, the 9/11 attacks did not come entirely as a surprise to security specialists, who had observed the increasing boldness of al-Qaeda and its facilitators throughout the 1990s. The reasons are multiple. American and western European metropolitan publics as well as the emerging BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China) had benefited from significant domestic security and capitalist expansion following the Cold War. For metropolitan publics it was a decade of good times. This prosperity had exacerbated an inward-looking myopia and sense of invincibility among Americans and western Europeans. From this point of view, civil unrest and political instability were geographically confined to zones in the Global South where US forces and their allies could be surgically deployed to enforce international law. Attacks on US soil dented this metropolitan confidence. The constructed myth of 9/11 as an unintelligible, insurmountable and ‘cultural’ trauma for the West underpinned the lag, or hysteresis, of Western security apparatuses in understanding and undermining jihadist terror against Western targets during the 2001–06 period. As Western security operatives have become increasingly skilled since 2008, this hysteresis has become less of a factor. Concurrently, a sense of cultural trauma has diminished along with the number of attacks. In Western capitals it is business as usual. This is not surprising really. Despite some hysterical discourse about endangered ‘ways of life’, Western metropolitan publics never really felt that their secular democracies were under existential threat. This was not Europe in 1939. Still, the dynamic of crisis and hysteresis is a useful one for understanding the security strategies of Britain and

its allies towards radical jihadism from 2001–09. This begs the question: What was the constitutive impact of a British secular habitus – an unstable mix of impulses of liberal political tradition, Christian heritage, post-imperial pluralism and casual indifference towards religion – on the 9/11 wars? Overall, the constitutive impact of British secular habits on the 9/11 wars was mixed. The secular habitus produced tolerance of cultural difference and a warm reception of ‘moderate’ religious actors among policy-makers and implementers as often as it did suspicion and securitization. While British officials sometimes found it difficult to read Islamist actors in the early years of the 9/11 wars, they were also ultimately pragmatic about Islamist participation in the democratic processes in Iraq and Afghanistan. The 7 July 2005 attacks on the London transport system were a turning point in the evolution of this attitude. The British government, security services and armed forces invested significant resources in improving their expertise on jihadism, Islamism and Islam in the aftermath. However, while the secular habitus produced highly heterogeneous attitudes among British actors and over time, it also proved to have a doggedly persistent and highly adaptive impact on security logic over the course of the first decade of the 9/11 wars, even after the 7/7 attacks. On the other hand, the 9/11 wars also opened up political and intellectual space for reconsideration of the terms of political secularism and modern secular subjectivity, inside and outside the UK and the West.

Why Britain Although the global hegemon, the USA, has been the primary focus of scholarly analysis of the War on Terror, particularly under the lightning-rod presidency of George W. Bush, other Western nations were not passive receptors of War on Terror discourse. Rather, they are deeply implicated in its transformation and dissemination, from a national discourse to global military campaigns. The UK’s participation in the 9/11 wars has received limited attention outside its own borders. Its status as a junior partner, albeit the primary one, to the USA in a range of military misadventures has allowed it largely to fly under the analytical radar, so to speak. But the UK has played a significant role in the ways in which the wars of the past decade have been conducted. In particular, the appropriation of the British imperial counterinsurgency strategy has proved deeply influential within the US and NATO military establishments. The US 2006 Counterinsurgency Field Manual, like subsequent COIN policy, draws primarily on the British experience in Malaya. The British Army’s 30-year campaign in Northern Ireland also influenced US practice. The UK is thus heavily implicated in the transmission of the modalities of Old World empire-building to the brave new American century, particularly in showing the USA how to fight long guerrilla wars against a hostile colonial population. Thanks to General Petraeus, British ways of war (or rather, old ways of empire) have achieved what five decades of diplomacy and overseas development aid have not: the rehabilitation of Britain as a global actor. More broadly, the UK is one of a very small number of states that can project global expeditionary force. It is further underpinned by nuclear capacity and highly effective domestic and foreign intelligence services. Additionally, since the early twentieth century its military has most often acted in conjunction with the most potent military force in the world, that of the USA. The British case is an interesting prism through which to refract this phenomenon. There are several reasons for this. First, there has been a firm presumption among British governing circles that it is better at cross-cultural contact than the USA.76 The imperial experience brought the British into

security contact with a rapid succession of religious Others, including Muslims, Hindus, Jews, Sikhs, Catholics and Orthodox Christians. The Victorians in particular were alternately disgusted and intrigued by the oddities and wonders of religious Otherness. One junior officer billeted in Mandate Palestine in the 1920s grumbled: ‘Of cranks and religious maniacs of every nationality we had more than enough in the Holy City’. His favourites included the Polish woman who routinely took off her clothes in the Holy Sepulchre and ‘the mad Englishwoman who trekked up the Mount of Olives every afternoon with a tea basket and Thermos bottle of hot tea to give the Lord a comforting drink before He proceeded to the Last Judgment’.77 Thanks to the 9/11 wars, nearly three centuries of imperial exploitation were rebranded as a selling point. Second, the British case soundly brings together the domestic and international aspects of the 9/11 wars. The UK has a Muslim population that punches above its weight in terms of cultural visibility. In this way, Britain is far more like its European neighbours than it is the USA. The Salman Rushdie affair – in which Ayatollah Khomeini’s fatwa against British author Rushdie’s depiction of the Prophet led to mass demonstrations and book burnings – prompted the cultural ‘rediscovery’ of British Muslims by white Britain in 1989. The Rushdie affair also marked a pivotal moment in (white) Britain’s imagination of itself as secular. The juxtaposition of a series of August 2001 ‘race riots’ involving Muslim youths with the 9/11 attacks reinvigorated this. On a more positive note, though they make up only 2 to 4 per cent of the overall population, British Muslims have grown increasingly politically vocal since the Rushdie affair, drawing attention to levels of poverty and social exclusion that surpass those of other minority groups.78 Third, the British case is interesting because it evades simplistic analysis. By and large, Britons are neither anti-nor pro-religion, mainly Christian or primarily atheist. A kind of benign, vague indifference prevails. Britain has a social landscape in which as many as 40 to 65.5 per cent of the population professes to have little or no religious orientation.79 In comparative terms, these figures mark the UK as one of the ‘least faithful’ in the world, with the Eurobarometer on belief in a god or life force placing it close to France, the Nordic countries and the Baltic republics. By comparison, statistics for the USA put that figure around 15 per cent.80 Softer forms of nonreligion, (such as agnosticism) are popular, and amenable apathy prevails in Britain. Voas and Day have argued that the majority of British people, though culturally Christian, consider themselves neither religious nor nonreligious and that ‘it cannot be concluded … that they give the matter any thought, find it significant, will feel the same way next year or plan to do anything about it’.81 In the second half of the twentieth century, British liberal secular political life has been increasingly structured by this. Comparatively speaking, political secularism in the UK sits nicely between the strict separation of church and state found in the US and France and the official and unofficial state support for the national church found in many of its European neighbours. This middle-of-the-road political position and half-and-half split between the religious and nonreligious, on top of its role as main Coalition partner with the USA, makes the UK an interesting prism. Such a seemingly benign, plural, open social milieu with a lack of consensus would seem to lend itself to open-mindedness towards all religious forms, including Islam. However, in early 2011 the first Muslim female cabinet minister pointed out that mild Islamophobia ‘has been re-branded as socially acceptable at middle-class dinner parties’.82 This made the national news. Baroness Warsi’s observation is a good example of the subtle but fundamental tension between tolerance and intolerance

towards Islam in British society that has been regenerated by the 9/11 wars. This tension has made itself evident in contradictory government policy towards Muslims at home and abroad since 2001. Chapter 3 makes a case as to how and why Britain’s plural, culturally Protestant but largely nonreligious secular landscape has made this tension possible.

A Word on Multiplicity and Heterogeneity The influence of the secular on the war-and peacemaking of Western liberal democracies is highly heterogeneous. Though grounded in the American national experience, War on Terror discourse is mediated through particular national contexts. For example, for France the Algerian war, 2005 security disturbances in the immigrant-heavy banlieues, its geostrategic position on the Mediterranean, long-standing economic interests in the Middle East (including Iraq) and the anti-clerical element of the French Revolution have shaped its reception of and contribution to War on Terror narratives. Though France famously refused to join the American ‘coalition of the willing’ in Iraq, the Sarkozy government has instituted a range of anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant security provisions. In early 2011 it instituted a ban on the wearing of the niqab in public, threatening wearers and their husbands with prison time and a hefty fine.83 Security discourse is often deeply implicated in French anti-immigration rhetoric, feeding the popularity of the far-right National Front party. Such anti-Muslim sentiment has also fuelled a reinvigoration of right-wing politics in Europe, with tragic consequences for Norway in August 2011.84 It is difficult, if not impossible, to generalize about the ‘Western secular’, not only in terms of its political assumptions, but also in terms of the foundational but often unquestioned sensibilities, aesthetics and embodied practices of modern life. Even for a single society, secular political settlements are inherently multiple, heterogenous and fluid. Even as a personal orientation, secularity is highly heterogeneous, running the gamut from staunch atheism to ‘fuzzy fidelity’.85 For example, Wulff identified two major types of secular humanists among Unitarian Universalists, and nine minor prototypes.86 Additionally, secular political sensibilities are not confined to the culturally Christian. Within culturally Christian-majority states, many non-Christians uphold and practise the public space as secular. Further, secular political traditions vary from society to society. Hurd has identified two broad traditions of Western political secularism – laïc and Judeo-Christian – which impact international politics. She argues that these are heuristics but are not mutually exclusive.87 But heterogeneity within these two categories is vast.88 For example, American secularism – with its emphasis on the freedom to practise and believe, contextualized within the contemporary ‘culture wars’ in the USA – looks very different from its European cousins, which emphasize both freedom from other people’s practices and beliefs and a neutral public sphere.89 Additionally, we must be wary of any generalities about ‘the West’. Geography tells us little about the West or its habits. Pockets of it exist in Tel Aviv, Hong Kong, Cairo and Beirut as much as they do in Washington and London. As Gray has noted, to talk about ‘the West’ is not to pretend that there is one West or that it is easily identifiable or homogenous, ‘but rather to notice that there is a Western viewpoint that is hegemonic’.90 To Gray’s point I would add that a Western hegemonic viewpoint has played a significant but not exclusive role in conditioning the views of many authoritarian elites outside the USA and Europe, including in Muslim-majority states; this hegemony is a layered thing.

However, in practice when I say ‘the West’, I mean the USA, many parts of Europe, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, despite significant social and political differences between and within them, including their stance on the war in Iraq. At the level of impact on the foreign and security policy of states, even more heterogeneity is introduced by the salient ‘hard power’ factors which override or mediate secular assumptions about religio-politics. To take a USA/UK comparison again, divergences in their respective foreign policies have been due far more to differences in terms of political and strategic leadership of the Iraq and Afghan campaigns, available military and economic resources and overall domestic political conditions than they have been to disparities between British and American political traditions. Still, though the book concentrates on the complexities of the British case, this is not, I strongly suspect, a British phenomenon. Transferability to other liberal Western states, particularly to the US case, despite its distinctiveness as significantly more Christian, and also to European states such as France and Germany, is a pressing issue for further investigation. I gesture towards variation among Western secular habits during the 9/11 wars, particularly for the more religious USA, and to the range of their impacts. Further empirical research is needed to explore the multiplicity of Western secular habits across time and space, in contexts other than the 9/11 wars, and towards non-Muslim religiopolitical actors.

Methodology The argument for the British case is built from previously unexamined governmental and non-governmental documents, as well as just over 50 semi-structured interviews and correspondence with those within, close to and in contact with the British government civil service, parliament and armed forces. The bulk of the interviews were conducted during 2008–09, under the centre-left New Labour government, updated with additional interviews conducted in 2010–11. Conversations with politicians, senior civil servants and senior members of the armed forces are contextualized by the speeches, public lectures and parliamentary debates in which the British came to know ‘Islam’ and the policy documents through which they articulated a less candid, more formal shared conceptualization. Where relevant, I have also provided my own situated observations to illuminate the subtleties of intersubjective meaning that lie behind the interview discourse. The perspectives of NGO representatives, academics and religious leaders (Muslim and Christian) who had direct dealings with the government on community integration and terrorism also feature, as do broadsheet and BBC news coverage and non-governmental analysis. Memoirs and secondary sources cited by interviewees as particularly influential on their thinking are also included. The majority of interviews were conducted while British troops were still deployed in Iraq and casualties were rising in Helmand. In this context, both serving and retired British officials and officers were, understandably, hesitant to voice more qualitative opinions. A number of important British cultural taboos were also involved in the interviews – the discussion of religion (including personal religiosity) and/or emotion with a stranger. However, those personal impressions that were made available are deeply interesting. With the introduction of the Freedom of Information Act and the limited written records of this period, this kind of impressionistic material, which once would have been made available to historians after 30 years in the official archives, may be lost.91 As more individuals record their memoirs, further insight may become available. Additional connections may

then be traced between perception, policy and events, and further conclusions arrived at. Even though this group is diverse and there has been some important fragmentation of opinion – particularly between Prime Minister Blair and his cabinet, and between Number 10 and senior civil servants, particularly in the Foreign Office – group socialization is an important factor. Social, ethnic and religious diversity among officials, the outcome of increasingly meritocratic standards of entrance to the civil service, has not led to a large diversity of policy opinion. Why is this? Like other Western bureaucracies and parliaments, in the UK those who govern hold power by virtue of position. Those from outside the traditional ruling elites – for example, those who have not gone to the top private schools in the UK – are quickly socialized into that world. Policy-makers are not composed of a type of person or a class or even an elite so much as people who have stepped into a very specific set of roles, characterized by linguistic and behavioural constraints and etiquette as well as by specific concerns.92 There are certain patterns of behaviour by which the UK government – or any Western government – reproduces itself over time. The conception of the habitus provides a framework to make sense of the perhaps surprising consensus of thinking and practice among such a diverse group of actors, shaped by a history of empire and postcolonial pluralism in Britain. Also, as Bourdieu’s conception implies, these habits are not confined to a group of policy-makers and officers but are embedded within the embodied practices, assumptions and aesthetics of the London metropolitan middle classes (despite the geographic or class origins or religious or nonreligious commitments of any one individual). The position of Islamism in this wider metropolitan ‘thoughtworld’ was triangulated from a review of broadsheet and magazine feature coverage (including arts and culture), television and radio, and prominent quality fiction, from 2001 to 2010. In terms of the significance of sampling, the sources cited are representative of the total material collected on religion and secularism, though explicit discussion of these topics is a small part of the overall discourse about the 9/11 wars. Religion and secularism, however, achieved discursive prominence during certain periods (9/11, the Bali bombings, the Madrid attacks, the London bombings and their aftermaths, the attacks on Glasgow airport). Methodologically, particular importance has been attached throughout this study to these moments of discursive prominence, what I will call ‘diagnostic moments’ of the conflict. During this time questions were raised by British policy-makers about the overall nature of the conflict: What is radical Islam? What does an Islamist believe? What threats do we face? What is the War on Terror? Who are we? Who are our allies? Most often these ‘diagnostic moments’ were prompted by an outbreak of violence. Shocking events tend to produce a flood of diagnosis, as well as a certain amount of conceptual fluidity and liminality. One need only look to the spate of articles produced following the 2011 summer riots and looting in British cities asking ‘Why did it happen?’. As a conflict continues, consensus hardens around what lies at the root of the conflict, who the key actors are, what the enemy’s position is and what ‘our’ position should be. Increasingly less is then said about these diagnostic questions as positions harden. Inevitably the balance of government attention turns to pragmatics, and detail becomes the order of the day. This was also true of the British government after 2007. The admission by the Coalition government in 2009 that the Preventing Violent Extremism policy had criminalized Muslims without producing its intended results seemed to close the door on these diagnostics. Prime Minister David Cameron’s February 2011 assertion that multiculturalism in Britain had failed did not produce a revival of diagnostics, likely due to a reprieve in terrorist attacks on British soil from 2008 onwards. The launch of operations in Libya

in April 2011, the prospect of intervention in Syria, and the winding down of the Helmand campaign have meant other security matters have occupied the British government, security establishment and public. Perhaps most tellingly, Cameron’s January 2013 announcement of a new security pact with Algeria in the wake of the attack on the In Amenas gas plant cited ‘terrorism’ but made no mention of jihadism or Islamism. The study is particularly concerned with the production and internal coherence of jihadist Islamism as a reified knowledge category for British foreign and security strategists, politicians and senior officers during this period. The category was quite surprisingly coherent in light of the fact that they either came into contact with or were aware of a wide range of jihadist actors: the Taliban, the Badr Brigade, the Jaish al-Mehdi, Lashkar-e-Taiba, al Shabab, and many others across south and central Asia, the Middle East and north and east Africa. They also encountered highly diverse Muslim populations between 2001 and 2009. In Afghanistan, the population is 80 per cent Sunni and 19 per cent Shi‘a (many of whom are Hazara from the northern provinces).93 In Iraq, 60 to 65 per cent of the population is Shi‘a, 32 to 37 per cent are Sunni and 3 per cent are Christian. In the southern provinces, where most British troops and civilians were based, Shi‘a were in the majority. The British Muslim population – the third-largest in Europe in absolute terms at approximately 2.9 million – is described in Chapter 3 in more detail. There is very interesting contrapuntal work to be done to explore in more detail how British (or Western) secularity and Christianity were constructed by Iraqis and Afghans, and how the reflexive relationship between these constructs made a difference to the wars. Herbert’s observation that Barelwi reverence for the Prophet played a role in the 1989 Rushdie affair indicates that this level of specificity could be a fruitful line of enquiry.94 For example, what political and war narratives within Iraqi Shi‘ism influenced reception of the former imperial power? More broadly, how did the dialectic between a (broadly) culturally Christian secular habitus and a (broadly) Islamic habitus, cross-cut by a global jihadist imaginary, influence these wars? Unfortunately this dialectic lies outside the scope of this book. In accordance with an interpretivist, grounded theory approach to social science, I analyzed British narratives about Islamic culture and practice (mullahs, madrasas, mosques, imams, Friday prayers, the veil, shariah), religious life more generally (theology, faith, moral behaviour, ritual), a series of political concepts (democracy, tolerance, multiculturalism, public ethics, national identity, political moderation and extremism), tactical specifics (terrorism, insurgency, hearts and minds, suicide bombing) and British government buzzwords (faith communities, social cohesion, interfaith dialogue). These were used to roughly identify the contingent parameters of the categories ‘jihad’, ‘Islam’ and ‘Islamism’ as they were understood by British policymakers. Critically, over the course of the 9/11 wars, the secular habitus and the discourses and practices it has enabled have not remained static. These shifts will be discussed. But the broad boundaries of the contemporary British secular habitus have remained largely intact over the past ten years because that habitus has emerged from a long history and a broad geography, beholden to longue durée changes within western and central Europe, described in Chapter 1.

Structure of the Book The first two chapters challenge the idea that the British experience during the 9/11 wars emerged from

a historical vacuum, from British history exclusively, or specifically from British colonial and postcolonial encounters with Muslims. Chapter 1 explores the European genealogical roots of British post-9/11 secular ways of war. This chapter argues that the historical contingencies of European warfare between the seventeenth and twentieth centuries led to the emergence of three interrelated myths about religion and politics, variations on what Cavanaugh has called the myth of religious violence. These myths came about through three particular ‘war moments’: intra-European wars after the Peace of Westphalia; the European imperial ‘small wars’; and the development of the current international order in the wake of the Second World War. These are explored in turn. Chapter 2 turns to British history in living memory. It discusses the early days of the conflict in Northern Ireland (1968–75) as a pivotal, perhaps surprising genealogical precursor to the United Kingdom’s participation in the 9/11 wars, as the point in history in which emerging secular habits first infiltrated its security imaginary. Two genealogically important lessons were learned. The British Army internalized the discovery that it was possible to fight a war without paying too much attention, strategically, to religious institutions, social structures and symbolism, despite the mobilization of sectarian–national identities by parties to the conflict. For the liberal Westminster government, it seemed likely that democracy and economic development would eventually persuade those once motivated by sectarian–national grievances to lay down arms. This did prove to be the case, three decades later. We can see during its diagnostic period three tendencies which re-emerge in British practice after 9/11: a strategic tendency to see the religio-cultural contours of a given society as tactically marginal, a preference for a democratic political settlement in which sects are balanced by and bound to the state as the ultimate political authority and arbiter, and a tendency to see engagement with religious leaders as necessary yet somewhat peripheral to the main political settlement. Chapter 3 provides the background on the contemporary British secular habitus, which is an ‘unstable mix’ of liberal political tradition, cultural Christianity, post-imperial pluralism and casual indifference towards religion.95 Like many western European societies, Britain has grown increasingly, habitually nonreligious since the 1960s, while experiencing pockets of religious persistence and increasing pluralization, mainly through immigration from the former colonies. The current secular British political arrangements can be traced to the mid-to-late nineteenth century onwards. This chapter uses historical narrative, sociological data, popular culture and events that have captured the popular imagination to trace the development of British political secularism and secularity. The first half of Chapter 4 introduces the initial British response to the 9/11 wars, assessed chronologically over the next three chapters. The focus of the chapter is the ‘diagnostic moment’ of the war in Afghanistan, 2001–02. This period introduced two important British patterns which would unfold and change slowly over the next decade. The first pattern was a tendency to link the Islamic jihadism of the Taliban, al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, and potential cells in Britain and elsewhere in a single conceptual frame. These actors were held up as novel and radically Other on the basis of their violent rejection of secular political norms. The second pattern was hysteresis, or a failure to adapt rapidly to a new strategic environment. Though British security services acted quickly to protect territory and citizens against terrorist attack, the British security apparatus ultimately knew far less about radical Islamism in this period than it would after 2005. The decision to pursue an aerial campaign in Afghanistan also suggested that more in-depth knowledge was interesting but not strategically significant, and would not necessarily produce greater success in Afghanistan. Instead,

Western myths of religious violence – reconfigured by American War on Terror discourse, mediated by experience with British Muslims and nationalist leaders at the end of empire – too often stood in for facts. While this mattered little to the early Afghan campaign, it played a significant role in Iraq, discussed in the next chapter. The second half of Chapter 4 and Chapters 5 and 6 provide richly detailed empirical accounts of how these post-9/11 secular ways of war evolved and changed during the Iraq war, the domestic fight against jihadist terrorism and in Helmand province, Afghanistan. Chapter 5 explores British encounters with the Shi‘a Islamist militia of Muqtada al-Sadr, the Jaish al-Mehdi (Army of the Redeemer), in the final months of Coalition rule. British policy-makers have suggested that their inability to fully grasp the scale of the Sadrist threat was one of their most significant misunderstandings during this period. The exclusivist Shi‘a Sadrist trajectory was pivotal to the outbreak of sectarian civil war in Iraq. Subsequently, a quieter but more shrewdly political al-Sadr emerged from self-imposed exile in Iran to be the ‘king-maker’ in Iraq’s 2010 elections. Chapter 6 then explores a mutation of British secular war habits, from hysteresis to liberal pastoral governance. It explores the ‘Prevent’ strand of British domestic counterterrorism strategy, focusing particularly on the government’s interest in Islam – its theology, leaders and institutions – as a site for building resilience and countering the perceived risk of radicalization. The second half of Chapter 4 explores a second mutation of British secular ways of war through the development of British ‘cultural capabilities’ in Afghanistan after 2009. The final chapter argues that the relationship between secular habits and the 9/11 wars is not unidirectional but reciprocal. The 9/11 wars have catalysed, though not instigated, a reciprocal process of restructuring of unconsciously secular habits in the West, which has important implications for the modern subject, for political life and for how we justify the wars we wage. Brighton and Barkawi have powerfully suggested that ‘war consumes, reworks and produces truths’. They have highlighted ‘the capacity of organized violence to be more than kinetic exchange, to be constitutive and generative, to “cast into motion” subjects who are then alienated from themselves and come to know themselves and the world in new ways’.96 The chapter explores the generative nature of Britain’s involvement in the 9/11 wars. These wars have forced the British and other NATO security apparatuses, think tanks and military academies to develop greater sensitivity to and expertise on Islam. This has produced some progress as well as some new forms of secular retrenchment. More importantly, in Iraq and Afghanistan, war has planted the seeds of democracy, as well as further entrenching structural inequalities between these and NATO countries, increasing poverty and establishing new systems of elite exploitation within these countries, sowing the seeds of further civil conflict.

The 9/11 Decade and Beyond The legacy of the constitutive impact of British secular habits on the 9/11 wars at home and abroad is mixed. The combination of liberal political tradition, Christian heritage, post-imperial pluralism and casual indifference towards religion in British culture produced tolerance of cultural difference and a warm reception for ‘moderate’ religious actors among policy-makers and implementers as often as it did suspicion and a security response. At the level of practice, the British government and armed forces appeared collectively ambivalent towards political Islamism, in its jihadist and non-violent varients, and towards Muslims. This ambivalence manifested itself in a variety of seemingly contradictory

working hypotheses among senior British policy-makers, politicians, military personnel and their advisors: that Islamism endangers human freedom but that Islamists can be guided in the ways of democracy, and that while Islam is a repository for social values, how those values enter political life needs to be carefully monitored by the state. In turn, this close encounter with the Other produced a certain reflexive ambivalence towards the secular habitus itself within British culture, particularly after the 7/7 attacks, and these actors were not immune to this. In the early years of the 9/11 wars, British cultural impulses, in combination with pressing strategic priorities, resulted in a certain lethargy, or hysteresis, among government and military circles in coming to grips with Islam, Islamist politics, jihadist ideologies and Iraqi and Afghan culture. While British officials sometimes found it difficult to read Islamist actors, they were also ultimately pragmatic about the participation of Islamists, for example in the democratic process in Iraq. Gradually, the British government, security services and military partially overcame this lethargy after the 7/7 attacks. The British government’s pastoral governance of its own Muslim population after 7/7 and the military’s tendency to elide religion into Pashtun culture in Helmand can also be attributed in part to competing impulses with the British secular habitus, as well as adaptation to a changing strategic environment. The secular habitus produced highly heterogeneous attitudes among British actors, but also proved doggedly persistent. In the British metropole, the 9/11 wars have generated new forms of nationalism and, concomitantly, new approaches to multiculturalism. This has had both positive and negative repercussions, manifest in more inclusive acknowledgement of forms of religious plurality not accounted for in ethnic or cultural terms but also in electoral gains for the right-wing British National Party and the anti-immigration UK Independence Party, and the emergence of the more insidiously fascist English Defence League. Counterterrorism measures have both alienated the British Muslim population from national and local politics and promoted some political participation, wider, positive cultural visibility, social integration and economic advancement. At a wider societal level, the 9/11 wars are deeply implicated in the popular reception of more strident forms of anti-religiosity espoused by Richard Dawkins and the New Atheists. On the other hand, the salience of religious difference during the period of the 9/11 wars has also prompted new formal and informal dialogue between religious and nonreligious actors of all creeds. Globally, this episode in British history is important in its own right, but it is also representative of wider impulses within the European and Western cultural milieus towards Islam and political Islamism, including its jihadist variants. While the British case has its own peculiarities, these should not be overestimated. Again, the UK has successfully transmitted its historical experiences to the former British colony which is now the global superpower.97 As a contribution to ongoing scholarly discussions about the impact of the hegemonic Western secular on global affairs, the heterogeneities, paradoxes and aporias of this empirical case further problematize any simplistic reading of what the secular in global politics looks like, where it comes from, what it does, and how and when and by whom it is held and resisted. The secular habitus is a useful heuristic for explaining a wide range of shared social habits, myths, practices and emotional and aesthetic impulses, as well as epistemic frameworks, found in the contemporary West. It is also useful for, in Knott’s terms, ‘breaking open the secular’, to see how both the ‘religious’ and the ‘nonreligious’ condition what we think of as the impact of political secularisms on international affairs.98

Problematizing the distinction between foreign and domestic, it situates policy-makers and implementers, civilian and military, as carriers of assimilated cultural frameworks with them to global sites. The secular habitus also has broad potential application for understanding international and domestic politics, beyond the study of war. Still, this glimpse into war as a form of organized violence and intense inter-societal contact illuminates several examples of what the secular habitus does under the extreme pressure generated by the imminent prospect of death and killing. Though the myopia of proximity makes it difficult to speculate about the future impact of this particular aspect of the 9/11 wars, events point to three paradigm shifts. One is a new Western pragmatism towards democratically elected Islamist-majority governments. Another is a shift among global civil society and states towards greater inclusion of religious and nonreligious voices. The third is the beginning of a historically novel Western self-consciousness and humility about the contingency of liberal secular politics, worldviews and habits. In these latter two, still nascent shifts lie prospects for a more inclusive global order.

The next two chapters aim to challenge the idea that the British experience during the 9/11 wars rose fully formed, phoenix-like, from the rubble of the Twin Towers, from British history exclusively, or only from British colonial and postcolonial encounters with Muslims. Though the British experience during the 9/11 wars was shaped by a European and Western past, it is not of that past. The 9/11 wars were intellectually and culturally novel in many ways. In particular, they were the first time in which liberal-secular societies were self-conscious of themselves as liberal-secular people fighting a ‘non-liberal’ political enemy that both they and the enemy had designated as religio-political. Still, the 9/11 wars were not entirely sui generis. This chapter argues that the historical contingencies of European warfare between the seventeenth and twentieth centuries led to the emergence of three interrelated myths about religion and violence which reappeared in British security logic after 9/11. These myths are three variations on what Cavanaugh has called the myth of religious violence.1 These are: • That Westerners are not the kind of irrational people to fight wars in the name of religion. War is such a serious endeavour it should only be fought over the politics of the state. • That non-Western Others have a tendency towards forms of religion that can be dangerous or unruly. This demands the firm hand of the state or even ‘the West’ to keep them in line, to the point of using force. • That, with the exception of the Vatican, it is better for religion to be confined to and kept under the control of states so that unruly non-Western others will not be bad international citizens and will not pose an existential threat to the global order. These myths came about through three particular ‘war moments’: intra-European wars after the Peace of Westphalia; the European imperial ‘small wars’; and the development of the current international order in the wake of the Second World War. These are explored in turn. This genealogical account of some of the origins of post-9/11 secular ways of war is explicitly a fragmented, partially realized history, revealing its constitutive moments only with hindsight. This account is not intended to explicate any pre-9/11 wars in situ. Nor is it intended as a universally

applicable history of the UK and all other ‘Western’ powers. My intention is to notice a shared history, but then to problematize and expose multiplicity rather than to homogenize. This narrative is set out not as something fixed but as an invitation to explore this multiplicity. Careful archaeological attention to fragments of history, dormancies, contradictions and disjunctures, self-consciously looking back through a contemporary lens, can illuminate our multiple presents. Additionally, this is not a teleological or determinist argument. The argument of this chapter is not that the post-Westphalian, post-Enlightenment era has been marked by the progressive extension of secular epistemology and political assumptions into all aspects of human life, including war, through the actions of Western powers. Historians have demonstrated effectively that there is nothing inevitable about either secularization or desecularization.2 The same must be said for the impact on war, as Chapters 4–7 will demonstrate.

The Myth of Religious Violence and the Rise of the Modern State William Cavanaugh has demonstrated powerfully that the myth that religion has a dangerous tendency to promote violence, an idea that has so captivated the modern Western imaginary after 9/11, originated in European political theory in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Spinoza, Hobbes, Locke, Voltaire and Rousseau used the Thirty Years’ War as fodder for their Enlightenment critiques of religion.3 The early modern theorists presented these ‘religious wars’ as primarily having been fought over theological doctrine, albeit embedded within a web of social, political and economic grievances.4 This was not descriptive history but aspirational mythologizing. These Enlightenment thinkers valorized the Peace of Westphalia as a turning point for rational men; by founding the modern state, men had given themselves the opportunity to leave ultimately irresolvable matters aside for the sake of peace and security, turning their attention to the forging of political and trade relationships that might ensure stability and flourishing in this world. The myth was based in history – the French Wars of Religion and the Thirty Years’ War had precipitated a near-total breakdown of civil and moral order.5 But the conclusions drawn about religion in the framework of this myth were formulated with an eye to extolling the virtues of reason and the state. The historical relationship between religion and war is far more complex than the myth would allow. From the medieval period to the mid-nineteenth century, Christian symbolism and institutions were an important part of the habitus and, to a greater or lesser extent, the discourse of political leaders and soldiers alike. From the mid-eighteenth century, nationalist idioms took precedence, still conditioned by Christianity, but it is only after the Second World War that the habits and discourse of European politicians and soldiers have been predominantly shaped by a secular worldview. Still, most of the practices and strategic objectives of war from the medieval period through to today have been areligious – to secure territory and resources, to avenge a perceived injustice, to kill the enemy. It is the explanatory framework used by those involved that has shifted over time. For example, the more than 200 years of military campaigns associated with the Crusades were sanctioned by religious leaders, capitalizing on reawakened piety among the laity, and led to violence against not only Muslims but also Jews and Orthodox Christians. However, while the framework was Christian, the Crusades were also driven by the political, economic and geostrategic rivalries around the Mediterranean. The post-Reformation French Wars of Religion and Thirty Years’ War in Europe were similarly multi-

causal, though Christian sectarianism was a vital, constitutive element.6 While religion remained salient in the discourse, habits and symbols of intra-European warfare from the medieval period through to the mid-twentieth century, myth and history diverged from the nineteenth century onwards. Historically, there were important relationships between Christianity and European proto-national consciousness in the early modern period, which continued through the late nineteenth century.7 For example, the period between the Napoleonic and American Revolutionary Wars and the early twentieth century was unusual in the history of the British Army in so far as Christianity took on a heightened symbolic significance. This was evident in church parades, the blessing of standards and changes to uniform styles to accommodate Bibles and prayer books.8 The French Revolution was an important exception. The nationalist uprising targeted all aspects of the ancien régime, including its clerical support. Supporters launched attacks on Catholic and Protestant clergy and churches, while maintaining an attachment to Christian ethical imperatives. Though the campaign eased in the late 1790s, the churches remained subject to harassment and persecution. The advance of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic armies beyond the borders of France spread the Revolution’s anti-clerical and in some cases anti-Christian policies.9 However, the secularizing dynamic of the French Revolution was impeded by the persistence of Christianity in nationalisms in Europe. The emergence of historical-materialist Marxism as a popular doctrine in Europe in the mid-nineteenth century, rather than the French Revolution, was the catalyst of a post-1914 shift in the way Europeans thought about their wars with each other. The aftermath of the First World War marks a pivotal moment in the marginalization of Christianity from the habitus of European war. The war itself had seen a revival of Christianity in Europe. European churches had mobilized in favour of the war, and there were outbreaks of piety among the French and British armies.10 The working and intellectual classes in Europe had become increasingly nonreligious from the middle of the nineteenth century (though with regional variations, in particular between northern and southern Europe). However, Christian heritage persisted within the European worldview, providing a loosely shared cultural point of departure, particularly among the middle classes. It was these classes that invoked Christian rhetoric over the course of the First World War, with clergymen and the institutional Churches playing an important role in the construction of various European nationhoods.11 Following the Armistice, European despair over the loss of life and military stalemate prompted wider reflection on modern European civilization as a whole, including its moral and intellectual underpinnings. Christopher Coker’s War in the Twentieth Century provides a masterful reading of this.12 Christianity as a moral and intellectual resource suffered from such scrutiny, with many theologians equally paralyzed by the calamity of intra-European war. In the inter-war period, any reference to the human condition as a cause of war had simply become unfashionable, giving way to various identifications of capitalism, German militarism and bourgeois social conditioning as the casus belli.13 That Christianity had played a role in the run-up to and course of war – a militaristic German war theology had been produced out of the injection of religious thinking into the secular realm of German politics between 1860 and 1918 – was largely overlooked in Europe after the war.14 In Britain and France, Christianity had in many ways lost the intellectual battle prior to the First World War to political ideologies, including socialism and liberalism. The experience of war stripped away many of its social and political moorings as well.15

During the inter-war period, Marxists and fascists moved from ideological proponents to material potency, capturing state power through force or election in Russia, Spain, Italy and Germany. These new ideologies (often erroneously called ‘secular religions’) would offer an all-encompassing intellectual framework and conception of human agency that once had been provided by Christian theology in Europe. That said, on the far political right, fascism drew breath from Christian symbolism. For example, fascists in inter-war Italy invoked Catholic symbolism in building a collective – and ultimately violent – nationalist identity. Berezin has written: The Mass for the Martyrs inserted fascist ritual practice into the most sacred part of the liturgy. At the moment the priest raised the Eucharist, and turned to the audience, a trombone sounded, the troops presented arms, and the fascists raised their arms in a Roman salute. As the priest consecrated the Eucharist, the fascists consecrated themselves and blurred the distinction between what was sacred and what was secular – what was church and what was state.16 By contrast, classical Marxism, drawing on Feuerbach, had intellectually resisted traditional organized Christianity as an ‘opiate of the masses’ or an instrument of class repression, and communist parties followed suit in the inter-war years.17 But this was also not a clean intellectual or temporal break. For example, some of Locke’s theological ideas became secularized into some of the foundations of Marxist (as well as liberal) political thought.18 There was intellectual continuity from Christianity on the left and right.19 Secularization was, however, not merely ideological but material as well. The spread of the industrial revolution throughout western Europe in the late nineteenth century and accompanying urbanization had seen individuals increasingly divorced from traditional centres of authority, including the rural churches. This was particularly true among the working classes but also filtered through to the middle classes. However, with the onset of a worldwide economic depression and the remobilization of the German military during the inter-war period, the existence of the gods became the least of European concerns. The Second World War was, after all, conceived by both sides in part as a war for (Christian) civilization. The Second World War provided some hiatus from a march towards the secular in many European societies. Again, Christian clergy on both sides of the war in Europe offered bellicose justification through claims of the defence of Christian civilization. In Hitler’s ideology, the assertion of Aryan Protestantism required the death of religious Others, most prominently Jews but also Catholics. We should also not forget the Pacific theatre. The Japanese – non-Christian – ‘cult of death’ was seen as justification for the Allies to wage ‘war without mercy’ there.20 But religion is always a double-edged sword, eager for blood as well as for healing.21 While the Vatican famously failed to take a stand against fascist slaughter, institutional Christianity also provided a charitable apparatus for Europeans affected by the war. It also provided a comforting framework of habits – prayer, hymns, communal worship – in times of suffering. In some cases, it was also officially mobilized by governments, including the British government.22 However, the end of the Second World War, after a short surge during the 1950s, saw a return to the waning importance of Christian institutions and ideas for many parts of Western Europe, although they persisted in the Catholic south and in Ireland, north and south. Christian Democratic political

parties, founded during the inter-war period, reorganized themselves in this context.23 Social change during the 1960s – including urbanization, technologization and shifting assumptions about morality and the role of women – among the victorious Allies played a role in further secularizing the European social imaginary. Materially, a decline in church attendance followed, though many European churches continued to be institutionally prominent through their official Establishment. In Eastern Europe, under the control of the communist bloc, in many cases private religious ritual and identification were outlawed, with relations between churches and communist state apparatuses during the Cold War being a complex web of co-option, cooperation and resistance.24 While this would lead to increased non-religiosity in Eastern Europe, it would also prompt risorgimentos of religious nationalism as a means of nonviolent resistance, most famously in the Polish Solidarity movement. What did this post-1960s decline of Christianity in western and central Europe mean for war? For several decades, not a great deal. Religion was several steps removed from the organizing frames of conflict during this period. In the second half of the twentieth century, the global security environment was defined by two kinds of wars: proxy wars for the Cold War confrontation and civil wars of national self-determination. Religion was not wholly absent from either of these types, but it was marginal at best. To take the Vietnam War as an example, the June 1963 self-immolation of Mahayana Buddhist monk Thich Quang Duc in protest against the south Vietnamese regime, and copy-cat self-immolations in the USA by a Quaker woman and several others in protest against the war, were regarded as surreal and disquieting by Americans in Saigon and back home.25 This is not to say that religion disappeared entirely from Western conceptions of warfare. This was far from the case, particularly with the global ascendency of the USA after the Second World War, a far more religious nation than its European relatives. President Truman’s construction of the confrontation with the USSR as one between Christian civilization and godless communism proved doggedly persistent in the US security imaginary.26 The juxtaposition of the atomic bomb and the Christian apocalyptic vision resonated with some American Christian peace activists.27 A Christian response – in particular prayer, fasting and Christian civil disobedience – animated the anti-nuclear movement in early Cold War America, in line with a period of spiritual renewal for many parts of the American population.28 This instrumental invocation of Christianity in US security discourse should not be overstated, however. For example, in 1952 the then General Eisenhower cautioned that NATO chaplains should not be seen as ‘“spiritual guns” to mobilize religion for the sake of anti-communism’.29 In contrast to the USA, the western European security imaginary in the second half of the twentieth century was far more secularized. This was particularly evident in differing constructions of the threat of nuclear annihilation. This can perhaps be attributed to both the overall (though uneven, particularly between north and south) decline of Christianity in European public life. Should nuclear apocalypse have come, in the eyes of most western Europeans there would be no rapture or resurrection. We will return to this story later in the chapter, via a third story: the secularization of the post-war global order.

Wars of Imperial Conquest: the Displacement of Religious Violence to the Non-Western Frontier

But the intra-European angle is only part of the story of the quite gradual and highly uneven decoupling of religion from Western war from the nineteenth century onward. European colonialism in the non-Christian world altered the geography of religious warfare in the Western imaginary. Religion was imagined as relocated to ‘the violent edge of empire’, a dynamic space of ethnic conflict and social reorganization.30 Importantly for our post 9/11 story, it has remained there, on the imagined periphery. For Britain this was facilitated by the fact that, with the exception of the 1798 rebellion in Ireland, all of its army’s campaigns between 1793 and 1914 were fought abroad.31 It is impossible to capture the length and breadth of the European colonial moment here so the British experience in India is privileged. The shift of religious violence in the European imaginary out of Europe, to the frontier, was a gradual process. During the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, religious rivalries within Europe were transmitted and acted out on the other side of the Atlantic. The Mediterranean struggle between Islam and Christianity – particularly Suleiman I’s attempted siege of Vienna in 1529 – influenced mission activity in the New World. Catholic and Protestant competition in Europe also fed rivalries among missionaries in New England.32 For example, for French Franciscan missionaries, Europe and the North American colonies were seen as multiple fronts in a ‘global war on sin’. Multiple fronts in that global war were set against the spread of Protestantism, Islamic incursion and Native American idolatry and blasphemy.33 Concurrently, early modern imperial ideologies fused millenarian beliefs in the ‘Last Days’ with the imperatives of colonial expansion. Soldiers, settlers and missionaries saw themselves as engaged in ‘the Lord’s battles’. These battles were with peoples they saw, paradoxically, as both agents of the devil on earth and ‘close to Eden’.34 Many settlers in the Atlantic colonies, particularly in North America, were themselves refugees from pre-1648 religious warfare in Germany, the Netherlands, France and the British Isles. The wedding of religious violence to colonial warfare, Sandberg argues, involved the mimetic repetition of what settlers had themselves witnessed, feeding a lack of restraint.35 In turn, indigenous peoples exploited European fears of cannibalism and scalping as a means of resistance.36 Some religious frontiers were more violent than others, and the early colonization, independence and re-colonization of the Atlantic colonies in the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries was particularly brutal.37 Missionaries and clergy were deeply implicated in the perpetuation of violence against indigenous peoples during the first wave of European colonialism.38 Wars of imperial conquest were seen by their European protagonists to have a fundamentally generative capacity to transform uncivilized lands and peoples into nations, under the Christian God. Means of discriminating between races, genders and classes have always been a feature of how conquerors deal with enslaved populations. However, as Toulmin notes, a ‘new cosmopolitical framework gave such discriminatory patterns a new respectability, implying they were essential parts of God’s plan for nature and humanity’.39 In fact, both sides – and the religions of both sides – emerged changed by violent contact.40 By the end of the eighteenth century, though the French originated the notion of the civilizing mission, its tenets were taken up by the other European powers, particularly the British. During the ‘second wave’ of European colonization, Christian notions of civilizing missions persisted alongside secular liberal ones. For example, the British civilizing mission had a secular strand, underpinned by the Scottish Enlightenment and Utilitarianism, with their accompanying emphasis on law and good

government.41 Still, for many on the receiving end of empire, the language of civilizing mission revived Christian crusader discourse.42 For the British, this displacement of religious violence to the frontier had a material as well as a mythological basis. The empire was a highly militarily-charged environment. Far from a dynamic of conquest and then peaceful rule, it was marked by continual sparks of protest followed by violent re-subjugation. The British ‘conquest state’ suppressed 16 revolts between 1818 and 1857, fought more conventional wars in the Crimea and China, and waged a bloody but ultimately unsuccessful expansionist campaign in the North-West Frontier Province (part of what is now Pakistan).43 This period of prolonged imperial expansion and recurrent wars brought the British into sustained contact with a wide range of religious Others – Jews, Sikhs, Hindus, Orthodox Christians and Roman Catholics – not only Muslims. However, by the 1890s the British ruled over the largest number of Muslims of any of the European imperial powers.44 As with the Crusades, the wars of religion in Europe and the ‘first wave’ of colonial war, the influence of Christianity on this ‘second wave’ of colonial endeavour was propelled by an awakening of piety among the laity. In the long nineteenth century, evangelical missionary ideas provided ‘spiritual and ethical inspiration’ for colonial expansion, though the British military was deeply sceptical, fearing they would rouse the population.45 The missionaries faced both ways; they facilitated religious services for the invading and occupying forces as well as the natives. However, where once Europeans had insisted that the natives must be forcefully converted to Christianity, this new wave of imperial conquest was seemingly more tolerant towards religious difference. This tolerance, however, disguised new disciplinary technologies of law and education.46 Constructs of Muslims as imperial subjects were rather ambiguous. A shared monotheism underpinned constructs of Muslims as ‘upright and independent peoples, believers who worshipped one God, experienced in the work of government and courageous in that of war’.47 The Western hierarchy of civilizations – which mutated into a biological hierarchy of races in the mid-nineteenth century – had originally used religion as one of the criteria for a people’s positioning in the hierarchy, as well as other factors such as political and military prowess.48 Praise of Muslim rule coexisted – with no sense of irony – alongside constructs of Mughal governance as oriental despotism.49 Still, as after 9/11, the presence of Muslims in the European metropole also rendered in-country elites more familiar. At the end of the eighteenth century, travellers, students and lascars (sailors, army servants or artillery troopers) formed a transient population that came to Britain but were not allowed to settle. However, after 1870, Muslim professionals and elites began to settle in Britain.50 The first mosque was established in Liverpool in the 1890s by William Henry Quilliam, a British convert to Islam.51 Growing domestic familiarity aside, where British imperial control was more secure, Muslim administrators were praised as ruthless on behalf of the British rather than as sovereign, activist and self-reliant equals. Where it was not secure, the British, like the French in Algeria, were torn between seeing Muslim rulers such as Abdur Rahman in Afghanistan as vital allies or as potential threats.52 Still, though the West and the Islamic world had enjoyed non-violent trade and the fruitful exchange of ideas periodically between the seventh and eighteenth centuries, ‘the new religious spirit of Evangelicalism’ in nineteenth-century Britain gave renewed ‘incentive … to the idea of opposition between Christianity and Islam’.53 This had a material basis. From the late eighteenth century onwards, numerous challenges were mounted against British colonial rule by Muslim populations,

either directly against the British themselves or against their in-country proxies. These nationalist uprisings (Sudan, the North-West Province, Palestine, the Moplah Rebellion and Somalia) were articulated in a local idiom and many – though by no means all – drew on Islamic symbolism and social structures for ballast. Once British blood began to flow, the British invoked Orientalist myths of religious violence to describe challenges to their authority. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries the phrase ‘mad mullah’ referred to Muhamed Ahmed, the self-proclaimed Mehdi (messiah figure) of Sudan. In the light of later uprisings in Somalia, Pakistan and Mandatory Palestine, all rebels were described as mad.54 In a dispatch from the North-West Provinces during the 1897–98 uprising, young cavalry officer Winston Churchill noted: ‘were [the tribes] amenable to logical reasoning, the improvement in their condition and the strength of their adversaries would have convinced them of the folly of an outbreak. But in a land of fanatics common sense does not exist’.55 In Palestine, the ‘Wailing Wall’ riots prompted the District Commissioner to write: The vast majority of the congregation held up their hands in response and swore before Almighty God that they were ready to shed their blood if need be. ‘Then go,’ said the preacher, ‘pounce upon your enemies and kill that you in doing so may obtain Paradise’. Emotion ran so high that many rushed out of the mosque sobbing and declaring that they could not pray. The crowd with knives and clubs, rushed towards the Jaffa Gate, attacking shops and knocking about any Jews they met, crying … ‘the religion of Mohammed came with the sword’. Slaughter followed.56 Narratives of religious frenzy were not confined to Islam or to the nineteenth century – similar tropes had been circulated about Native American warfare by English settlers in the seventeenth century. Examples also abound from Mandate Palestine, Ireland and Kenya.57 Nor are these narrative types confined to British or European empire; Dower makes a similar argument about American constructs of the kamikaze during the Second World War.58 The 1857 Indian Rebellion was a particularly pivotal moment for British constructions of religious violence on the frontier. Prior to the revolt, the East India Company had claimed to pursue a policy of relative tolerance and non-interference, constraining missionary activities, collecting taxes for the upkeep of Hindu shrines and instructing British officers serving with sepoy regiments to participate in Hindu festivals.59 Its official position prior to 1857 was that the locals should be governed by their own laws but saved from the worst of their own religious excesses, such as suttee, the practice of widows immolating themselves on their husbands’ funeral pyre, which was banned in 1820. However, as Pratt Ewing has pointed out, a ‘hands-off policy that recognized separate state and sacred realms’ was a means of maintaining imperial authority while at the same time giving the colonized Other a feeling of limited control over their own affairs. The process of denoting something as religious, ‘though apparently a straightforward act of classification’, was a disciplinary measure manifested in administrative policy and colonial discursive practices.60 These patterns trickled down to the Indian Army, where Muslims were the largest serving group. Green argues that, though a ‘barracks Islam’ practised among the sepoys was fostered by the British, at the same time they took steps to control and instrumentalize it. The army environment provided an oasis for this distinctive religious tradition within some regiments, which incorporated Sufi elements of

devotionalism, militarism and ecstatic practice, including opium experimentation, liaisons with courtesans, and séances. The British often restricted the exuberance of religious festivals and constrained the influence of regimental fakirs (holy men) through selective incarceration in asylums. But they also encouraged certain cultural habits, such as pre-existing Sufi traditions of ‘warrior mysticism’ or ‘supernatural warfare’, with the ‘regimental maulvi’ (holy man or elder) incorporated into military life in order to lend it legitimacy. For example, holy men were called upon to protect the sepoys in battle and ensure victory.61 The British were often more attached to the idea of these religious customs than the sepoys were, which Barkawi attributes to the organization of the Indian Army along communal lines in accordance with the theory of Martial Races.62 The outer trappings of religious ritual, particularly food and dress, were important for the promotion of an effective and united army. This was grounded in a conception of the ‘good old days’ of a religion, frozen in time, dependent on the British for continuing honour: it was ‘the British officer who [had] kept Sikhism up to its old standard’.63 Similar accounts of Islam as frozen in time reappeared in British discourse concerning British Muslims after 2001.64 At the same time, Barkawi argues, military life both made and unmade difference, and ethnicity and culture (and indeed religion) proved plastic.65 For example, though the British sometimes created conditions in which soldiers would ‘break caste’ as a measure of disciplinary control, they were also indignant when religious sensibilities did not conform to ‘known’ stereotypes: Major John Peddie, commanding a party of Indian soldiers sent to the UK for post-war celebrations, was appalled to find them enjoying a full English breakfast in their temporary RAF mess. Although ‘[s]eemingly nobody was worried’ and the senior VCO reported that none of the men had taken offence, Peddie ‘was irked that their religious scruples had not been respected’.66 The British Army in the mid-nineteenth century had become one of the most religiously tolerant institutions of the state, balancing provision for its Anglican ranks with increasing numbers of Roman Catholics and Nonconformists.67 This precedence perhaps reassured the British army that their treatment of sepoys was pastoral and equitable. Some soldiers, however, were far less respectful of non-Christian religious difference. In 1848 British troops refused to take off their shoes in a mosque in Delhi, and expressed revulsion at the sight of Parsee corpses devoured by birds on Malabar Hill in Bombay, decomposing corpses floating in the sacred waters of the Ganges, and the Hindu festival Churruk-puja, where devotees swung from a cross-bar by hooks driven through the flesh of their legs.68 Snape quotes one officer of a sepoy regiment as saying, ‘although driven out of Christendom, demonology, witchcraft, necromancy and the entire list of black and forbidden arts and powers are abroad and in full existence in India’.69 In the run-up to the Mutiny, religion was a particularly sensitive area. The greasing of Enfield rifle cartridges used by Hindu and Muslim soldiers with cow and pig fat became a rallying idiom for sepoys, resentful of changes to their terms of service by the General Service Enlistment Act of 1856, as did allegations regarding the surreptitious conversion tactics of missionary-run schools.70 The Mutiny broke out at Meerut on the Sabbath, when British soldiers were known to be in compulsory attendance at public worship, marched there in elaborate church parades.71 To describe the 1857 Mutiny itself, many British reverted to Orientalist constructions, also

privileging the role of religion. Padamsee has argued that the experience of the violence during the Mutiny drew attention to the colonial official and officer as victims of ‘barbarous murdering and mangling of the Christians’.72 After the rebellion, some British soldiers launched systematic attacks on the religious sensibilities of the native population, defiling temples, forcing prisoners to eat pork or beef, and tying them to canons and blowing them to pieces, thus denying them ritual burial. British soldiers had behaved similarly in the Sudan, demolishing the Mahdi’s tomb and throwing his remains into the Nile to prevent it from becoming a politically charged site for pilgrims. Muslim soldiers in particular were blamed for the Mutiny, and many regiments, Muslim and non-Muslim, were disbanded as punishment. In the aftermath of the Mutiny, Orientalist tropes and attacks on sepoys betrayed wider British geopolitical insecurities about an uprising across the empire.73 This paranoia was not entirely baseless – by 1882 the British knew that the pan-Islamist movement was backed by the Ottoman Empire.74 British anxieties were provoked by a series of incidents – the expulsion of the British from Kabul in 1842, the 1857 uprising, the Turkish victory over the Greeks in early 1897, the 1897–98 uprising and, later, the 1919–24 Khalifat movement.75 Ultimately the inevitable break-up of empire would gradually serve to remake the religious and political landscape of much of Europe fundamentally, through the movement of decolonized non-Christian peoples to the metropole. While British myths of religious violence and pastoral governance resurface after 9/11, it is this shift which mitigates and problematizes their direct enactment.

The End of European Empire and the Secularization of the Global Order The third strand of this story coincides chronologically with the dying days of European empire, the emergence of numerous postcolonial states into the global order and the rise of the USA on the world stage. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, European states had secularized themselves while confining ‘religious violence’ to the frontiers of empire. However, during the twentieth century this became an outward-facing, global project – the secularization of the international arena, and hence of the terms in which wars could be legitimately fought in the eyes of the international community. It was a project of identity and security – the creation of a world safe for liberal, secular states. Phillips attributes the secularization of the current international order to the popular sovereignty revolutions of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and the collapse of the two serious challenges to the liberal order: the Qing dynasty and the disintegration of the Confucian social imaginary, and the Caliphate, whose abolition in 1924 saw the rise of modernizing dictatorships in the Islamic world.76 The end of the Second World War was a watershed moment in the institutionalization of the secular global order. Importantly for our story here, following the disintegration of the European and Ottoman empires in the early to mid-twentieth century, it became necessary to integrate non-Western peoples – both Christian and non-Christian – as equals into the state system, bound by international law. As Phillips puts it: the post-war architects of international order sought to institutionalize a liberal cosmopolitan moral culture, in which the rights-bearing individual was to become both the primary object of international moral concern and also the ultimate fountainhead of political legitimacy.77

The United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, its accompanying institutions, and customary international law, all of which emerged after the defeat of the Axis powers, were the primary expressions of this. The UN Declaration included a commitment to freedom of religion and conscience for the individual. But Freeman has suggested that the conception of human rights instantiated in international law from the mid-twentieth century ‘assumes the inappropriateness of theocentric conceptions of human dignity and human rights’.78 Through the instantiation of a liberal conception of religious freedom in international law, the place of religion more generally was thus institutionalized at several steps removed from high politics. Representatives from 17 states were invited to participate in drafting the UN Declaration, ostensibly to represent a political and cultural cross-section of the world. An-Na’im has pointed out that the main precepts of international human rights law were hammered out by a small clique of bureaucrats, intellectuals and lawyers at a time when Western culture was hegemonic, prior to the final collapse of the imperial system.79 While American and European framers were conscious of including representatives from postcolonial states, they were also keen to present liberal values in this foundational document, to balance any ideological threat from the Soviet bloc. The post-war period was therefore a key moment in the Western imagination of the ‘new’ international system as a secular political space, with religious aspirations and ways of knowing relegated to and protected by individual states (with the exception of the Vatican, whose existence pre-dates the modern state system). This was not entirely the fault of the West. Yes, the West built the formal separation of religion and politics, derived from its secular political traditions, into international law and institutions. However, the secular European ideologies of the nineteenth century, most explicitly nationalism, Marxism and liberalism, had been integrated into the self-articulation of non-Western postcolonial struggles in the twentieth. If Christianity mattered little to the intellectual classes of Europe from the 1960s onwards, religious scruples mattered even less to the proponents of Arab nationalism and east Asian communism. In postcolonial states, secularism was often imposed through sharp, state-directed intervention and control.80 These elites approved of secular state sovereignty over religion. The non-West, via both Westernized dissidents and elites, was therefore complicit in the construction of a post-war secular global order. This chapter provides a broad indication of the historical palette from which many Western governments – including the UK – have drawn to interpret security threats from al-Qaeda. Three variations on the myth of religious violence lay dormant in the European political imaginary on the eve of 9/11. These were: that Westerners do not fight wars in the name of religion; that non-Westerners have a tendency to do so, which demands a firm hand to keep them in line; and that it is better for peaceful global politics for states to keep an eye on religio-political actors within their jurisdictions, and step in if those actors pose an external security threat. Particularly in the imperial myth of the violent non-Western religious frontier we can see several tenets that re-emerge after 9/11 – that non-Westerners will be hypersensitive about their religious sites, symbolism and leaders; that their weapons will be primitive; and that war for the enchanted non-West will be apocalyptic, never-ending and very bloody. However, for the British the direct mapping of these myths onto the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has been mitigated by two more historically and geographically proximate experiences: the presence of a highly visible British Muslim population, to be explored in Chapter 6, and the 30-year conflict in Northern Ireland, explored in the next chapter.

Of all the high-intensity deployments of British troops in the years after the Second World War, the civil conflict in Northern Ireland is the one which is particularly relevant to the story of war and the secular.1 In fact, I would suggest that the ‘diagnostic moment’ of the war in Northern Ireland (1968–75) is the pivotal precursor to the influence of the secular habitus on British war-making between 2001 and 2010. In some important ways, the 9/11 wars are for the British unconsciously mimetic of this period, which is genealogically significant because the onset of the civil war coincided with the onset of the current cycle of secularization in Britain in the late 1960s. Though the war in Northern Ireland cuts across a three-decade period of deepening secularity, the onset of secularization prompted substantial discussion about the role of Christian sectarianism in the conflict. This period is also significant because it was when levels of violence in Northern Ireland were highest and it bridges the gap between habits developed in the dying days of empire and those characteristic of the 9/11 wars.2 We can see during its diagnostic period three tendencies which re-emerge in British practice after 9/11: a strategic tendency to see the religio-cultural contours of the society as tactically marginal; a preference for a political settlement in which sects are balanced by and bound to the state as the ultimate political authority and arbiter; and a tendency to see engagement with religious leaders as very necessary but also somewhat peripheral to the main political settlement. These were made possible by the British version of two dynamics described in the last chapter – first, the rise of the modern state, the valorization of religious tolerance from the late nineteenth century and the surpassing of religion by other political identities in the early twentieth; and second, the displacement of ‘religious violence’ to the frontier. However, more saliently, they were made possible by the emergence of a secular habitus in late 1960s Britain. To those intimately familiar with the Troubles, the national conflict in Northern Ireland may seem a rather strange entry point for exploring policy-makers’ conceptions of religion and war. The conflict ‘has not been, is not and will never be a holy war’, though international scrutiny by the UN, the European Community, the USA and the Vatican during the 1970s was often fuelled by outsiders’ misconstruction of the conflict as sectarian.3 Ruane and Todd have argued that

[t]he sources of conflict may be theorized as a system of relationships with three interlocking elements: a set of overlapping cultural differences, a structure of dominance, dependence and inequality, and a tendency toward communal polarization. Religion, ethnicity, ideology, and place of origin therefore interact with and reinforce one another as well as political hierarchies.4 Along the same lines, Mitchell has suggested that the ‘academic consensus … that the conflict is essentially ethnonational’ has produced an unhelpful bias in the analysis of the conflict. She has offered an alternative schema that takes into account the subtle significance of religion. Mitchell has argued that the political significance of religion ‘derives from … overlapping sources’, which reinforce one another as well as ‘other dimensions of social difference such as ethnicity and inequality’. This, she argues, ‘is why religion is so deeply rooted in political culture and structure in Northern Ireland’. For Mitchell, these sources are cooperation between churches and politicians; the fact that religious affiliation permits social segregation, which in turn facilitates rituals that help to reproduce a sense of community, particularly for Catholics; that religious ideology ‘informs communal identifications’, particularly for Protestants; and that ‘theology and doctrine help constitute the meanings of group identity and politics’, again particularly for Protestants.5 Though sectarian specificities were deeply embedded in the identities, institutions, social structures and mythology of Northern Irish society, these were constitutive rather than causal factors, at a distance from the strategic and political imperatives of the conflict, and overlapping with other national identity markers. This begs the question: Why privilege the Troubles over other instances where the religiopolitical identity of the participants has penetrated British discourse about the conflict? One analytic rival may be the Cyprus insurgency. The British were aware of the national prominence of Archbishop Makarios, and of divisions between Orthodox Christians and Muslims on the island. Another potential rival is the Mau Mau insurgency in Kenya. Though the British saw it as motivated by land grievances, the ‘magic modes of thinking’ and ‘witchcraft’ of the Mau Mau formed part of the British conceptual framework, and psychological counterinsurgency operations played on this.6 A third, and possibly the most plausible, analytic rival is the NATO intervention in Bosnia and Herzegovina. However, while religio-ethnic symbolism was invoked by national leaders on all sides during the conflict in the Balkans, belligerent leaders made little real differentiation regarding the religious element of ethnonational identities.7 Western policy elites and publics followed suit. However, out of all these conflicts, Northern Ireland became a primary reference point for the security services and armed forces over the past decade, on the issues of terrorism, community policing, and hearts and minds.8 This was apparent in interviews as well as in a review of parliamentary debate and policy papers. Speakers were fundamentally certain that there was a clear difference between the ‘irrational’ excesses of al-Qaeda and the IRA’s (albeit violent) nationalist cause. For example: ‘Intellectually, our opponents in Northern Ireland were symmetric to us. In Iraq they are intellectually asymmetric to us. In Northern Ireland, although atrocities were legion, the degree of ruthlessness, and willingness to die was less than in Iraq’.9 While the IRA was held to have rational political objectives and rules of engagement restrained by Western norms, al-Qaeda was represented as incomprehensibly Other. Still, it is worth considering Northern Ireland as a precursor, as research has shown that the construction and treatment of Irish immigrant communities in Britain during the

Troubles as a suspect community ‘set a precedent’ for the treatment of Muslims in Britain after 9/11.10 Moreover, this example matters analytically and is worth exploring because it mattered to those who shaped the 9/11 wars. The Northern Irish case is relevant because it was the case to which reference was most often made by British civilian and military personnel. Many of the senior officials and officers shaping the 9/11 wars had their first junior assignments in Northern Ireland. Sociologically, it was also an important period of knowledge transfer from the senior to middle ranks of commissioned and non-commissioned officers who had served in Aden, Cyprus, and in some cases Malaya and Kenya, and the next generation.11 Second, as the longest-running deployment in its history, in which over 300,000 troops were deployed over the course of the conflict, it looms large in the British security imaginary. The narrative presented here is built from the archival records of the Westminster and Stormont governments, parliamentary transcripts from both, church documents from the Presbyterian and Catholic churches, memoirs of political and church leaders, newspaper clippings, and interviews with former Westminster government officials and Northern Irish church leaders.12 Secondary accounts provided some, but ultimately limited, insight into relations between Westminster and the churches.13 The palette explored in this study was wider, encompassing the Westminster political elite’s encounters with the churches the Vatican, the Orange Order, Rev. Dr Ian Paisley and the Democratic Unionist Party; segregation and discrimination along the confessional divide (in housing, schooling, employment and voting); and legislation about religious discrimination.

The Post-1960s Secular Habitus and Sectarian Politics By the time of the outbreak of civil rights demonstrations and later civil conflict in Northern Ireland, the secularization cycle had reached quite different stages there and in mainland Britain, for various reasons. By the early 1970s religiosity in mainstream, white Britain was entering something of a lull, one that would continue for several decades despite the persistence of pockets of belief, including among new immigrants. ‘The national soul appears to have made a unilateral declaration of independence from the churches without abandoning religion as such’, wrote Clifford Longley in The Times in October 1974 and so it seemed. Although 42 per cent of people polled by the BBC claimed never to attend church, 35 per cent ‘preferred to describe their convictions as faith in “some sort of spirit or life force”’.14 Despite the Vatican II reforms and the modernization movement in the Church of England during the 1960s, a series of controversies within the established church that spilled out into the public arena – the furore over ecumenism, mixed marriages and divorce – caused people to question the relevance of the Christian churches.15 Still, by the late 1960s, though organized religious practice was largely diminishing, particularly among the young, Christianity as a system of cultural reference was still important across the social classes.16 Connections between the established Church and the government continued despite decades of debate about disestablishment. But religion was seen as losing its political and social significance in Britain. In Northern Ireland, on the other hand, things looked rather different. In the 1961 census, just 384 people out of a population of 1.5 million described themselves as atheists, free-thinkers or humanists.17 Though the swinging sixties were also having an impact, particularly on the young, in 1968 95 per cent of Catholics and 46 per cent of Protestants attended church on a weekly basis.18 Whether or not one

individually practised or believed, Catholicism and Protestantism were deeply embedded in the Northern Irish habitus and the politics of everyday life. What school you went to, where you worked, where your family lived, who you were friends with, who you married, and who you voted for were almost entirely segregated along the communal divide during this period. And decades of official and unofficial economic, political and social discrimination politicized this cleavage, exacerbated by difficult economic times, coming to a head in 1968 with the Catholic civil rights movement.

From Catholic–Protestant to Religious–Secular It would be analytically disingenuous to suggest that Othering on the basis of sectarianism significantly determined Westminster’s political or security policy for good or ill in the province. In fact this diagnosis only reared its head in the early period, and even then only in response to particularly noteworthy events such as the Battle of Bogside or the 1974 UWC strike. This exploration tells us little about the Troubles in situ, but it does suggest some precedents for the post-9/11 period. Additionally British secularization was not the only or even the most important sociocultural trend shaping Westminster’s response. Economic and geopolitical anxiety, attributable to the decline of the British manufacturing industry, rising unemployment, rising inflation, labour unrest, the depreciation of sterling, two decades of bloody and ultimately unsuccessful counterinsurgency campaigns in the colonies, and the onset of a particularly hostile phase of the Cold War: these were the drivers.19 Still, as a precursor to the secular habitus which emerged during the 9/11 wars, this early phase of the Troubles is interesting. For the Westminster political elite in 1968, ‘Catholic’ and ‘Protestant’ were short-hand labels for a communal divide rooted in economic and political inequality and differing national aspirations.20 They also referred to it as a racial and ethnic conflict.21 Declarations such as this were the marked exception rather than the rule: ‘the deep tragedy of Ulster … is that although different Christian sects, different members of the Christian communion, have fought each other hard in the past in various parts of the world, Northern Ireland is the only place today where Christians are attacking each other’. So said Sir David Renton, a Conservative Party MP for a southern English constituency.22 Ulster Unionist MPs and the churches also downplayed the role of religion in the matrix of political concerns driving the conflict, while the paramilitaries spoke the language of nationalism. In a confidential memo from around March 1973 in response to the White Paper proposals, Cardinal Conway, leader of the Roman Catholic Church in all of Ireland, confirmed that ‘the essential line of division in the community is political not religious’.23 Records of the first meeting between the home secretary and leaders of all four main churches, Protestant and Catholic, in October 1970 indicate no dissension from the home secretary’s characterization of the conflict as ‘nationalistic and racial rather than religious’.24 One Unionist MP argued ‘that the present troubles are not inter-religious but a struggle between anarchy and law and order’.25 Perhaps most importantly, the paramilitaries on both sides, the perpetuators of the violence, articulated their claims for reunification – particularly after 1972 – in terms of national and communal identity, using historical mythology rather than Bible verses.26 This silence from the provincial actors, combined with the secular habitus, led the Westminster government and the British Army quite rightly to regard the religio-cultural contours of Northern Irish social life as constitutive but not the conflict’s root cause.

Still, Westminster elites had a tendency to stereotype the Northern Irish as atavistic, and Christian sectarianism was cited as evidence for this. The civil war between Western, culturally Christian, white, United Kingdom citizens who shared many if not most social assumptions and norms made it seem to many in Britain that a once-peaceful, justifiably rational bid for Catholic civil rights had been seized by paramilitary forces of anti-modernism, the ‘odd men out in all Christendom’.27 Clifford Longley aptly described this as ‘the “if only they could be more like us” theory of Northern Ireland that one used to hear at middle class North London dinner parties’.28 In the aftermath of the Ulster Workers’ strike in May 1974 Mark Hughes, Labour MP for Durham, said: It was in 1917 that Lloyd George remarked, ‘You have in Ulster a population as hostile to Irish rule as the rest of Ireland is to British rule – alien in blood, alien in religious faith, in traditions, and alien in outlook’. I suggest that it is equally alien to the rest of Great Britain.29 There was some material basis to this. By 1969, economic dependence on London, the relationship with the Republic (where the constitution laid claim to the six counties up until 1998), the historic proximity of the colonial experience and the geographical distance of the Irish Sea all defined Northern Ireland as a place apart in the British psyche. So did the customary arrangements that had evolved under the Government of Ireland Act 1920, whereby the country largely governed itself, despite its dependence on the British exchequer.30 Still it was far from entirely material. British constructs of Irish Catholics as barbaric date back to sixteenth-century colonization and lingered through the time of the famine, controversies over Home Rule, the Irish war of independence and the IRA border campaign in the late 1950s.31 Irish identity – particularly Irish Catholicism – has historically acted as an important Other in the construction of Protestant national identity in Britain.32 However, with the onset of deepening secularization in Britain, this axis shifted from Catholic–Protestant to religious–secular, with the British as ‘secular’ and all of Ireland as ‘religious’. Many in Northern Ireland were aware of this shift in Westminster perceptions.33 The ecumenical movement had caught on rather successfully in Glasgow and Liverpool, cities where Catholics and Protestants had once been at odds. Writing in 1982, clergymen Gallagher and Worrall noted that ‘there is on both sides of the religious divide in Ireland a theological conservatism and a Puritanism of outlook that have been out of fashion in the English and European churches …’ (emphasis mine).34 The sectarian divide was cast as anachronistic and out of step with the liberal, modern politics now found in England, Scotland and Wales. The very worst examples were often trotted out when those in Westminster felt under pressure, with Rev. Dr Ian Paisley a particular object of confusion and ire, and his fervent religiosity – rather than simply his politics – the discursive focus.35 For example, Raymond Fletcher, Labour MP for Ilkeston, argued in a debate in the Commons following the introduction of internment in September 1971 that religious identity was inherently private to the individual citizen, and that its intrusion into late modern warfare and politics was therefore absurd: I totally refuse to send any kind of greeting or friendly message to people who keep alive the memories of a battle fought in 1690 and who keep alive the hatreds which made that battle inevitable … In any case, why should I refer to fellow citizens as Protestants, as Catholics or as Jews? We do not do it in this House. We are not elected as Protestants, as Catholics, as

Jews, as Seventh Day Adventists, as deviationist Marxists, as orthodox Marxists, or whatever it may be. We are elected as citizens of the United Kingdom and as members as such, and our relations with one another, within parties and between parties, are conducted as though religious differences were not the business of this Chamber – as indeed they are not.36 The diagnostic period of the Troubles also partially reinvigorated the ‘myth of religious violence’, tying it to a narrative of social modernization in Britain, where a new, plural, more liberated society had cast off the violent fetters of sectarianism found in Northern Ireland. Where sectarian sentiments lingered in Britain, they were also seen by Westminster MPs as alien to the mainstream. ‘One still sees sometimes on the walls in Liverpool “No surrender. Down with the Pope.” What a lot of nonsense it all is. … Are we going to have that battle all over again? Is it not idiotic in this technological age?’ asked one MP in October 1969, months after the British Army had been deployed at the behest of the Stormont government.37 The theoretical musings about Christianity in Northern Ireland described above were reserved for the Commons. Personal religious affiliation was ‘simply not a topic of conversation’ among civil servants, though it was among politicians.38 One civil servant noted, ‘at the time … the whole ethos was to be religious-blind’ towards themselves and towards the communities in Northern Ireland. In fact, to ignore religion entirely and not speak about it was considered to be deeply positive; it became a way of showing that the Westminster government and the British Army were not biased towards one community or the other.39 The secular habitus was strong among civil servants, as was a conscious attitude of liberal neutrality towards communal identity, including religious identity. After 9/11, religio-cultural social contours would have a far more explicit bearing on violence and political settlements in the conflicts the British faced than they did on the Troubles. Still, it is important to bear in mind that during the early years of the Troubles the British Army, Westminster and Whitehall learned two important lessons: that terrorism could be fought and a political settlement reached without deep attention to religion and that they are themselves liberal-secular actors, teleologically beyond any anti-modern sectarian divide.

Unconscious Mimesis: The Troubles and the British in Afghanistan and Iraq The British military and security establishment learned a number of lessons in Northern Ireland about tackling terrorism and managing community relations to diffuse a conflict, lessons which NATO, particularly the Americans and British, have put into practice during the 9/11 wars. However, the British also absorbed two lessons about the impact of religion on war. The first was that religion has little strategic relevance. The second was that sectarian identity can be domesticated and managed by the state if political parties are willing to reach agreement. While these two things were true in Northern Ireland, this was not the case in Iraq and Afghanistan. For the armed forces for whom Northern Ireland loomed large as a precedent, it took some time to adapt to a new cultural environment. Tactics and Strategy: Religion as Epiphenomenal

The idea that religion was epiphenomenal to military strategy and tactics in the province – that it was a secondary and separate phenomenon from warfare, although it occurred alongside it – dominated policy and practice almost entirely after 1972. This had an important material basis; the IRA and Loyalist paramilitaries articulated their struggles in terms of nationalist politics, not theology. In terms of the actual tactical challenges facing the Army – riots, bombings, shootings within communities and between communities, and bombings and shootings targeting the Army – the religious landscape of Northern Ireland mainly suggested where the loyalties of the combatants would likely lie. The increasing secularization of the habitus of mainland Britain – in which religion had become a marginalized personal conviction rather than a source of rich political symbolism – reinforced this. A review of the Ministry of Defence and Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) archives from the period 1968–75 has revealed that mention of religion, other than as a label for the warring factions, is intermittent at best.40 The MoD and RUC had virtually nothing to say about church leaders or sites of religious significance, and did not engage in the kind of diagnostic discourse apparent among politicians and civil servants. The Army’s pre-deployment training in the early days of the conflict instructed officers and non-officers in the historical origins of the conflict.41 Many commanding officers also took their troops to church on Sundays, to mingle with and show respect for the population, particularly the Catholic community. However, after the rise of the paramilitaries, pre-deployment training was silent on religion and most other aspects of Northern Irish culture.42 Officially, the Army was neutral towards the two communities.43 Prior to 1974, the Army’s focus was on the Catholic community, as between February 1972 and November 1974 the IRA killed 45 people and injured over 200 in multiple terrorist attacks in mainland Britain.44 Individual commanders on the ground saw the advantage of working with priests as community leaders who could play a positive role as go-betweens linking the Army and the Catholic community.45 This was neither encouraged nor discouraged at policy level.46 But this picture was not entirely rosy. Rumours also circulated at the time between Whitehall and the Army of connections between individual Catholic priests and the IRA, which led to tensions between the Army and the clergy on the ground.47 By no means were attitudes among the clergy monolithic, and the Westminster government knew this.48 Though Cardinal Conway once stated he would rather have the British Army in the North than any other in the world,49 a handful of priests were active in citizens’ defence committees, set up to defend Catholic neighbourhoods against Loyalist attack.50 Relations between the IRA and members of the clergy who condemned them were also fraught during this period.51 Old-fashioned prejudice – either against Catholics or against religion entirely – as well as silence about the contours of religious nationalism in Northern Ireland contributed to several Army missteps. One example was a weapons search of the mainly Catholic Lower Falls Road in West Belfast on 3 July 1970 by the mainly Protestant Royal Scots, in which many Catholic homes were ‘trashed, with a particular target being statues of the Madonna’.52 (This is, of course, a footnote to the main story of the raid, which is that it was illegal and irrevocably damaged relations between the Catholic population and the British Army.) In another example, in August 1974, the Catholic hierarchy also complained to the secretary of state for Northern Ireland that soldiers were often rude to priests and prevented them from administering the last rites, with one priest accidentally shot doing so on 9 August 1970.53 But soldiers would not have been entirely ignorant of religious symbolism. In 1972, 65 Belfast priests released a statement accusing soldiers of, among other things, incitement by affixing photos of the

Virgin Mary onto the front of their armoured vehicles.54 The practice of bugging confessionals by ‘rogue elements’ of the British intelligence services in the 1970s, noted by a retired Army officer and several priests, also suggests they were not entirely ignorant of strategic opportunities presented by Northern Irish Catholicism.55 Similar stories emerged about the behaviour of British and American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, with soldiers’ entrance into mosques a particular flashpoint.56 However, more common were ‘sins of omission’, failures simply to appreciate the salience of religion in Northern Ireland in all its complexities. This led to failures to capitalize effectively on opportunities that presented themselves for the institutions, doctrines, social norms or grassroots religious leaders to help to diffuse violence. In fairness, this was often reinforced by hesitation on the part of the church hierarchies, but not always. Missed opportunities included the failure to realize that Westminster should push Stormont harder to secure a ban on Orange Order parades in summer 1971 and the failure to bring into force the ill-fated 1970 Prevention of Incitement to Hatred (Northern Ireland) Act.57 On 27 June 1970, the British government’s representative at Stormont allowed Orange parades to go ahead, which culminated in a gun battle at St Matthews Roman Catholic Church in East Belfast.58 The British Army was overstretched and did not engage, and the incident was widely seen as a turning point in IRA mobilization. Three men died and dozens injured, and the next day 500 Catholic workers were expelled from the Belfast shipyard in retaliation, further heightening tensions.59 On a wider, systemic level, politicians and the Army did not appreciate how ideas or symbols common within Northern Irish Christian heritage could be mobilized in the ‘war of ideas’ against IRA and UDA propaganda, and against Ian Paisley’s potent cocktail of theology and politics. While British officials sought out and were responsive to Christian leaders, there was little support for clergymen to engage in a more coordinated war of ideas. Also, the clergy were wary of being seen by their communities as collaborators. This changed significantly in the context of the 9/11 wars, with the British mounting a significant international propaganda effort after 2001 and a domestic support/propaganda effort after 2005. Democracy and Neutrality Though Westminster politicians may have occasionally alluded to abolishing the union between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom, official policy for both Labour and Conservative governments was to maintain the union ‘as long as its Parliament and people so wish[ed]’.60 The Westminster position was that peaceful democracy could ultimately be achieved through equitable power-sharing between political institutions, shared control over the security services, the establishment in law of equal rights for Catholics, and capitalist development in the province. It was hoped initially that attachment to sectarian identity would prove highly contingent, though Westminster’s efforts to foster alternative loyalties based on class were quite feeble during this period. As we will see in Chapter 5, similar hopes were harboured during the Iraq war. During the Troubles, these aspirations were mainly held by the Labour Party, in the hope that a national labour movement could transcend communal boundaries in favour of social class.61 This position was grounded in the liberal, teleological assumption that, with the advent of democratic participation and prosperity, citizens’ attachment to primordial ‘imagined communities’ will fall away of its own accord.62 Relevant to our story about war and the secular habitus, it was assumed that sectarian identification was alien

and dangerous to a healthy democracy, but also that it would be easily supplanted by economic development and civil liberties. This is an old liberal myth: that religion in its more extreme manifestations will disintegrate in the light of reason, political participation and wealth. In Iraq, British hopes that the Sadrist rank-and-file could be bought off originated in the same liberal myth. This was reinforced by the Westminster government’s articulation of its liberal paternalism – shining the light of democracy, liberty and modernity for those who had not yet achieved it – as benign and neutral. A powerful myth of British imperial neutrality had gained increasing credence in the first half of the twentieth century, and it reappeared during the 9/11 wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and the UK. As colonial populations in India, Palestine, Aden, Cyprus and elsewhere struggled to liberate themselves from British rule, this also involved multiple factions warring with each other, positioning themselves for control of the new state. In the process of fighting these nationalist insurgencies, the British had developed a sense of themselves as the rational, detached arbiters of infighting, whose military withdrawal would lead to seismic bloodshed of the scale seen in the partition of India and Pakistan. They had learned that they had a historical tendency to become unwelcome, ‘standing between two communities … bricked by both sides, shot at by both sides’.63 The Westminster government saw itself as ultimately responsible for leading reforms of the Stormont parliament and the Royal Ulster constabulary and for the re-allocation of voting districts, housing, employment and other institutions that had historically prevented the Catholic population from achieving full equality. However, this extended to the point of suspending the Stormont parliament and pre-emptively interning numerous Catholics in the early 1970s. This self-construction of paternalistic neutrality was also heavily tested when the British Army came under sustained attack from paramilitaries on both sides after 1974. But ultimately, encouraged by Westminster, the Irish Republic and the USA, the liberal dream came true. Democracy gradually prevailed as sectarian allegiances waned and majorities on both sides were able to see themselves as engaged in a common political project. The liberal, secular myth that the public expression of religious identity will be de-fanged by democracy, in the march towards modernity, was upheld. A second ‘lesson learned’ by the British in this case was a false myth of opacity and neutrality – that the British could lift up a society torn apart by sectarianism by setting the example of its own history of rational triumph over violent sectarianism. We will return to these myths in Chapter 5 in the discussion of democratization in southern Iraq. Religious Leaders as Socially Significant but Marginal to the Main Axes of Conflict and Settlement On the margins of attempts to create a power-sharing government, one of the other ‘lessons learned’ was that the religious leaders were neither as powerful nor as pivotal to the peace process as Westminster first hoped. Particularly in the early days of the conflict, when Westminster was in the process of identifying moderate Catholic politicians with whom it was willing to work (figures such as John Hume, Austin Currie and Paddy Devlin of the SDLP, as opposed to the Marxist-inspired People’s Democracy movement), it was seen as important to find a way to reach the moderate middle ground. In the early days of the conflict there was some mixed optimism in Westminster about the role moderate church leaders could play in helping to reduce violence.64 During the early 1970s, contact first with the hierarchy of the Catholic Church and then with the Presbyterian, Methodist and Church of Ireland

clergy represented for the Westminster political elite one way to reach out to the moderate, mainstream elements of the community, particularly the average person on the street.65 The Westminster government inherited this strategy from the Stormont government, which had engaged with the churches under the auspices of the department, commission and ministry of community relations since civil rights protests began in 1968.66 Westminster assumed that church leaders would still be widely respected, unlike in Britain, where church authority was increasingly in peril.67 Not all relations between clergy and Westminster were so collegial. Ian Paisley was a thorn in the side of both the Stormont and Westminster governments during this early period. However, Paisley and a few renegade clergy (such as Father Patrick Fell, who was convicted in 1970 for raising an IRA unit among his parishioners, acting as its intelligence officer, and planning attacks in Coventry; or Father Jim Chesney, suspected of involvement in the 1972 ‘no warning’ Claudy bombings) were noteworthy but exceptional.68 Overall, clergy were seen by Westminster and the Army as socially significant at a local level but on the margins of factors that could perpetuate the conflict. The majority of Northern Irish clergy were actively involved at the local level in dissuading their communities from taking part in or supporting terrorism.69 However, from their initial meetings with the Westminster government, the Protestant church leaders ‘made it clear that the influence of the churches including the Roman Catholic church was much diminished and that they could no longer pretend to have a strong influence on the behavior of the community at large’.70 This was echoed by Cardinal William Conway. The churches were cautious because they did not know how much influence they still had in their communities and because ecumenical relations between them were in a very early stage.71 The national conflict and increasing secularization of the young made the Irish churches what Bourdieu calls ‘frontier groups’, caught between multiple parties, situated on multiple borders.72 In spite of this, there continued to be some cautious optimism in Westminster about the role of church leaders. Ahead of a meeting with the four church leaders in October 1970, a briefing note for the home secretary laid out the role for the churches as pastoral and supportive of the real political graft undertaken by secular leaders: The Government are doing their part, the Army and the police are doing theirs, the minority’s grievances are being remedied, but little can come of this without a change in heart. It is in this field that the responsibility of the Churches lies. What steps do the leaders of the Christian community of Northern Ireland intend to take to bring to fruition the efforts of the secular leaders?73 However, by late 1970 this optimism had begun to wane, and while relations remained generally good, particularly on a personal level, in political matters they did show signs of strain.74 First of all, the Catholic hierarchy was not entirely pliable. In Westminster’s eyes the Cardinal’s ‘preoccupation with sectarian murders’ as well as the hierarchy’s resistance to integrated education (which the Westminster government championed) made them uneasy bedfellows.75 Religious symbolism invoked by the leaders – for example, the Cardinal’s July 1970 offer to conduct an exposition of the blessed sacrament but refusal to issue a public statement or go on television – were seen as rather useless by many Westminster officials.76 The Protestant leaders were fairly conservative in their leadership in the early years for various reasons, including a wish not to make public fledgling ecumenical discussions with

the Catholic Church. By the end of 1974 the churches were considered by Westminster not to be particularly useful on matters of law and order. A 4 December 1974 memo between officials noted the general attitude of the Westminster government: Although there have recently been some encouraging signs, particularly in Londonderry, that the Church is prepared to stand up against the bullying tactics of the PIRA, on the whole the Catholic hierarchy (and even more other [Protestant] denominations) cannot deliver in the central area of diminution of violence and the acceptance of the police.77 Still, the author felt that there was ‘indeed merit’ in keeping in contact with the churches’.78 After the May 1974 UWC strike, when it was no longer possible for Westminster to ignore the rise of paramilitaries within the Protestant unionist community, Westminster took a greater interest in the Protestant churches as well as the Catholic. Despite Westminster’s scepticism, and perhaps due to a slightly more activist stance on the part of the Protestant churches, they were encouraged to inspire their communities.79 These moments of optimism and frustration were to be repeated with Iraqi clerics 30 years later. For example, in 2003 the Coalition Provisional Authority hoped that Ayatollah Sistani would take far more of an activist stance in support of Coalition policy in Iraq, and were surprised and frustrated when he did not. One missed political opportunity may have been the failure to capitalize on good relations between Protestant clergy and the Provisional IRA in December 1974.80 In a statement issued by the PIRA, the organization explicitly attributed its willingness to engage in a ceasefire to the actions of the clergy.81 But there was skepticism about the efficacy of these clergymen. For example, in a telegram to Prime Minister Harold Wilson on 31 December 1974, one official asked: If the ceasefire has been prolonged it would be right to congratulate the churches on the part they have played particularly during the past few weeks and to draw them out on how they see the future. Do they wish to set themselves up as intermediaries? Might they be better employed in continuing their efforts to mobilize public opinion in favour of a continued peace?82 (italics mine) In part, this can be attributed to the fact that British intelligence had set up a side channel to the IRA which they hoped would prove fruitful. The British Army also felt it was winning the war at that point, and that, with 2,000 members imprisoned, the PIRA might be forced to surrender anyway.83 But this scepticism is also attributable to weak links with religious figures other than the main leaders, as well as a nascent secular habit of seeing religious leaders as less authoritative in matters of violence and state than politicians. The clergymen agreed to step aside, and the ceasefire broke down a week later. Though many factors contributed to the breakdown, it seems Westminster overlooked the social potency of these clerics when it chose not to work with them or support them. To their credit, the British became far more adept at consulting and working with religious leaders in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, it took the British significant time to get to grips with the spectrum of religious leaders there. The Troubles happened to break out at a moment of deepening secularization in Britain and, though the two processes were unrelated, this movement towards a secular worldview is marginally apparent in how the Westminster government talked about the conflict, and occasionally visible in how

it waged it between 1968 and 1975. While this mattered little to the trajectories of the 30-year Northern Irish conflict itself, it is worth noting the extent to which British political and military discourse and practices after 9/11 were unconsciously mimetic of this experience.

This chapter explores the history of the British secular habitus and its contours on the eve of and since 11 September 2001. It focuses particularly on how that habitus has been experienced by senior British government officials and armed forces personnel and their advisors in and out of government since 2001. Habits, practices, identities, subjectivities and ways of thinking among this social group have been heterogeneous, fluid and multiple over the course of the 9/11 wars. However, there are distinctly discernable shared patterns of discourse, thought and practice. As a series of explicit and implicit sentiments, there were myriad transmission points: as members of the largely London-based metropolitan classes (regardless of their origins), senior policy-makers, officers and their advisors read many of the same ‘broadsheet’ newspapers and books, listened to many of the same television and radio programmes, and engaged repeatedly with each other through meetings and correspondence. They also engaged with many of the same Foreign Office officials and ‘external experts’ brought on board to explain the dynamics of political Islamism to the uninitiated.1 For military officers, postings to Bosnia and Iraq during the first Gulf War provided a point of shared reference about Muslim societies.2 The same can be said for Foreign Office officials.3 The significance of the small size of this group of people also cannot be overestimated; among a group of 200 or less, interacting closely over time, the transmission of shared attitudes and assumptions was relatively fluid.4 Over the course of the 9/11 wars, the discourses and practices enabled by the secular habitus have not remained static but have evolved in response to key events. There was a significant shift following the 7/7 attacks on the London transport system, and then a smaller shift from 2009–11 as the global financial crisis eclipsed the War on Terror in the public imaginary, facilitated by troop withdrawals from Iraq, increased public and government pessimism about what could be achieved in Afghanistan, and a diminished terror threat to the UK mainland.5 The microphysics of these shifts is described in Chapters 4–7. However, the broad boundaries of the contemporary British secular habitus have largely remained intact over the course of ten years because it comes out of a long historical and broad geographical context. British secular politics in their current form have roots in the late nineteenth century, and the current shape of society was formed through the social changes of the 1960s. These

changes to politics and society in the United Kingdom – England, Scotland, Wales, and to a lesser extent Northern Ireland – are beholden to 350 years of history within western and central Europe (the subject of Chapter 1), despite the presence of multiple secularisms and secularities within contemporary Europe.6 Although the habitus described here is specific to Britain, it has many commonalities with other Western societies, particularly in Europe. The explicit ‘rules of the game’ of political liberalism are widely practised in public life by the majority of committed Christians, Muslims and atheists, as well as those of other religious affiliation, or who take softer positions in their personal orientations. These shared practices are premised on collective political agreement on several points: that religion is a matter of personal conviction; that the state should uphold the right to personal conviction; that pluralism, including religious and ethical diversity, is a public good; that no one group should be allowed to impose its vision of what constitutes a ‘good’ human life on others; and that the state is the appropriate arbiter of competing visions of a moral life, to be negotiated through democratic processes. These principles are often explicitly articulated in liberal secular public life, in foundational documents and the speeches of politicians, and in law. Countries differ on the proper role of the state in arbitrating processes, and the extent to which personal religious conviction should inform political decisions. However, many Western secular habits are also implicit, unconscious and taken for granted. The habitus is, Bourdieu suggests, ‘internalized as a second nature and so forgotten as history’, producing ‘spontaneity without consciousness or will’. These habits are part of the foundational but often unquestioned sensibilities, aesthetics and embodied practices of modern life, and are not just found in political life. As suggested in the Introduction, when religio-political voices challenge these premises, they attack deeply held ‘structures of feeling’ – a combination of intellectual and emotional knowing, and of modern living.7

Secularization in Britain Scholars differ over when and how British society became more broadly secular, in terms of both intellectual worldviews and popular sentiments. Though scholars have by and large sufficiently undermined the secularization thesis as a teleological fact linked to modernity, scholars of British secularization still differ as to how best to measure such a highly multiple and uneven phenomenon. It is uneven in terms of geography, social class, ethnicity and gender. Statistical data on ritual attendance, affiliation and held ideas requires cross-referencing with other, descriptive sources of social expression (memoirs, literature, newspapers and magazines) to discern the extent to which we can even talk coherently about one shared British habitus. This is not new. Though for non-Christian colonized peoples in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries one British Christian might have looked much the same as the next, from a British perspective distinctions between Anglicans, Nonconformists and Catholics, not to mention evangelical and Anglo-Catholic varieties respectively, were deeply important. However, despite this multiplicity, we can speak about a largely Christian habitus up to the Second World War.8 At this point the secularization of its largely white, culturally Christian population, combinded with non-Christian immigration from the former colonies, led to an important shift in the habitus to a more plural, secular one.9 Similarly, despite heterogeneity, I think we can talk cohesively about a secular habitus and

secular political system in contemporary Britain. Much of what is recognizable as contemporary political secularism in the UK dates back to the late 1870s. This was a century of significant religious change, marked by several important dynamics. One of its hallmarks was the popularity of evangelical Christian ideas and practices among the middle and upper classes from 1815 until the end of the century.10 Perhaps surprisingly, this accompanied both the industrial revolution and a boom in scientific exploration.11 One important outcome of this was the spread of mission activity, particularly to the empire. But this dynamic was class-dependent. The movement of the working classes to urban centres led to new forms of social dislocation and amalgamation, one result of which, particularly in England, was the falling away of the urban working classes from the Christian churches.12 A more plural set of political arrangements – albeit one that still symbolically privileged the Anglican Church – was the outcome of several decades of intense religious agitation at a political level. The path to pluralism was by no means smooth. Though the foundation of the United Kingdom as a nation-state was not viciously anti-clerical per se, competition between factions – first English and Scottish, then Royalists and Parliamentarians – was underpinned by differences in confessional identity. Despite the influence of the Enlightenment on the intellectual classes, the eighteenth century was marked by periodic pro-and anti-Catholic violence: the 1715 and 1745 Stuart rebellions, the Gordon riots of 1780 and Scottish riots of 1779. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Nonconformists, Catholics, and to a lesser extent Jews and atheists, engaged in a long battle for civil and political rights. Another hallmark of the nineteenth century was increased religious tolerance. The main nineteenth-century social and political fault lines were, to a lesser extent, between Nonconformists and Anglicans and, to a greater extent, between both these groups and Roman Catholics. After long campaigns for equality, a series of political accommodations were made for Roman Catholics (with emancipation in 1829), Nonconformists, Jews and atheists.13 Avowed atheists were admitted to parliament in 1886.14 These arrangements facilitated voting, participation in parliament and the extension of full rights of citizenship, and eliminated disabling legislation and practices aimed at these groups. By the turn of the twentieth century, exhibiting outright religious intolerance was increasingly seen as not respectable.15 The primary vehicle for this change was Nonconformism. Though dissent had been a feature of the religious landscape since the sixteenth century, starting in the first half of the nineteenth there had been rapid Free Church growth, with the most significant period of expansion at the start of the twentieth. Nonconformists became increasingly politically visible and active, with many holding positions of influence in the Liberal Party, which governed at the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth.16 Though the late-nineteenth-century Liberal Party was predominantly Anglican, by the turn of the century many of its causes – democratization for the middle classes, expansion of trade and industry, rationalization of society – had been taken up by Nonconformists. From the 1906 Liberal Party parliamentary victory until 1920, the Liberal/Nonconformist social and political agenda dominated domestic politics.17 Many of the ‘secular solutions’ that were bandied about, for example regarding church provision of education, were responses to Nonconformists trying to wrest state privilege from the Anglicans, rather than pressure from secularists per se.18 The next important historical marker in terms of British secularization was the inter-war period when, as Green has suggested, ‘the local religious classes lost heart’ in working-class communities.19

While, Brown has argued, there was ‘no pressing decline of British Christian culture’ by the 1920s, Christianity had changed and integrated more fully and seamlessly into a variety of cultural forms.20 This was also true at the individual level; for example, Prime Minister Lloyd George ‘was not a religious man but … shared fully in the religious culture of dissent’.21 We can also see the contours of the shift to more integrated forms of cultural Christianity in the evolving relationship between Protestantism and British national identity at the turn of the twentieth century. Despite schisms between Christian groups, a shared Christianity had provided an important resource for first English, and later British, national identity until the Second World War. Smith, Hastings and Greenfeld have traced the influence of Old Testament concepts like ‘chosen people’ and ‘divine election’ on British national identity up to the late nineteenth century.22 McLeod qualifies this, arguing that, from the mid-nineteenth century onwards, Britons saw their success as a result of Protestant virtues, and later Anglo-Saxon racial qualities, than a divine choice.23 During the two world wars British national identity no longer had a specifically Protestant component, as it had between 1860 and 1914. Instead, a non-denominational, ‘generalized Christianity’ remained a component, as new foundations for national identity emerged and previous cleavages between Protestant denominations and between Protestant and Roman Catholic faded.24 However, this generalized Christianity experienced some revival within the British popular habitus during the Second World War, and in the following decade, with Britain fighting for democracy and (Christian) civilization. Perhaps the most convincing answer to the question of the historical origins of contemporary British secularity is that, while some parts of British society had experienced secularizing forces from the late nineteenth century onwards, with a qualitative change in the inter-war period, contemporary patterns of secularity are rooted in the late 1960s. By the end of the 1960s, Britain had undergone a significant social transformation, of which secularization was one aspect. As David Thomson put it, ‘cultural bulldozers’ had been at work.25 Income per head doubled between 1952 and 1960, and by and large there was a greater sense of personal freedom and autonomy. The 1960s had brought the advent of youth culture (from 1962), legalization of abortion and homosexuality (1967), women’s liberation (from 1968), an end to the worst excesses of moral censorship (1968), easier divorce (1969) and student activism (between 1968 and the early 1970s).26 A wave of immigration from the former colonies began to produce radical change in the demographics of British inner cities.27 It was a time of transition into a more fully realized modernity, where, as Taylor has put it, ‘selfsufficient humanism’ became a widely acceptable position. Statistical data indicate a distinctive shift from the 1970s onwards. Using British survey data on religious belief from 1939 onwards, Gill, Hadaway and Marler have argued that, since the 1970s there has been a ‘significant erosion of a belief in God’, particularly in relation to specifically Christian beliefs.28 The ‘most precipitous changes’ in religious belief occurred during the 1970s and then reached a plateau, though belief in God had declined and scepticism about God increased from the 1960s to 1998. Gill, Hadaway and Marler also found that belief in God declined from 79 per cent in the 1960s to 68 per cent during the 1990s, with the percentage of those polled declaring that they did not believe in God rising from 10 per cent in the 1960s to 27 per cent in the 1990s.29 These results would square with longitudinal research conducted by Crockett and Voas which found that each birth cohort in Britain from the early twentieth century onwards has been less religious than the one before.30

At the same time, the latter half of the twentieth century witnessed an important qualitative shift in the phenomenology of the British religious habitus. Several centuries of Anglican and Nonconformist Protestantism meant that religion had long been thought the realm of private conscience. But in the late twentieth century, in light of increasing secularization and postcolonial immigration to Britain, it came to be considered impolite to discuss private religious commitments for fear of offending someone. The post-war mainstream art and literary culture continued early twentiethcentury themes, under the influence of leftist ideas, with a great deal to say about human emotion, liberation, equality and sexuality and little to say about organized religion except as a force for repression. Symbolic forms of Christianity – particularly the large Anglican cathedrals – became increasingly less a place of worship and more a repository of British history and aesthetics for the middle and upper classes. Weekly Christian worship had not been a widely observed part of the British social landscape for many decades, with the exception of the war and its aftermath. However, periodic participation in Christian rites of passage – christenings, weddings, funerals – continued to play an important role in facilitating social connections among families, friends and neigh-bours throughout the second half of the twentieth century across social classes. For example, religious attendance occurs even among the most secular, with people attending church services in order that their children may attend the affiliated Anglican or Catholic school, to accompany religious parents or a religious spouse, or to enjoy the music.31 Though religious education classes persisted in state-run schools, it became widely socially acceptable to raise children without any of the trappings of organized Christianity. By the late twentieth century, the white British mainstream explicitly derived its epistemologies and ontologies from an exclusively scientific, human-centred worldview, to a greater extent than ever before. What the statistics indicate, roughly, is that between 1968 and 2000, without controlling for non-monotheist or non-Christian beliefs, there was a rather steady decline in certainty of belief in God and a rise in certainty that God does not exist, along with similar declines in practice and self-identification. There were also little moments of apparent persistence, such as the desire of 79 per cent of those polled in 2000 to have a religious funeral, though this may have more to do with lack of access to alternative options than with deathbed conversion. Grace Davie famously labelled this as a shift to ‘believing without belonging’.32 Other scholars point to an interplay between the main dynamic of decline and the cross-pressures of persistence and transformation over this period.33 After the turn of the millennium in Britain the softer forms of nonreligion tended to prevail, with ‘secular Christians’, ‘nominal Christians’, ‘cultural’ or ‘ethnic’ Christians, ‘liminal nones’ and those exhibiting ‘fuzzy fidelity’ making up a significant proportion of these.34 Voas and Day have argued convincingly that analyzing the evolution of secularity in Great Britain is difficult because Britons’ attitudes towards their own secularity tend to be ‘casual and unconcerned’, with secularity triumphing ‘by default’ rather than by a more active choice.35 Voas and Day have argued that, for the majority of the British population, attitudes towards religion have become not a Richard Dawkinsesque ‘rejection and hostility’ but a kind of vaguely liberal tolerance.36 But normative attitudes on the borderlines of tolerance – that religiosity is a kind of personal idiosyncrasy, almost a hobby, to be treated lightly and with humour, and that religious beliefs should not be brought into polite discussion – were fairly widespread across generations and social classes on the eve of 9/11.

Religion in Public Discourse

Unlike in the USA, religion was largely absent from contemporary British political debate before 9/11. In many ways, First Amendment separation of church and state and the Christian fundamentalist thread within neo-conservatism make the USA a unique case. The UK lacks the drama of the American ‘culture wars’ between staunch fundamentalists and left-wing liberals. For example, a campaign by the British Humanist Association in 2009 featured posters on the side of city buses declaring: ‘God probably doesn’t exist. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life’. This elicited minor comment along the lines that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but no great ire or prolonged public debate. Public debate, as carried out in the media, for example on the editorial pages of the broadsheets, has seemed to reflect a more moderate process of negotiation and consideration of a range of issues related to religion and nonreligion. These include whether faith schools should be publicly funded, and the representation of religious and non-religious groups at events of national importance such as Remembrance Day and in public-service broadcasting.37 Coverage of these has increased moderately over the past decade, but one should not overestimate their prominence. The media have reflected this largely apathetic majority. This is not a wilfully ignorant or rejectionist population as much as an unknowing one. BBC/ICM polling data from November 2005 indicated that the proportion of those declaring that they knew little or nothing about ‘what it would be like to be’ a Christian was just below 50 per cent (with those knowing little or nothing about minority religions above 75 per cent). A shared, cultural Christianity has become less potent as a social and intellectual resource, though this does not mark something as dramatic as the ‘death of Christian Britain’.38 There is a strong consensus in contemporary British society that religion is private. Individual British attitudes are produced, consciously or unconsciously, in response to a series of diagnostic questions about religion. For example: Can I relate to religion or does it make me uncomfortable? Do religious people seem to behave reasonably and responsibly? Does religion seem to be socially helpful, promoting collective harmony and individual happiness? Does democratic fairness ultimately require openness to such forms of political identity? Can we trust religion as a form of identity politics, or is it socially fractious, detracting from national unity? This produces a spectrum of outcomes. Some consider it sacred and deserving of protection. Others highlight personal devotion, channelled through community service, as helping knit together the social fabric. Others are a bit embarrassed when religion is discussed in otherwise polite conversation among sensible, progressively-minded individuals. Still others believe it restricts personal freedom, and others think that belief in the supernatural is fundamentally irrational and immature. These people most often argue that religion’s political influence should be strongly curtailed. Additionally, British attitudes towards religion are often bound up with wider attitudes towards morality and ethics. This is perhaps the single most important area in which Christianity has persisted beyond aesthetics and rites of passage within an increasingly secular society. Some hold the view that religion is a force for social conservatism, out of step with what a modern society should be. However, statistically, many more believe, more or less strongly, that religion promotes basic ethical behaviour that serves as a useful corrective to the individualism of modern life. In a BBC poll, 75 per cent of respondents indicated that basic Christian social values should inform British social and political life, including 44 per cent of those who self-identified as having no faith.39 Voas and Day have observed that many Britons believe

that a modest dose of religion is good for people – or at least for other people. The notion that God’s function is to make children well-behaved, strangers helpful and shop keepers honest means that outright secularism is less popular in Britain than one might suppose.40 Such normative assumptions and commitments may or may not find explicit, systematic expression in state institutions or laws. Thus, while cultural Christianity remains important for British social identity and cohesion, it is a phenomenon that goes largely unexamined and unarticulated by the majority of Britons. This shift towards the reduction of religion, towards a sort of universal ethics, is also indebted to the cross-pressures of pluralization.41

British Policy-Makers and Implementers This discussion begs the question as to whether policy-makers have mirrored patterns of affiliation and belief evident in wider society. Though no comprehensive survey data exist, what qualitative evidence there is indicates that there is respect and nostalgia for religious affiliation and practice among British politicians. But politicians also live the kinds of idiosyncrasies and paradoxes implied by fuzziness. For example, ‘I have a faith – a primitive Methodist faith in origin’, ‘I’m a moderate Muslim’ or ‘As one bred in a Church of Scotland and English Nonconformist family, I have always been very much at home in the Anglican Church since my wife introduced me to it’.42 For some among the governing elite, talk about religion triggered nostalgia for its external trappings, such as attending Sunday services in the village church. Other parliamentarians mirrored the fuzziness inherent in religious affiliation, belief and practice among the wider population. Policy-makers also asserted a range of nonreligious orientations: ‘I … am proud to be a humanist’, ‘I speak as a rationalist agnostic’, ‘I may put myself in the box of Jewish atheist’, and ‘I am an atheist and yet I am accepted by Hindus because as far as I can I follow the principles of the Gita’.43 However, the most prominent term used by the British – including both the political elites and the intellectual and metropolitan classes, religious and nonreligious alike – to describe their identity, political position and underpinning worldview was ‘liberal’. Over the course of interviews with the author, politicians were more likely to cite their beliefs than civil servants. This may have indicated an attempt on the part of civil servants to appear tolerant and professionally detached, their indifference towards religion, or an attempt to guard their privacy. A few were more forthcoming, but stressed that it did not impact on their decisions at work, again attempting to convey professional neutrality. One civil servant interviewed was an ordained Christian minister, and another a Sufi, while several were practising Anglicans. One senior intelligence officer described himself as ‘comfortable in [my] Nonconformist atheism’. He noted: I compare myself to … being tone deaf … like being colour-blind … it doesn’t mean [colours] aren’t there, it just means you can’t see them. I appear to have been born with that part of my brain which is accessible to religious experience disabled or switched off … I clearly don’t have it, but other people obviously do and I’m not quite sure what to make of that … The army will tell you there are no atheists in trenches. I’ve been close to death several times in my career and have never cried out to God to save me.44 He noted that he had no previous experience in the Middle East, and while he tried to learn as much as

he could quickly, it took him a while to understand al-Qaeda fully: ‘I’m an atheist somewhere to the right of Richard Dawkins, and it’s taken me a while to come to grips with the religious dimension of this whole thing’.45 A UK Defence Academy researcher noted that many of those in government or close to government circles working on issues related to Islam during the 9/11 wars were themselves religious, usually Muslim or Anglican. This is an interesting point, as even though individuals were personally devout, their public practices were not so radically distinct from their non-devout colleagues. Such was the heterogeneity of the culturally Christian, liberal, secular habitus that it could encompass multiple subjectivies, religious and nonreligious, Christian and non-Christian. This begs the question of the impact of former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s personal faith.46 After leaving office and converting to Catholicism, Blair commented in a BBC interview: It’s difficult to talk about religious faith in our political system … you talk about it in our system and they think you’re a nutter, that you go and sit in the corner and commune with the guy upstairs and come back and say, right, I’ve been told the answer and that’s it.47 Blair has been alternately praised and vilified for being so public about his beliefs, with one columnist sardonically referring to him as ‘a Prime Minister who spends more time bothering his God than his Cabinet’.48 While others were less vocal or influential than Blair, there was in fact a group of publicly ‘outed’ believers in Blair’s inner circle.49 What role their faith played in their political decisionmaking was a matter of some speculation; Ruth Kelly’s Catholicism in particular provoked intense scrutiny.50 Gordon Brown, son of a Presbyterian minister though not himself especially religious, was also known to have strong political ties to Faithworks, an evangelical organization. But this was by no means as well known, or seemingly as influential, as Blair’s personal interests.51 The level of attention paid to religion in British policy, particularly British domestic policy, was driven from the top political levels. That said, the number of politicians for whom their religion is political should not be overestimated. Britain is not the USA. When asked to offer observations about parliamentary colleagues, one self-identifying atheist MP noted: ‘[T]here are quite a number of people who are religious and devout about their beliefs but I don’t think they’re much more thoughtful about religion than the unbelievers or “don’t knows” are’.52 While Blair’s position may have given his private convictions disproportionate influence over British policy up to mid-2007, these views were still constrained by and in keeping with his own liberal politics and with wider secular liberal political habits in the UK.

British Armed Forces The salience of evangelical Christianity among the US armed forces begs the question of the extent to which the British armed forces were beholden to the same secular habitus as the wider population. Again, no comprehensive data exist on this. By and large, however, anecdotal evidence indicates that the majority of soldiers follow the patterns of religious and nonreligious experience prevalent among the civilian population. The Muslim chaplain for the British Army commented, ‘Is Christianity really the norm in the military? Yes, it’s got a strong Christian heritage, the ceremonies that take place have Christian roots, but how many individuals really find themselves being devout Christians?’53 The

answer to this is that a minority of serving troops identify themselves as devout Christians, though a larger proportion identify as culturally Christian. Anecdotally, British chaplains have noted that many of the troops they serve do not come from a religious framework themselves, but still seek advice from the ‘padre’ or chaplain on personal issues.54 Interestingly, the military is an important site for the preservation of Britain’s Christian heritage. This heritage is apparent in military ritual through the attachment of Christian pastors (padres) to each regiment, the officers’ curriculum on Just War, and Remembrance Day services, though this is changing. Still, this must be qualified. Though religious symbolism may contribute to specific rituals and occasions of mourning and celebration, it does not pervade ‘how soldiers do their job’ on a day-to-day basis. Long gone are the enforced church parades of the nineteenth century. However, anecdotally, though more soldiers than ever self-identify as nonreligious, the majority of soldiers still request Christian funerals.55 Since 2003, the army has been making gradual efforts towards promoting a more ‘liberal’ and pluralist outlook, by introducing chaplains from minority faith backgrounds, directing the ethics curriculum towards ‘liberal values’ and emphasizing Britain’s ‘liberal’ identity in its 2008 Values and Standards document.56 In an October 2006 Daily Mail interview, General Richard Dannatt, chief of the general staff, commented that ‘the broader Judeo-Christian tradition has underpinned British society. It underpins the British Army’. These comments received national press coverage, and irritated serving soldiers including Muslims who found the general’s comments disrespectful.57 The British armed forces are like many European militaries, where religion’s impact on the phenomenology of soldiering has diminished since the end of the Second World War. This has involved religion’s gradual confinement to two related spheres: the chaplaincy and ethics education. In particular, the teaching of Christian Just War theory in Western military academies, including in the UK, is nearly all-pervasive.58 The continuing influence of Christian ethics on military codes of conduct is also evident. There is a certain ambiguity in the contemporary moment, both in the attitudes of the joint services and among soldiers themselves.

Political Secularism and the State in Britain Roughly speaking, contemporary British political settlements around religion occupy a similar ‘middle ground’ to its cultural consensus. On one hand, the UK lacks the strict separation of religion from political life found in the US and French systems. Christianity is symbolically significant in many of its major state institutions. The Church of England is established, bishops sit in the House of Lords, faith schools receive state funding, religious education is compulsory in all state-funded schools and the Queen of England is both head of state and head of the Church. Some of these arrangements have a longstanding basis in British history. The monarch’s title of Defender of the Faith was conferred on King Henry VIII in 1521 by Pope Leo XIII, re-conferred by parliament in 1544 after its revocation by the pope, and has been used consistently since the 1660 restoration of the monarchy. The participation of bishops and other ecclesiastical representatives in parliamentary life dates back to the Model Parliament of 1295, and before that to the Magnum Concilium, which advised the kings during the Middle Ages. But the political power of the bishops should not be overestimated. The power of the House of Lords in general has diminished from the nineteenth century, and the Peers Temporal are far more active than the Peers Spiritual (the bishops). In practice, the Fidei Defensor is merely symbolic,

and the monarch follows the wishes of the elected government of the time. Liberalism – distinct from the Liberal Party – has been the dominant political ideology in the UK since the early nineteenth century. It split into centrist and leftist variants following the First World War, which are apparent in today’s Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties.59 British liberalism as a political ideology underwent a series of changes in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries that are deeply relevant to the story of contemporary secular politics. One of the most important ideological shifts within British liberalism, made possible under the influence of the thought of T.H. Green, was ‘an enhanced awareness of political life, specifically via citizenship, as an arena for the fulfilment of human values’. Nonconformist commitment to public duty was one factor in this.60 This shift in British liberalism towards recognizing politics as an arena for values and morality was embedded within the liberal concept of the common good, present in the work of J.S. Mill but elaborated under Green. In this conception, individual development occurs within the context of interdependence and community, which is predicated on the idea of the self as social. Under the influence of Hobson, liberalism and social welfare became even more closely aligned.61 In short: where once religious groups had been the arbiter of ethics, morality and public values in Britain, in the late nineteenth century the state began to appropriate this role. The state became the arbiter between different religious and nonreligious conceptions of morality and the protector of society and individuals against the interference of extremist positions. The voices of religious groups did not disappear, and indeed their public role has been periodically affirmed by the British government. However, through various historical contingencies, particularly the presence of Nonconformists in government at the turn of the twentieth century, the state took a large step towards arbitrating the realm of human values. And as the role of organized religions has diminished in British public life following the social changes of the 1960s, this shift towards the state has taken on increasing significance. Religious groups have long been respected by the political establishment as cooperative and charitable, and as bastions of traditional values. At the same time, there emerged in the 2000s an interesting tension between what some argue is a rather old-fashioned, privileged political status for organized religion and a population base that is widely indifferent to religion. We return again to the issue of the ‘fuzzies’, those who have some relationship to cultural Christianity, however vague.62 The large statistical significance of this population in the UK in the latter half of the twentieth and beginning of the twenty-first century begs the question of what relationships may exist between the presence of such a large population of fuzzies and Britain’s political system. Does the presence of so many fuzzies either mirror or in some way reinforce certain assumptions about political life? Is the public role of religion in modern British political life itself fuzzy – that is, category-transgressing and defying? The ‘fuzziness’ or hybridity of British social life makes possible a collective political experience that is itself hybrid – indebted to liberal notions of neutrality, tolerance and negotiation, which are themselves underpinned by older Christian ideals, but still have resonance among a population where fuzzies, ‘nones’ and the devout coexist.63 This political system and worldview are, in many important ways, liberal-plural-Christian-secular. Though not uncontested, this political settlement is amenable and less awkward in practice than this hyphenated descriptor. Ethnic minority religious groups are split over whether this fuzziness brings them substantial benefits, but most agree it does.

Pluralism, British Muslims and the State What has all this meant for British Muslims? Of the 1.6 million Muslims living in Britain, just over two-thirds are of South Asian heritage: 42 per cent Pakistani, 17 per cent Bangladeshi and 8 per cent Indian. Almost 12 per cent are white (5 per cent of UK heritage and 7 per cent other) and 8 per cent are black (mainly of African heritage).64 Most Muslims in Britain are Sunni, though there are no accurate figures for the proportion of Sunnis to Shi‘a. A small number of Shi‘a Muslims follow the Isma’ili school. The Sunni in Britain follow one of five schools of legal thinking that originated in the Middle East (the Hanbali, the Maliki, the Shafa’i, the Hanafi and the Ja’afari). Most Muslims from Pakistan follow a branch of Sunni Islam called Ahl As-Sunnah wal-Jama’at. They are often known as ‘Barelwis’, but do not use that label themselves. Most seminaries in Britain follow the Deoband school, and Sufism is also represented among the Muslim population. The majority of British Muslims are Deobandi, with other branches represented.65 There are 24 cities or authorities in the UK that have at least 10,000 Muslim residents, but two-fifths of all British Muslims live in London. The region with the next-highest proportion of all Muslims in the UK (14 per cent) is the West Midlands. Just over a third of all Muslims (33.8 per cent) are 15 or under, and almost a fifth (18.2 per cent) are aged 16–24. Relative poverty and social exclusion are still major issues for the community, despite progress in these areas.66 How does religious identification, practice and belief among British Muslims compare to the majority white population? Studies of nonreligiosity and secularization have focused on the white majority in England, Scotland and Wales.67 A variety of authors have used inward immigration and the influx of sizeable Muslim, Sikh, Hindu and Christian populations after the end of empire as evidence that pockets of religion are alive in multicultural Britain.68 The Fourth National Survey on Ethnic Minorities, conducted in 1994 and published in 1997, is the most recent study of religion among minority communities.69 Overall the statistics indicated that migrants, including South Asian Muslims, have tended to be more religious and of a different religious background than the society they were joining.70 The report noted that the decline of religious affiliation ‘has as yet hardly affected the South Asians, at least not at the level of nominal identification’, including Muslims.71 Because South Asian identity is largely tied to community relations, not only personal faith, few among the younger generation moved from a religious identity to saying they had none. This would mean rejecting their communal identity, which few were inclined to do. Nine out of ten Muslims said religion was important to how they lived their lives, and three-quarters said it was very important.72 While other minority groups, particularly Caribbeans, showed some signs of perhaps mirroring patterns of secularity and religiosity among the white majority, South Asian Muslims appeared to display patterns arguably most different from patterns seen among the white majority.73 Data from 2008–09 indicate that 80 per cent of those declaring a Muslim affiliation said that they were practicising, compared with 32 per cent of Christians in the UK. Gilliat Ray argues that the apparent increase in the number of Muslims in the UK – from 1,870,000 in 2004 to 2,422,000 in 2008 – can be ascribed in part to recent immigration, the growing birth rate and conversion to Islam, but also seems to indicate an increased willingness to identify as Muslim in the wake of the 9/11 wars.74 This raises the spectre of Othering. If casual or default secularity is so prevalent in British society, how much is known generally among the population about Islam? BBC/ICM polling data from

November 2005 indicated that levels of knowledge about ‘what it would be like to be’ a member of particular religions, including Christianity, were quite low.75 As we have seen, 77 per cent of those polled said they knew little or nothing about what it would be like to be a Muslim. If the BBC/ICM sample is representative, then this would seem to indicate that, while most people claim to be tolerant, liberal and open-minded towards religious belief, many people do not know very much in detail about what they are tolerating. This tension is deeply significant. If the range of experiences of those who self-identify as religious have come increasingly to be seen as outside the experience of the majority of the population, this would provide some deeper explanation for why Islam might be considered dissonant with white, mainstream culture. That culture is, in Orsi’s words, ‘tone-deaf’ to matters of religious practice and identity, not to mention faith.76 Similarly, one member of parliament observed that ‘the disconcerting, jagged aspect of Islam for British society is the disproportionate number of Muslims that take it seriously’.77 The existence of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain would indicate that secularity and atheism are increasingly present within the Muslim population.78 But it is the aesthetic perception of Muslims as overly devout and hence Other which clouds the issue.

Table 3.1 Knowledge of ‘what it would be like to be’ a particular religion Know a little or nothing at all about what it would be like to be a Christian

48%

Know a little or nothing at all about what it would be like to be a Muslim

77%

Know a little or nothing at all about what it would be like to be a Jew

78%

Know a little or nothing at all about what it would be like to be a Hindu

81%

Know a little or nothing at all about what it would be like to be a Sikh

83%

BBC/ICM Faith Survey, 4–6 November 2005

Many of the political arrangements concerning religion favoured by the Whig section of the Victorian Liberal party can still be seen in contemporary England and Scotland. British Muslims have benefited from this.79 The Whig policy was that the Church of England and its clergy had an important role in society: a duty to teach morality and to behave responsibly and accountably. However, for the Whigs, the Anglican Church would never be able to represent a plural nation, which was the responsibility of the parliament. Citizens’ ultimate loyalty would be to the state because of its representative constitution, not because it represented one group or another. People of diverse religious backgrounds should sit in parliament so that the legitimate views of these constituencies could be represented at national level. All religious groups would benefit from this arrangement, would be bound to the state, and would ultimately be unable to overthrow it.80 As British society became even more pluralized, particularly from the 1960s onwards, legislation continued according to the nineteenth-century model. It drew in other religious and ethnic-minority groups – particularly Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs from South Asia – under this same political umbrella. Notably, religion was not explicitly included until the Human Rights Act 1998 and the Employment Equality (Religion and Belief) Regulations 2003.81 Previous discrimination legislation was articulated through the rubric of ‘race, colour, nationality – including citizenship – or ethnic or national origins’,

although Jews and Sikhs were singled out.82 These legal arrangements are an example of what Freeden has called a tradition of ‘structural tolerance’ within British liberalism.83 In discussing the role of religious minorities in the context of British political secularism, it is important to ask what in British political life, has been, as Hirschkind phrased it, ‘identified and valorized through a discourse of secularism’?84 The history of British accommodation of a plurality of religious viewpoints since the late nineteenth century has led to a strengthening commitment – sometimes explicit, otherwise implicit – to several positions. These are, in no particular order: that democratic party politics is an antidote to religious extremism of all kinds; that good relations between faith groups and the government keeps politics and public discourse moral and sensible, and in turn keeps these groups progressive and un-ghettoized; that no religious groups should suffer any form of civil disability; that the right of individuals to exercise their private judgment on issues of morality and lifestyle without state interference should be preserved unless the exercise of that right is not in the public good; that freedom of self-expression, debate, intellectual culture and access to information should be preserved as being in the public interest. These positions have developed in a context in which the state has been viewed as the ultimate arbiter of the entrance of religious discourse into the political sphere, in the public interest. Parry has suggested that, in the late nineteenth century, ‘in Britain the religious conscience was disciplined to accept the legitimacy and primacy of political institutions, even while it remained vibrant within the broader public culture’.85 This has continued to the present day, with the state as guarantor of the right to private conscience on the one hand and bulwark against religious extremism on the other. In the UK, as in most of Europe, ‘the Enlightenment has been configured as a freedom from belief [whereas] in the United States, the Enlightenment became something very different … a freedom to believe’.86 The idea of moderation, of the state’s duty to protect the people from religious extremism of all kinds, is an idea privileged within the conception of British secularism. This has been both a help and a hindrance for British Muslims, as Chapter 6 will explore.

The first 18 months, the ‘diagnostic moment’ of the 9/11 wars, would act as a crucible for the discursive and ideational formations that would persist through the decade despite their export to heterogeneous global sites – including, perhaps suprisingly, Iraq. This is not to say that there would not be shifts in these formations over time. There certainly were. But the extent to which myths about the particular brand of fundamentalist Islamism peddled by Osama bin Laden and the Taliban would permeate seemingly disconnected geographies should not be underestimated. Prior to the 2005 attacks on the London transport system, little attention was paid to the detail of jihadism and Islamism other than by specialists in the British political and security establishments. First, in 2001–02 it was as yet unclear whether there would be a direct threat to British interests. The immediate concern was to counter a nuclear, radiological, biological or chemical attack targeting British citizens or territory. One senior intelligence source noted that ‘it looked like the al-Qaeda objective of insurgency in the Islamic world was going to gather some momentum initially … we just had no idea how bad it was or what their capabilities were’.1 The potential motivations behind an attack were irrelevant to its potential imminence. Second, Operation Enduring Freedom, led by the USA, was initially envisaged as a short-term aerial assault on al-Qaeda and Taliban targets, with a ground search-and-capture operation to follow. Though the novelty of the al-Qaeda threat was heralded in British government and military discourse, institutions and procedures (and the resources to support them) took time to adapt. This in itself is not surprising. The British armed forces throughout the twentieth century tended towards ‘tunnel vision’, with a propensity to transition badly from one type of conflict to another due to historical amnesia and a lack of institutional memory.2 Given what was known at the time, such detail was judged tactically irrelevant. But there was a deeply interesting tension between this judgment and the more general fetishization of what was in that period called ‘Islamic fundamentalism’. The point here is not to impugn this initial judgment or suggest its impact on British Afghanistan strategy in 2001–02. Rather, it is to set up a critique of the period 2003–11, continued in the second part of this chapter and the next two chapters, concerning its endurance and mutation over time across

a range of global sites. Bourdieu has suggested that the habitus is subject to hysteresis, or lag, when it confronts something new. In the next two chapters I will argue that, though secular hysteresis emerged in the period 2001–02, against the backdrop of the air war in Afghanistan, it initially took as its object the ‘global jihad’ rather than the Afghan campaign per se. The effects of this secular hysteresis resonated in 2003–04 in Iraq, and then in 2006–09 in the UK, as will be explored in the next two chapters. But the second part of this chapter jumps ahead chronologically, to 2006–10, while keeping the geographical focus on Afghanistan. I will argue that, in the period 2006–10 the British in Afghanistan made a serious attempt to come to grips with religious and cultural issues in the context of a population-centred counterinsurgency approach. However, these attempts also produced their own challenges.

War Unleashed In October 2001, the British armed forces joined NATO allies in bombing missions to depose the Taliban and expel al-Qaeda from Afghanistan. In the first stage of the campaign, the destruction of training camps and Taliban infrastructure was accompanied by the aerial delivery of humanitarian aid and the freezing of al-Qaeda assets. As a staunch ally of the USA, the UK aided NATO in Afghanistan. However, unlike in the USA, interviews with British senior policy-makers and politicians, and policy documents from the time suggest that the government’s collective starting point for thinking about the War on Terror was not 9/11 but a month before. Though the attacks on the USA had a profound influence on the British security imaginary and on its strategic action, the August 2001 riots in Bradford, Oldham and Burnley involving young Asian men was the pivotal British event. The interplay between global and local issues weighed heavily on the minds of those charged with protecting British citizens during 2001–03. The 9/11 attacks precipitated significant domestic legal change, with the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 amending the Terrorism Act 2000. This introduced, among other provisions, the highly controversial indefinite detention of terror suspects, found in 2005 to be in breach of Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights. In December 2001, Richard Reid, a British citizen, made global headlines after attempting to detonate a bomb in his shoe on a US airliner under orders of al-Qaeda second-in-command Khaled Sheikh Mohammed. Though the October 2002 al-Qaeda attack on a Bali nightclub drew the most prominent media headlines in Britain, a chronology of international terrorist attacks in the British government’s report on the 7/7 attacks indicated measured concern over a series of attacks between late 2001 and 2002, in India, Singapore, Pakistan, Yemen, Morocco, Tunisia and Kenya.3 The arrest of suspects in January 2003 over a plot to release ricin on the London Underground suggested to governing circles that Britain itself had come under al-Qaeda scrutiny and might soon be the object of a terror attack. The al-Qaeda bombing of the British consulate and British-based HSBC bank in Istanbul in November 2003 further reinforced this. When two British nationals born and educated in the UK carried out a suicide bombing in Israel in 2003, this also confirmed that there were active terrorist cells in Britain that could be mobilized at any time.4 In 2003 the British official counterterror strategy, known within government as ‘CONTEST’, came into effect, laying out four strands of work called, respectively, ‘Prepare’, ‘Protect,’ ‘Pursue’ and ‘Prevent’. Though not fully integrated with the Prevent strand of counterterror policy until 2007, robust changes were also made to local and community policy and practice in 2003. This is discussed in Chapter 6.

From the end of 2002, the possibility of war in Iraq came to dominate British security thinking and public attention – as did the spectre of domestic terrorism, with the Madrid attacks in March 2004. These rendered the Afghan war marginal in the public imaginary for a four-year period. It re-emerged in 2006 with British assumption of responsibility for security in Helmand province, which precipitated a dramatic rise in British casualties. It was also marked by a distinct shift in tactics, on the part of both Taliban and ISAF forces, towards an insurgency/counterinsurgency approach. From October 2007 the British armed forces undertook an important strategic shift in Helmand, towards a population-centred approach, with 52 Infantry Brigade turning its energies to influencing (hearts and minds) rather than combat operations.5 In doing so, they relied heavily on US Army and US Marine Corps doctrine on COIN, Field Manual (FM) 3–24 (2006), rather than the existing British doctrine, Countering Insurgent Operations (1995). The latter was deemed too focused on peace support operations and not fit for purpose.6 This shift towards a ‘softer’, more population-centred focus was facilitated by certain contextual changes: increased resources, increased Afghan National Army capabilities, new Taliban tactics and substantial attrition among Taliban forces in 2006–07 following heavy engagement with ISAF forces in Helmand. These things provided a window of opportunity, for which increased ‘cultural understanding’ was deemed essential.7 This chapter features a self-consciously disjointed chronology, reflecting the four-year marginalisation of the war in Afghanistan in the British imaginary for all but those intimately involved in its prosecution. It focuses first on the discourse of the first two years of the Afghan war, and then looks at practices from 2009 to 2011 that suggest a potential mutation in British secular ways of war over the course of the decade.

A Permeable Membrane, 2001–2003 A theme that will be repeated throughout the remainder of the book is a fundamental skepticism about the ‘walling off’ of policy areas. Despite some interviewees’ protestation to the contrary, it would seem unusual for the human beings setting Afghan policy to have been entirely immune to cultural narratives circulating about the ‘global jihad’ or War on Terror, and indeed the stories they told and the language they used indicated this. The walls of the Foreign Office, the Home Office, the Department for International Development and the Ministry of Defence do not constitute an impermeable barrier, literally or figuratively, to wider society or to each other. Policy-making is a human activity and is rarely so sharp in its boundaries, and a review of the evidence in print strongly supports this. A conception of the security imaginary helps to throws further light on Bourdieu’s conception of the habitus. This is useful for theorizing this permeable policy membrane. As Pretorius has pointed out, state security environments are constituted by, and embedded in webs of meaning found within, wider society. Society provides the ‘raw material’ through which security practices are forged.8 The security imaginary is constituted not only by what elite security practitioners think, feel and do, but by how a society collectively negotiates and imagines threats and the means to resist them. In the case of the Afghan war, the slippage between its specificities and that of the wider War on Terror is attributable to what Gregory has called the two cartographic performances of the war: the necessity of situating the Taliban and al-Qaeda in the same geopolitical time and ‘ruptured space’ for the purposes of carrying out conventional attacks via force protection-assuring aerial bombardment.9

A review of media coverage, political speeches, parliamentary debates, policy documents and cultural phenomena from the period 11 September 2001 to early 2003, as well as supplementary interviews conducted after the fact, indicates that, during the diagnostic period of the War on Terror, there was a certain amount of overlap between discussions of the Afghan war, al-Qaeda, multiculturalism and British Muslims, radical Islamism, and religion more generally. Though connections between the Taliban and al-Qaeda were rigorously interrogated, and policy-makers and those close to government were predominantly occupied with the specifics of the Afghan war, there was a relatively free flow between this cluster of topics.10 Allusions to jihadism generally appeared within the context of quite practical, finite discussions of Afghan security policy.11 Even those critical of the war in Afghanistan became entangled in the discourse: ‘If we … continue into the spring the bombing of civilians from 30,000 feet … we can stop parroting the idea that we are not at war with Islam, as Islam will be at war with us’.12 This exemplifies what Beck has called ‘the complete collapse of language’ after 9/11, in which MPs and metropolitan publics in Britain and elsewhere found themselves caught up: a failure to quickly find an adequate alternative discourse to counter the hegemonic one emanating from Bush and his circles.13 However, British discourse in this period rested on British self-distinction both from the zealous geographies of the USA and from the ‘al-Qaeda/Taliban enemy’.14 Bourdieu described distinction as a process of aesthetics, social judgment and separation from the vulgar Other.15 This was in keeping with the proud self-construction, honed during the empire, of British policy-making as dispassionate, pragmatic, interest-driven, and conservative ‘with a small c’.16 Caution and stoicism, proudly as claimed culturally inherent traits, have long been British forms of ‘representational force’ in the international sphere.17 But Peter Unwin has rightly pointed out that the British ‘are emotionally and ideologically committed to the belief that they are unemotional and strangers to ideology. They have the same conviction as the fat man who thinks that he is thin or the pretty girl who is convinced she is plain’.18 The Houses of Commons and Lords were not immune from the myth of religious violence.19 In the immediate aftermath of the attack, dramatizations of a global Islamist threat bubbled away amid more reserved views. One peer argued: Osama bin Laden and the Al Qaeda [sic] are quasi-religious terrorists whose intentions are to divide humanity through the misuse of the Muslim faith of ordinary people around the world … Is it not possible that the well-intentioned and conventional response of the western coalition and the United Nations to the international disruption created by Al Qaeda may be the equivalent in terms of cinema to applying a ‘Harry Potter’ solution to what is essentially a ‘Lord of the Rings’ problem?20 A senior intelligence source noted that, while this was a niche area, he was genuinely surprised at the extent to which, very initially, ‘quite a lot of Arabists [in the UK policy world] got caught up in … a tendency to equate al-Qaeda with other Islamic opinion’.21 These myths circulated freely in the media, as did Orientalist tropes of Afghans as ‘[people from] mountain tribes, who have the art of warfare in their blood’, and even the distinguished war historian Sir John Keegan did not resist.22 Among the broadsheets, the conservative Telegraph particularly played up the so-called ‘religious’ dimension of

the new threat: Islam has taken the lead in anti-Western activity politically, religiously and militarily … the fount of Islamic energy, of its destructiveness and high aspiration, are the same as they have always been: the desire to protect the purity of the Islamic faith and to vindicate its claim to be the final revealed religion on earth.23 This is significant because, in times of war, the media sets the parameters for what audiences think about (though not what they think),24 and the Telegraph had the highest circulation figures of all the broadsheet newspapers from October 2001 through to the end of 2002.25 In British metropolitan circles there was some consensus in 2001–02 that both the Huntington and bin Laden conceptions of the clash of civilizations were excessive, as was Bush’s formulation – the ‘axis of evil’. Still, the Schmittian notion of irresolvable enmity gave oxygen to an understanding of threats emanating from an archipelago of terror.26 In this conception micro-sites of potential threat could be found in the Middle East, North Africa, parts of South Asia, Central Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, as well as Europe, linked together by what Jones and Smith called the ‘cybercaliphate’.27 Pasha has argued that, in the current globalized era, ‘time-space compression has reinforce[d] the image of Islamic resurgence as a transnational volcano, ready to simultaneously erupt in different locales’.28 The 9/11 attacks drew the attention of the UK as well as the rest of the so-called Western world to the dynamics of transnational religion as an emerging force in global affairs. In 2003, three Ministry of Defence policy documents and working papers mooted ‘increasing mutual antagonism between Islamic and Western cultures’ and ‘ethnic and religious tensions’ within failing states and the threat of Islamist terrorism.29 One noted: While the nation state is still the primary focus point for peoples’ loyalty, it is losing some ground to transnational movements. Foremost amongst these is Islam, which is the world’s fastest growing religion and transcends borders. Many Muslims increasingly identify more with their religion than their country…30 Suspicion of transnational religion and loyalties beyond the nation-state is also not a wholly Western phenomenon, nor a contemporary one. For example, in the early eighteenth century the Chinese Kangxi emperor resisted papal claims to authority over Chinese Christians.31 The British government was very careful not to ascribe guilt by virtue of Muslim identity. But the above comment reveals an early train of thought circulating in this milieu that has since dissipated: if Islam as a religion had a growing number of adherents (1.2 billion and counting) of questionable national loyalty, might not the subset of radicals also grow? Might the archipelago of terror have unlimited growth potential? After all, a range of radical jihadist groups had already carried out successful attacks throughout the 1990s in Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Tanzania, Kenya, Yemen and India, as well as Russia, France and the USA.32 More measured warnings against radicalization also circulated in British policy circles and the media.33 Following the Bali bombings, the parliamentary under-secretary of state for foreign and commonwealth affairs described al-Qaeda as a serious threat to secular global order: We have to face the fact that the notion of the secular state, and of secularism as the guiding

force under which international relations are conducted and the rule of law is sustained within individual countries, is coming under challenge.34 Such discursive drama may sound naive in hindsight, but it is important to bear in mind the extent to which, in this early period, the UK, the USA and their allies did not have a full view of al-Qaeda’s capabilities. The British and their allies quickly learned that, while they might have a serious threat on their hands, it was not the one they had feared: ‘Does my right-honourable friend recall one or two people here and elsewhere saying that if military action were taken, the whole Islamic world would rise against us? That does not seem to have happened’.35 Still, the sense of a ‘long war’ persisted over the course of the decade. David Chandler has argued persuasively that these wars seemed global and boundless because the USA and its allies lacked a well-defined strategic goal.36

Mediating Imperial Myths in Afghanistan In order to come to grips with the Afghan war in its initial phase, the broader British metropolitan imaginary mined imperial history. Said referred to the function of the ‘imaginative geographies’ of Orientalism as ‘allow[ing] one to see new things, things seen for the first time, as versions of a previously known thing’.37 Similarly, Fowler has argued powerfully that in the early weeks of Operation Enduring Freedom, when the Taliban barred journalists from entering the country, British journalists used nineteenth-century narratives about the Anglo-Afghan encounter to ‘(re)familiarize’ the British public with the foreign culture.38 Kipling references were rife across the British media, as was the grafting of the Arabian Nights onto Afghan locations, and the straightforward repetition of nineteenth-century tropes about feuding tribes and the conquest of Alexnder the Great.39 The British retreat from Kabul in 1842 – wherein 16,000 were massacred on the way to Jalalabad – helped to secure the popular tautology that Afghan violence is repetitively caused by Afghan violence.40 Multiple modernities and spatialities were important organizing tropes, with Afghans constructed as contemporary with medieval Europe – a view that ignored the cosmopolitanism and development of the urban centres up to the 1979 invasion: In Afghanistan … time has gone backwards. According to the Islamic calendar the year is 1379. It is a date the Taliban takes literally, and to journey through Afghanistan’s mountain passes and along ancient donkey tracks … is to step into the Middle Ages.41 I argued in Chapter 3 that European imperial warfare marked a sequestration of the problem of religious violence to the frontier – a step in the consolidation of the modern European state. In one of history’s great ironies, it was Afghanistan that was the Muslim space that successfully resisted British imperial conquest in the first place. Afghanistan, the places beyond the North-West Frontier Province, had long been imagined as ungoverned and ungovernable by the British. In her review of British sources, Fowler suggests that the Afghan borderlands were of profound military and psychological significance. The border represented both entry and exit to ‘uncolonizable spaces and an ever present reminder of the limit to British authority in India’.42 The Anglo-Afghan wars (1839–42, 1878–80, 1919) were part of the Great Game – Britain’s struggle to secure the insecure northern border of the Raj against Russian expansion. The current ‘global jihad’ perhaps represents a similar ever-present

reminder of the limit to the authority of the secular global order, with Afghanistan again an important imagined frontier. And in another of history’s great ironies, it was the Anglo-Afghan wars that galvanized clerical influence on the politics of the modern Afghan state. During the first Anglo-Afghan war, the clergy turned jihad into the pre-eminent political issue, challenging those rulers who acquiesced to the British. The role of religious leaders was prominent both in instigating the first Anglo-Afghan war and during its course. Mosques served as communications centres; the ulema (Muslim scholars of law and theology) refused to read the khutbah (an address or public prayer) in mosques in the name of Shah Shuja, saying they could only do so in the name of an independent monarch. Jihad was declared against the British in the Pul-i-Khishi Mosque in Kabul, with other mosques soon following, after the British imprisoned several clerics in retaliation for the death of an officer at the hands of a religious leader. During the war religious leaders preached jihad, persuaded the people not to sell food to the British, and also carried banners and fought alongside Afghan troops. The Second Anglo-Afghan war was the high point for popular support of jihad against the British.43 After 2001 the Afghans were constructed as simultaneously alienated from the contemporary moment and fundamentally embedded within it; the romanticization of barbaric and/or heroic warlordism was the most prominent early feature of this discourse.44 This was an interesting, perhaps nostalgic inversion of post-RMA (revolution in military affairs) soldiering, which Edward Luttwak has called ‘post-heroic’.45 This sense of Afghan warriors and Afghanistan as a whole being outside history perhaps allowed the British media, as Fowler suggests, to treat the new war in Afghanistan as caught in a geopolitical and temporal vacuum. Yet the Taliban have been surprisingly geopolitically savvy. Little British air-time and few column inches were devoted to the Taliban playing off Russia and the USA against each other in the 1990s, who were eager to secure contracts to construct and control oil and gas pipelines running from the Caspian Basin to the Indian Ocean.46 All Afghans – rather than simply the Taliban – were portrayed as uniquely isolationist in their anti-modernism, despite the fact that in 2001 there were 3.6 million refugees outside Afghan borders, in a diaspora with global connections.47 Little attention was paid to how the use of Afghanistan as a Cold War playground had contributed to the contemporary situation. That severe drought and the Taliban ban on poppy production to the 3.8 million Afghans living in, or dying of, food poverty in the winter of 2000 would later fuel the insurgency was also overlooked. Still, there were important factors which, in the early stages of the Afghan campaign, mediated a direct repetition of nineteenth-century imperial mythology by British policy-makers. The first was that there was not yet a counterinsurgency on the ground, necessitating a population-centric approach and careful attention to sociocultural mores. Secondly as suggested in the last chapter, the British had learned in Northern Ireland that it was possible to fight a war without much attention to religion because it was only a label, and that liberal democracy and technical sophistication would ultimately triumph over communal division. Thirdly, despite the permeability between discussions of Afghanistan and those of the wider War on Terror, there were mediating checks at the level of ideas even on myths of Islamic violence. During the twilight of empire, tropes about madness and threat softened, even as the British became acutely aware that Islam was being mobilized against them to support nationalist political resistance to imperial rule. Some of these movements were overtly Islamist, such as the Kaum Muda (the 1930s nationalist opposition in Malaya), Sayyid Abul Ala Mawdudi’s Jamaat i-Islami and

Hasan al-Banna’s Muslim Brotherhood. Others, such as Jinnah’s Muslim League in India, comprised Muslims but did not have overt politically Islamist goals. As these new Muslim leaders adopted Western political models, spoke a language of nationalist politics, and engaged in rational debate, all through the structure of political parties, earlier British tropes about religious violence drifted away. Furthermore, the very visibility of a domestic Muslim population – perhaps more for the British than for the Americans – made it difficult to maintain monolithic conceptions of Afghans and/or Muslims as religious fanatics and terrorists. As a result, and inverting Shapiro’s ‘architectures of emnity’, the War on Terror forged new architectures of amity, creating new alliances and invigorating old ones.48 The phrase ‘Islam is peace’ was a vital part of the securing logic of the War on Terror. A discourse about a global ‘moderate Islam’ became hegemonic while the dust was still settling at Ground Zero.49 Abeysekara has argued that such a discourse implies that Muslim Otherness ‘can only be comprehended by the abstract quality of “peace”’. The formulations ‘the West is secular’ and ‘Islam is peace’ are thus two sides of the same coin: the discursive assertion of the Western secular.50

Hysteresis and Islam Despite this political rhetoric, prior to the 2005 London attacks, levels of knowledge about Islam were low within British policy circles, even at the Foreign Office, and among the armed forces. Participants in a Chatham House consultation process in November 2002 found that ‘a better understanding of the Islamic religion was needed’ in the UK policy world.51 One FCO official noted: ‘I think the level of knowledge has grown and that research analysts are better placed now than they were in 2001. But it is probably fair to say that before 2003–2004 knowledge was poor and although it has improved, could improve further’.52 Commenting further, this official noted of the Engaging with the Islamic World programme: We were heavily dependent on one Muslim with good knowledge of the British Muslim scene and of religious expertise across Europe. Other departments notably the Home Office and the Cabinet Office were equally dependent on individuals. This was OK in the short term and we created some dynamic programmes and responses. But it would have been better to have had a wider basis of knowledge to draw on.53 In the early days of the al-Qaeda threat, there were certain ambivalences within the British approach. On the one hand, addressing the ‘Islam dynamic’ was seen as vaguely important within very limited circles. For example, the UK Defence Academy called upon the expertise of a number of Muslim leaders and analysts.54 Some exchanges were fruitful, though some experts have quietly indicated to me that their advice was not taken when it pertained to sensitive political or foreign policy matters. Though certainly not all were Muslims, many were. Overall, however, these efforts were radically limited in comparison with the effort expended on understanding political Islamism and Muslim identity, and social structures after the London bombings.55 If British political discourse focused so heavily on both Islam and jihadism in this period, why was learning so slow? As we have seen, the British did not know initially what al-Qaeda’s capabilities were, and the perceived imminence of a threat militated against attention to less pressing risk factors, like ideology. However, as Bourdieu has suggested, hysteresis – or lag – occurs when ‘the environment

[it] actually encounter[s] is too different from the one to which [it is] objectively adjusted’. This begs the question: Did security planners not pay more careful attention to the geopolitical dynamics of Islam in this period because it did not matter strategically, because they lacked the resources, or because, quite simply, they did not have the habitual inclination to look? I suggest that, while the first two are true, the latter also played a role. This supports broader patterns identified by other authors: the British army’s tendency to ‘muddle through’ new challenges in small wars, often due to a lack of resources, and to move badly from one type of conflict to another due to historical amnesia and a lack of institutional memory.56 This is not to say that a misreading of ideology contributed to British strategic mistakes in 2001–02. Better attention to the dynamics of the population might have aided the search for bin Laden, but so would more boots on the ground and a rapid end to aerial bombing. Chapter 5 explores the impact of the British secular hysteresis that emerged against the backdrop of 9/11 and the onset of the war in Afghanistan on British security thinking in Iraq from 2003 to 2004. But the remainder of this chapter will discuss the impact of the British secular habitus in Afghanistan from 2006 to 2010, and the extent to which the British were able to overcome the hysteresis of the first half of the decade in the context of their counterinsurgency strategy in Helmand Province. In order to do this, it is first important to set out the Taliban’s particular brand of jihadism and the relationship between their approach and that of al-Qaeda.

The Taliban’s Jihadism Taliban ideology grew out of an extremist strand of Deobandism, which was an attempt to regenerate Islam within the confines of British colonialism in India. This ideology gained credence within the context of the ideological vacuum that resulted from the disappearance of Pashtun hegemony following the 1992 civil war and the disintegration of a more tolerant form of Islam as a source of national unity.57 It took shape in Deobandi madrasas, drawing followers in the rural areas and refugee camps, preached by partially educated mullahs far removed from mainstream Deobandi thought.58 At first, the phenomenon appeared to bring some unity, as it appealed to the conservative values of the rural areas, but it soon became far too interventionist, undermining the previously tolerant Islam that had been practised. Johnson and Leslie note that, although ‘most Afghans are deeply conformist in their belief and attach great importance to rituals such as regular prayer’, this ‘was seen as an anathema to all but the most conservative Sunni elements of society’.59 The Taliban filled a vacuum following the collapse in legitimacy of the three Islamic political trends (radical Islamism, Sufism and traditionalism) that had emerged between 1979 and 1994. But their anti-modernism and opposition to economic development were far removed from the views of the moderate Islamists who wanted women’s education and political participation, social equality, and an Islamic system of banking and foreign relations.60 The Taliban triumphed because, unlike the other groups and movements, the majority Pashtun Taliban did not want to do away with ethnicity and tribe as bases for organization and authority.61 Ideologically, their conception of shariah had been heavily influenced by the Pashtunwali.62 The Taliban have never produced a manifesto, or an analysis of Afghan history and their place within it.63 But their brand of Islamist ideology has not remained static or homogenous over time, and neither has the Taliban been structurally monolithic. Guistozzi has suggested that the ‘neo-Taliban’

moved away from a form of conservative Deobandism associated with a strict interpretation of the shariah, which was often at odds with the views of tribal elders. Since the middle of the last decade it has moved towards a more technologically savvy approach, one more closely integrated practically and ideationally with other international jihadist movements, though neo-Taliban ideology is still in flux.64 The alliance with al-Qaeda was not a natural one. Bin Laden’s more worldly ‘Afghan Arabs’ regarded the Taliban as ‘unlettered and uncivil’.65 Until the 1996 Taliban capture of Kabul, they had no contact with bin Laden or his Arab Afghan fighters. Pakistani security forces introduced them because they wanted to retain use of bin Laden’s Khost training camps for Kashmiri militants – camps that had subsequently been captured by the Taliban. The Taliban were ultimately persuaded by the ISI, and also lured by the promise of bin Laden’s money. Though they gave him back the Khost camps, the Taliban became increasingly annoyed when bin Laden’s promised infrastructure projects did not come to fruition. This was due to his accounts being frozen after the 1998 East Africa bombings. The Taliban were, however, satisfied by the deployment of Arab Afghans to help them fight a series of northern offensives to consolidate their power. Increasingly, Taliban thinking came to reflect bin Laden’s thinking. They had originally been insular, preferring to wage a domestic jihad. However, under bin Laden’s influence the Taliban became increasingly antagonistic towards the USA and the West, demanding international recognition of their government.66 They also made it difficult for aid agencies to operate.67 But in 1998–99 the relationship faltered, and the Taliban offered to cut a deal with the USA to hand bin Laden over.68 However, strident US demands that the Taliban do so ultimately pushed them closer to bin Laden.69 The Taliban have proved to be dynamic, strategic actors, subverting attempts by NATO forces to pigeonhole them on the basis of culture and religion by exploiting material grievances, organized crime and their own battlefield successes, as well as religious arguments.70 For example, after a murderous campaign against teachers and students between 2001 and 2006, the Taliban became willing to open schools, including girls’ schools.71 Taliban religious leaders have created a Quranic interpretation for suicide bombing, after having previously condemned its practice by foreign fighters.72 Though the Taliban have banned shaving and music in the border region, they have also had an embedded journalist with them broadcasting for Al Jazeera, depicting human forms, since early 2007.73 The Taliban have also increasingly adopted al-Qaeda-style tactics, starting in 2006. For example, in 2006 and 2007 the Taliban carried out 141 and 137 suicide bombings respectively, after 27 in the previous two years combined.74 The Taliban have turned increasingly to kidnapping, roadside explosives (1,297 in 2006 versus 530 the previous year)75 and the marginalization of tribal elders. They also began to cooperate with international jihadist volunteers.76 This change in tactics is due to the reconstitution of al-Qaeda in Afghanistan from 2006. Jihadists from central Asia, western China, Turkey and various Arab nations trained the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban and other Pakistani extremists in the arts of bomb-making and fundraising, and taught Taliban subcommanders these new tactics.77 Also, heavy Taliban losses to ISAF forces were replaced by recruits from the Jamiat-e-Ulema madrasas in the Northwest Frontier Province.78 In short, some kind of rather loose religio-political ideological and structural solidarity was an important factor in facilitating these unholy marriages. This is an old pattern. The Pakistanis aside, between 1982 and 1992, 35,000 fighters from 43 Muslim countries were recruited to fight in Afghanistan by the Muslim Brotherhood, World Muslim League (from Saudi Arabia) and Palestinian Islamist radicals.79 But

within Afghanistan, despite the Taliban’s fierce ethno-sectarianism, Islam has been an important source of solidarity as well as divisor. For example, in 1998 the Hazaras (who are traditionally Shi‘a) successfully negotiated with the Taliban not to massacre them, because, among other things, they emphasized their shared Islam and the Taliban’s obligations as rulers under Islam.80 The salience of Islam to both Taliban identity and the dynamics of conflict in Afghanistan continues. For example, in June 2010, 11 Hazaras were murdered, their decapitated bodies left by the roadside.81 In August 2010, ten aid workers from the International Assistance Mission, a Christian charity that had operated in Afghanistan since the 1960s, were murdered.82 Moreover, the interaction of Taliban Islamist ideology with the particularities of the fluid Afghan operational environment can help to explain where ‘religion’ acts as some kind of ‘restraint’: for example, why there have been so few female suicide bombers operating there.83 These dynamics are similarly important in neighbouring Pakistan, where the Taliban re-established itself between 2004 and 2006 as an effective alternative authority to tribal leadership, killing nearly 200 tribal elders in the process and launching a more intensive jihad against NATO forces in Afghanistan. Ghufrun has argued that the Taliban movement in neighbouring Pakistan – a focal point for increased US drone attacks since 2008 – is best understood as religio-political rather than as ethno-nationalist. This is because Pashtun identity has become highly fractured following the rise of the Taliban,84 with Sunni and Shi‘a Pashtun tribes fighting each other in some areas, and also because the Taliban has been keen not to alienate non-Pashtun jihadis.85

Culture, Religion and British Population-Centric Warfare in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, 2006–2010 From the 2006 publication of the US Counterinsurgency Doctrine (COIN), significant attention has been paid in British military and policy circles, as well as think tanks and the academy, to populationcentric warfare. The fundamental shift in the nature of the global threats facing the US and its allies, and the need for a paradigm shift in capabilities and strategies to fight irregular wars, was mooted as early as 1989.86 A sub-category of population-centric warfare is culture-centric warfare. Analyzing and ‘mapping’ the sociocultural dynamics of an enemy population for strategic use in defeating counterinsurgents is not a new phenomenon; anthropologists were part of the war effort of both sides during the Second World War, and of the USA in Vietnam.87 The US military’s Human Terrain System (HTS) was established in mid-2005 to perform this kind of mapping. Since 2009 British COIN strategy in Helmand has involved a similar though not identical apparatus. While both systems attend to cultural variables, the British approach has involved training officers, rather than bringing in social scientists without military experience, which is the American model.88 Critically, the British early on saw their imperial experiences with different cultures, particularly Muslim cultures, as one of the key assets they would deploy to win influence over their much stronger coalition partner. Culture-centric warfare has drawn hefty criticism from the academy. Particularly controversial among anthropologists, the ‘weaponization of culture’ has been criticized by the American Anthropological Association.89 Several potent criticisms have been voiced: that it is used to collect intelligence, that it is an instrument of neoliberal governmentality, that it is insufficiently reflexive and equitable in its interactive structure.90 Though these criticisms have focused on the wars in Iraq and

Afghanistan, they echo earlier criticism of a history of ‘investigative modalities’, either through the use of anthropological work to understand the enemy or through the actual deployment of US anthropologists in Vietnam.91 Among the British armed forces, since 2009 there has been a flurry of activity to develop capacity for influence operations, and to improve upon the experience – and errors – of the US Human Terrain System, operational since 2005–06. The development of cultural capability for the Afghan campaign was mooted by the British Army’s Land Headquarters and the Directorate of Joint Capability in 2008. One major general noted that ‘rectification of the UK’s lack of cultural understanding will require a shift away from technological solutions back to cultural investment’.92 An Afghan Specialists Joint Implementation Team was established in February 2009 to bring this to fruition. The purpose here is not to assess the successes and failures of that programme, but to explore the broader logic behind it with an eye to Islam – a very narrow lens. Scholars have evaluated the broad strengths and weaknesses of the British approach in Helmand from 2006 to 2011.93 Difficulties in 2006 after the British took charge there included a flawed intelligence picture, deficiencies in troop levels and slowness to adapt tactically.94 From late 2007 onwards the British began to adapt strategically, but gains were undermined by ongoing difficulties with governance and development, despite the best efforts of an under-staffed, underresourced Provincial Reconstruction Team.95 Any assessment of the success of the British approach to culture must bear these broader factors in mind. Joint Doctrine 1/09, issued in January 2009, noted: An appreciation of culture throughout the spectrum of military operations and processes will result in increased situational awareness, an improved preparation of the battlespace, enhanced force protection and more effective tactical engagement.96 Benefits listed include improved analysis and planning, reduced risk of alienating friendly and neutral actors and enhancing force protection. While opportunities for conflict prevention and more fruitful coordination among actors were also listed as benefits, so were, curiously, ‘the identification and exploitation of opponent’s cultural vulnerabilities, whilst identifying and protecting one’s own cultural vulnerabilities’ (emphasis mine).97 Although the Joint Doctrine document is careful to distinguish between the twin traps of Othering and ‘going native’, it also begins from the premise that ‘members of British Armed Forces are frequently working with partners and within populations, and facing opponents with different moral, ethical and legal boundaries and perspectives to our own’.98 Somewhat incongruously, British forces’ adherence to the rule of law is identified as a ‘cultural vulnerability’ which the Taliban have exploited.99 Unlike the Americans, the British had their own significant and consistent intercultural engagement within the military to draw from: with the Gurkha Battalions, a holdover from the colonial Indian Army, and with other Commonwealth soldiers.100 Still, not every British attempt to get non-officers to think about difference has been terribly sophisticated. For example, a training document from 2008 regarding Commonwealth cultures and targeted at non-officers, stated that the British are ‘reserved’ while ‘Kenyans generally love to party’.101 In October 2009 the first cultural adviser and cultural coordinator were deployed. Since February 2010 cultural advisers have been deployed in each of the British battlegroups.102 They report to a senior officer who is a trained anthropologist under the auspices of the Defence Cultural Specialist

Unit, launched in April 2010.103 A range of tools and courses were developed by various units between 2008 and 2011 to provide rank-and role-appropriate training. This included the development of pre-deployment cultural awareness training packs for Iraq and Afghanistan; Cultural Appreciation Booklets on Iraq, Afghanistan and ‘the Arab World’; and ‘Countries in Perspective’ and ‘Cultural Orientation’ downloads.104 Though interpersonal interaction is highly subjective, there was an attempt to quantify this somewhat through simulation and scenario-based learning. LINE, which developed one e-learning tool, noted: Learners receive feedback through a cultural risk meter that indicates whether their choice has increased or decreased cultural tensions between the local people and the occupying forces.105 A more comprehensive approach to training across ranks is a significant development since 2003–04, as will be discussed in Chapter 5. In 2010 the Development Concepts and Doctrine Centre started promulgating ‘red teaming’ techniques – essentially a more sophisticated method of introducing alternative thinking, by imagining scenarios from an alternative cultural perspective.106 Also in early 2010 the Intermediate Command and Staff Course (Land) began offering a cultural module.107 Translation is another important part of this story. A lack of Arabic and Pashto language capacity was a significant early barrier to operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. To take a small example, one army intelligence officer interviewed by Frank Ledwidge recounted translating for an army handler speaking to a Shi‘a cleric in Iraq. The handler asked the cleric who Imam Ali was – a fairly basic piece of knowledge about Shi‘ism – which annoyed the cleric. The intelligence officer recounted: ‘the mullah replied, “He died thirteen hundred years ago so I don’t know. Tell your friend I think he had a beard.” I had many frankly embarrassing experiences like that and they did us no good at all’.108 However, by 2006, the Defence School of Languages had adjusted to provide tuition in the Gulf dialect as well as scenario training, including engagement with religious leaders.109 By 2010, ‘hundreds’ of deployed soldiers had been trained in functional Pashto, with some becoming fluent.110 Critically, since late 2009 Afghan National Army officers and Afghan expatriates have been involved in cultural awareness and scenario training for troops about to deploy. As one Afghan course tutor put it, ‘It simply is not good enough for the troops to grow a beard, smile and be polite’.111 One former Afghan refugee was deployed with the Stabilization Unit in Helmand, acting as the senior Afghanistan country adviser. His work in 2010 focused on the Mullah Engagement Programme, designed to counter Taliban propaganda among the Afghan religious community.112 Additionally, in April 2011 a 24-woman Female Engagement Team was deployed, two with the Stabilization Unit and the remainder with the 3 Commando Royal Marines, to work specifically with women and children in Helmand.113 The endeavour has not been without its pithy Orientalist verbal missteps – for example a section on ‘the importance of cultural awareness and understanding’ when partnering the Afghan National Army begins with Kipling’s quote, ‘Asia is not going to be civilized after the methods of the West. There is too much Asia and she is too old’.114 The section on ‘cultural awareness’ goes on to cite without irony another colonial example, ‘the different Dhofari Logic to the Western Mind’ which ‘usually stemmed from an improbable amalgam of Islamic faith, natural politeness, rules of hospitality,

and naked greed’.115 Still, these texts do not undermine a radical change in the willingness and capability of the British military and government to engage with religion and culture during war. Critically, there has been some vital reflexivity about the culture of the British armed forces and within the United Kingdom more generally. For example, a section on ‘self-analysis’ noted, Individuals tend to have a deeply engrained ethnocentric belief, sometimes supported by cultural or religious narratives, that their own culture and way of life is superior. It is hard to recognize this trait in one’s self [sic], therefore the risk of mirroring your culture on others is high. Cultural self-analysis requires an understanding of the influence of one’s own culture, in particular sub-conscious assumptions, perceptions and prejudices that may affect how an individual relates to people of other cultures.116 Attempts have been made to build reflexivity about British cultural assumptions into engagement activities, for example through ‘red teaming’. Despite some faux pas, overall British efforts indicate a relatively sensitive approach to the potential hypocrisies of the task – such as an awareness of the need to maintain some distance between ‘cultural engagement’ and intelligence-gathering activities in order to maintain the support of the population and the academy. But all this sophistication and sensitivity cannot ultimately escape the contextual trap of the radical power disparities inherent in NATO’s campaign in Afghanistan. This brings us to the story of the secular habitus. Islam has not been singled out: rather, according to British military doctrine, ‘there will seldom be obvious distinctions between cultural, psychological, political, economic or religious factors’.117 Interestingly, the British identified two religious examples for ‘getting it wrong’ and ‘getting it right’. On the former: One month into a Brigade’s tour in Iraq, a patrol was ambushed while on a routine patrol. Engaged from two directions and with one man down, it applied minimum force in returning fire, thus preventing escalation or harm to civilians … However, as the assailants made their escape, the patrol gave chase, eventually entering a mosque still bearing arms. In hindsight, this was judged the wrong decision and the wider impact was significant, sparking major demonstrations against British forces. The Brigade spent three weeks repairing the damage to local relations after suffering a ‘nightmarish loss of cooperation’.118 As an example of ‘getting it right’, Allenby getting off his horse upon entering Jerusalem was cited: This was perceived by the populace as a mark of respect to the holy status of a City that had considerable significance to Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Allenby vigorously played down any notion of a crusade…119 After 2005, ‘culture’ gradually became the catch-all policy idea of choice, within which Islam was incorporated. An undated discussion paper by the Development Concepts and Doctrine Centre noted that ‘being a Pakhtun [sic] comes even before Islam’.120 Now, the extent to which any single policy document expresses general views or simply the views of the author is up for grabs. But this does raise some interesting questions, as the relationships between Pashtun identity and Taliban ideology and

identity are complex – mutually reinforcing in some cases and distinct in others. What were the implications of ‘culture’ as an organizing framework?

The Taliban, Islam and the ‘Culturalist’ Approach Since 2008, there has been greater recognition of the Taliban’s dynamism and flexibility on the part of US and UK strategists.121 However, there is, Porter notes, ‘a “culturalist” argument common within military circles and public discourse, that the Taliban insurgency is not essentially Islamic or charismatic, but essentially tribal or overwhelmingly ethnic’. Porter has argued that, from 2001, ‘people on both sides of the debate persistently fell back on culture to explain the conflict’.122 Such an approach has a much broader pedigree than simply the 9/11 wars. Pasha has suggested that, in the post-socialist world, ‘without the discursive parsimony of the Cold War’, hyperliberalism, as he calls it, has tended to read every act of Muslim resistance to global neoliberalism as ‘cultural’. Global neoliberalism has increasingly taken on the appearance of cultural homogenization. As a result, Pasha has argued, ‘social justice and its political expressions in the Muslim world become recognizable only as religious protest or cultural resistance’. Issues of marginality, poverty, inequality and exploitation fall out of the equation.123 To give fair dues to the ‘culturalist’ perspective, which has privileged tribe and ethnicity, qawn (tribe) continues to be a primary frame in Afghan society, and the war with the Soviets mobilized ethnic identification in Afghanistan.124 Structurally, over the course of 20 years warlords and commanders did displace the political authority of mullahs and other local leaders.125 However, the ulema have continued to constitute a very important structure between the people and the state. Johnson and Leslie have suggested that this was initially overlooked by secular Western aid agencies.126 Further, interactions with al-Qaeda from the mid-1990s to 2001, and then again after 2006, have intensified the salience of Islam to the Taliban project. In short, the Taliban phenomenon is not entirely ‘ethnic’; Islam is part of the culture but it is important in its own right. An underinterpretation of transnational jihadist Islamism has had potentially important ramifications. Porter suggests that NATO’s privileging of the Pashtunwali and reading of the Taliban as an ethno-nationalist phenomenon may have underpinned other factors hindering NATO’s more rapid adaptation to new Taliban tactics.127 For example, Porter points out that ‘the idea that religion is merely an epiphenomenal texture to a local and tribal uprising … fails to explain the role of international and religious volunteers’ and a shift towards al-Qaeda tactics since 2006.128 This has been a feature of armed conflict in Muslim-majority states since 1980. Previously, the Arab–Israeli war and the 1950s anti-colonial struggles in North Africa drew some Muslims from neighbouring countries.129 However, of 70 armed conflicts in the Muslim world after 1945, 18 involved private global foreign fighters, on three continents, drawn from far afield. Sixteen of these occurred after 1980.130 Hegghammer attributes this to the rise of a distinctive ‘foreign fighter doctrine’. He traces the origins of this doctrine to a pan-Islamist identity movement that arose in Hijaz, western Saudi Arabia, in the 1970s through a process of elite competition.131 Additionally, the spread of the Muslim Brotherhood beyond Egypt in the mid-twentieth century and the more recent Saudi export of Wahhabism to Malaysia, Pakistan and elsewhere are two prominent examples of political cross-pollination.

As of summer 2012, there was no external or internal MoD evaluation of these efforts publicly available. To what extent the British model might have fallen into the traps of the US Human Terrain System remains to be seen. Further research is also needed to confirm the range, extent and impact of these misunderstandings, and what variations there have been among NATO actors. British sources suggest that the British may have grasped more accurately than the Americans the importance of Islam to the Afghan population as a whole (as seen in the Mullah Engagement programme, for example). Further research is needed to confirm this. Research is also needed to weigh up how much these misunderstandings mattered within the context of wider errors in counterinsurgency strategy – for example, the lack of intelligence in the south in 2004–05, which prevented NATO from anticipating the Taliban resurgence in 2006, and NATO’s heavy reliance on airpower in 2006 for force protection, which ultimately alienated the population.132 Research is also needed to weigh up their byproducts – for example, understanding the Taliban phenomenon as ethnic may have helped NATO forces to a better grasp of the importance of the North-West Frontier Province and the Pakistani Taliban, while at the same time leading them to underestimate the importance of the influx of foreign fighters. However, I use this example primarily to draw attention to a shift within British secular ways of war over the decade since 9/11: away from the particularization of Islam towards rendering religion opaque, indistinguishable from culture. This British move towards seeing the inculturation of Islam in Pashtun ways of life is not empirically incorrect, and it is certainly a marked improvement over fetishizing it or ignoring it. It shows significant conceptual sophistication and advance over the first half of the decade. But it is only half the equation. Roy has argued that the ‘deculturation and deterritorialization of religion’, the separation of religious and cultural markers, is an important transformation that has taken place in the past several decades.133 It is a global phenomenon, made possible by secularization and globalization, which ‘have forced religions to break away from culture, to think of themselves as autonomous and to reconstruct themselves in a space that is no longer territorial’.134 Al-Qaeda, Roy contends, is as much a manifestation of this phenomenon as Protestant evangelicalism in Brazil and West Africa, and Buddhism in the West.135 A full appreciation of Islam in Afghanistan and of the shifting alliances between Afghans and foreign fighters requires careful attention to both Islam’s inculturation and its territorialization and deterritorialization. Further research is required to confirm the extent to which the British have managed adequately to interpret both sides of this equation in Afghanistan since 2006. But it is worth noting the logic: culture and ethnicity are more comfortable and less threatening conceptual categories for the secular worldview than religion.

The previous chapter set out how British secular, liberal habits and myths about religion, politics and violence conditioned perceptions of jihadism and Islam more generally in 2001 and 2002, and introduced the concept of hysteresis. This chapter moves the chronology forwards and the landscape west to Iraq, to the Coalition Provisional Authority period, from March 2003 to June 2004. This chapter examines perceptions of British civilians and officers charged with reconstructing the Iraqi state after the overthrow of the Ba’athist regime. In particular, it focuses on British perceptions of the Islamist Jaish al Mehdi (Army of the Redeemer) militia, founded by Shi‘a cleric Muqtada al-Sadr in 2003, prior to its attacks on British positions in April 2004. Though by no means the sole or even primary causal factor, assumptions about religion, politics and violence contributed to hysteresis. This made it difficult for the British to reach firm conclusions about the threat posed by the Sadrists, to the security situation and to the nascent democratic process, contributing to strategic ambiguities towards them. The emerging literature on British policy in Iraq during this period has been largely silent about British interactions with Islamist actors, including the Sadrists.1 Mark Etherington’s memoir of the 2004 Sadrist uprising gives one account, and there is some literature on the American experience, in addition to Patrick Cockburn’s account of the CPA period.2 The Sadrists have been very important actors in the new Iraqi state – carrying out ‘death squad’ killings of rivals during the civil war, and later as a potent electoral force, with al-Sadr acting as ‘kingmaker’ in the 2010 elections. Moreover, apart from some fleeting mentions in memoirs, little has been written connecting the sociological experience in Britain vis-à-vis the ‘global War on Terror’ to the Iraq context. But this area is very important: war is intensely social. The multiple histories of any war cannot be understood without exploring how societies and individuals experienced the period of collective violence, and were left transformed in its wake. As in the Afghanistan discussion, the connections drawn here are correlative rather than causal, due to data availability. Its purpose is to explore how the secular habitus operated in the context of relations with this one set of actors, not to argue that it was the primary causal variable for all British Iraq policy. Nor is it a comprehensive account of the workings of the secular habitus in Iraq; for

example, the extent to which the habitus may have impaired the ability of the British and their allies to stem the tide of sectarian civil war is a pressing area for further research. This argument is based on 19 interviews with politicians, civil servants, military officers, NGO representatives, academics and religious leaders who had been to Iraq during this period or were involved with government policy. The majority of interviews were conducted in 2008–09, while British troops were still deployed in Iraq. In addition to interviews, I have relied on memoirs, policy documents, parliamentary debates, public speeches, broadsheet and BBC news coverage, secondary sources and published testimony from the Iraq (Chilcot) Inquiry. Although what has been released by the Chilcot Inquiry by the time of writing (July 2012) has added to the account here, the release of the full investigative report in 2013 may add some nuance to this account.

The British Encounter with the Sadrists, 2003–2004 The standard account of the British encounter with the Sadrists between 2003 and 2004 runs as follows. Between March 2003 and June 2004, the four southern Iraqi provinces of Basra, Maysan, Dhi Qhar and Muthanna functioned mainly under British civilian administration, backed by multinational forces.3 Perhaps rivalled only by Baghdad itself, the southern provinces administered by the British constituted a key locus of economic and geostrategic power, with the city of Basra’s population of 1.3 million. These four provinces contained 59 per cent of the country’s proven oil reserves, and 95 per cent of government revenue came from the region. In addition, Basra includes Iraq’s only point of access to the Gulf, the port city of Umm Qasr.4 Primary objectives were to find former Ba’athist regime leaders, find political and administrative leaders to sit on national, provincial and local councils, provide basic services, and revive an economy destroyed by sanctions.5 For British officials in Iraq, the overriding imperative was twofold: first, to bind all elements – including the militia-backed Islamist parties, and hence the Sadrists – to the political process at provincial level; second, to leave the southern provinces in an adequate state of political and economic development to be self-sufficient without a descent into civil war. They had mixed success. During their time in the south, the British engaged with an ever-evolving kaleidoscope of Shi‘a, secular and Islamist groups to achieve these ends. Various Islamist groups, including SCIRI (the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, renamed in 2007 the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, ISCI or SIIC), al-Dawa, al-Fadhila (the Islamic Virtue Party) and ‘Abu Salam’, used their religious credentials to mobilize support within the fragmented Iraqi state, with or without a clear political agenda.6 The followers of Muqtada al-Sadr were thus ‘part of a complicated fabric’ of anti-Coalition ‘Islamic rejectionists’ that emerged to vie for power after the collapse of the Ba’athist regime.7 While the Sadrists were amenable to working with the Coalition in one governorate, ‘in another they might be totally and viscerally opposed to the Coalition’.8 While the security situation in the southern provinces was fairly quiet in the immediate aftermath of the fall of the Ba’athist regime, there were early indications that this would not continue. In the summer of 2003 there were increasingly violent demonstrations in Basra prompted by pay disputes, unemployment, and fuel and electricity shortages. A fatwa issued by Ayatollah Sistani, the most senior Shi‘a cleric, and the Coalition’s decision to import fuel from Kuwait helped stem the violence.

Nonetheless, the late summer of 2003 was marked by a rise in violence and crime, brought on by the population’s frustration with slow progress by the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) on economic and political issues and on oil smuggling. Armed Islamist militias were involved in this wave of violence, including Muqtada al-Sadr’s militia, the Jaish al-Mehdi.9 Prior to the April 2004 attacks, British officials on the ground and in Whitehall felt there was nothing particularly politically or militarily distinctive about Muqtada al-Sadr and his followers. In fact, the earliest anti-Coalition focal point was Abu Salam and the Fudala/Fadilah movement. The Sadrist trend became apparent much later in Basra.10 Experts at a May 2003 symposium at the US Institute of Peace on religious politics in Iraq concluded that al-Sadr was ‘not likely to remain a significant political force’. This recommendation about al-Sadr was made on the basis that he did ‘not seem highly ideological. He stands for Islamic militancy but sees clerics in an advisory role, not as Iraq’s future political leaders’.11 Their prediction was that SCIRI would rise to prominence, above the Sadrists and al-Dawa. Additionally, Shi‘a exiles and in-country elites, eager to see the back of their rival, advised that al-Sadr did not have sufficient religious authority to be a long-term threat. The Americans received similar advice.12 For the British, the Sadrists were one of many potential players in the new Iraq who the Coalition would need to engage in dialogue with to determine if they could play a productive role in the establishment of a new democratic system. I will say more about this in a discussion of secular democracy at the end of the chapter. With hindsight, however, it is clear that there were consistent, though subtle, indicators throughout 2003 that the Jaish al-Mehdi, of all the Islamist militias, might prove to be a formidable threat. Some but not all of these were related to Islam. Al-Sadr’s timely mobilization of religious rhetoric and his family’s reputation appealed to a population in the midst of a Shi‘a religio-political revival.13 April 2003 was particularly significant. On 9 April 2003, Ayatollah al-Khoei, backed by the Coalition and an important British ally, was murdered by al-Sadr’s followers in Najaf. They also surrounded the houses of the hawza, including that of Grand Ayatollah Sistani.14 Patrick Cockburn remarked: ‘the incident served as a warning that the Sadrists were serious about displacing the existing order and replacing it with a new order based exclusively on the teachings of [Sadiq al-Sadr]’.15 Cockburn has also argued that the 11 April 2003 pilgrimage in Kerbala, mobilized by al-Sadr’s sermon in his martyred father’s mosque in Kufa, ‘was in fact the first demonstration of the ability of Muqtada al-Sadr to mobilize great masses of pious Shi‘a’. On 18 July 2003 al-Sadr announced the formation of the Jaish al-Mehdi and denounced the Coalition-appointed Interim Governing Council as ‘non-believers’. Recruitment for the Jaish al-Mehdi continued throughout the summer, spurred on by the 29 August 2003 assassination of SCIRI’s Muhammad Baqir al-Hakim by Sunni followers of al-Zarqawi, the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq. Although up to this point it was possible for the Coalition to dismiss al-Sadr, his far-reaching intentions, political savvy and capacity for violence became evident in October 2003. Within the space of five days, al-Sadr announced the establishment of a shadow government to rival the Iraqi Governing Council (IGC) and made a bid to take over the shrines in Najaf, including the holiest shrine in Shi‘ite Islam and the most profitable source of religious taxes (khums). The Sadrists’ attempt to take over the shrines lost them a great deal of support among the local population. However, later events were to favour the Sadrists. Interestingly, it was an event of religious significance in March 2004 that made the

Sadrist message increasingly palatable to parts of the population. On 2 March 2004, 270 Shi‘a pilgrims were killed and some 570 wounded during the Ashura pilgrimage, the continuation of al-Zarqawi’s sectarian bombing campaign from August 2003. It became clear to the Shi‘a that Coalition and Iraqi forces could not protect them, which only strengthened al-Sadr.16 In early April 2004, shortly after the 31 March 2004 killing of four security guards from US security firm Blackwater in Fallujah, the Jaish al-Mehdi swept through Najaf, Kerbala, Kufa, Kut, Sadr City, Nasiriyah, Amarah and Basra. The Sadrists occupied CPA offices in Maysan, staffed by British officials, for a few days before they were defeated. Muqtada himself briefly occupied the shrines in Najaf. The Coalition was caught off-guard, but the April 2004 attacks themselves did not change longer-term British policy towards that Sadrists.17 While the attacks had been shocking, the British saw the emergence of the Sadrists and other Islamist opposition to the Coalition in terms of a trend or process, rather than as driven by a single event.18 At this point the Coalition was focused on more politically powerful factions in Basra. They were also focused on the need to have governance structures in place prior to the winding-down of operations by the June 2004 deadline imposed by the Americans.19 US forces moved against the Mehdi Army in April 2004 and again in August.20 By contrast, the British were more reluctant to take on the Sadrists militarily. The British felt they could not secure a mandate from Coalition officials in Baghdad, or from local political or religious authorities, to take action. They were reluctant to move without this.21 The government was also unwilling to suffer further British casualties in an already unpopular war. Unlike the Americans, British officials ultimately did not believe that Iraqi society could be fundamentally transformed by a short-term military occupation.22 From the American point of view, the British were unnecessarily cautious, given that both the Sadrists and the Badr Brigades ‘had organized themselves as paramilitary forces in central Basra, patrolling its streets and imposing their visions of social order’.23 Although the British first clashed with the Mehdi Army in May 2004, they launched no operation to take out the leadership structure. The backdrop to this pragmatism was an appreciation for how much popular respect there was for Mohammad Sadiq al-Sadr, Muqtada’s late father and a prominent cleric, and of the difficulty the Basrawis found in taking action against Muqtada on the basis of this. The Sadrists also leveraged various forms of intimidation against the local population.24 It was not until 2006–08, when the Sadrists became heavily involved in sectarian violence, that it became apparent that an opportunity had been missed. The April 2004 attacks themselves did not change longer-term British policy towards the Sadrists.25 The Sadrists were one piece in the much larger puzzle of British policy in Iraq. The British hoped the Sadrists would return to a cooperative posture. While the attacks had been shocking they did not radically alter British ambitions to bind Islamists of various creeds into the wider political process before the looming June 2004 deadline.26 The Iraqi contention that the militias were a home-grown problem that could only really be solved by Iraqis also proved a powerful but flawed narrative. The militias gradually grew in power, as the Iraqis lacked the required the will or organization to take them on, until Prime Minister al-Maliki moved against them in early 2008.27 Rangwala has argued that the specific British policy approach in Iraq – which included a preference for early political handover to

the Iraqis, ‘light policing’ and a low degree of intervention in local conflicts – ultimately gave the militias, including the Sadrists, room to entrench themselves.28

Threat-Perception Difficulties British officials have quietly acknowledged that, with hindsight, they underestimated the Sadrist threat. One British official noted, ‘until we were attacked by them [in April] we dismissed [the Sadrist trend]’.29 Another source noted that there was a ‘certain indecisiveness’ about how to deal with the Sadrists.30 During the Chilcot Inquiry, one intelligence officer noted that, while they had read the dynamics of the Sunni insurgency with reasonable accuracy, the rise of the Sadrists in the south ‘was probably more of a surprise’.31 There are many reasons why this happened. First, the British saw the Fadilah party rather than the Sadrists as their best hope for achieving reconstruction and governance objectives in Basra in the short time-span imposed by the Americans. Second, the Sadrists had been cooperating in some provinces on reconstruction and governance. They were far more cooperative in the south than in US-controlled Baghdad. Third, officials in Whitehall and on the ground at the time also cited various practical constraints that impeded their appreciation of the potential potency of the Sadrist trend at this early stage. The limited number of in-country civilian staff, including analysts, was one problem.32 Light policing provided limited on-the-ground intelligence. Electronic communications difficulties between staff in the south and Whitehall and Baghdad impeded information sharing and analysis.33 It was also difficult to gauge who had the most influence as the old sources of authority began to slip away. These difficulties come with a rather large ‘but’. Yes, analytical resources were limited, little was understood about Iraqi society generally, stereotypes were rife, Iraqi partners had their own agendas and Britain was a junior partner to the USA, which analyzed the Sadrist problem differently.34 That the British had a difficult time reading the complex and fluid social dynamics of Iraqi society in general was significant.35 However, at the strategic policy level the British also had a blind spot where the dynamics of Islamism were concerned, and this impaired their early analysis of the Sadrists. Official explanations largely overlook how the British domestic sociological context contributed to this blind spot.

The Permeable Membrane: Iraq, Islam and the War on Terror In order to understand more about why the British underestimated the Sadrist trend, particularly the religio-politics that underpinned it, we need to look beyond the geographic borders of Iraq, or even of the wider region to the British habitus. This is not an obvious move, given the politics behind the invasion of Iraq. That the former President George W. Bush was keen to draw links between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda, and that Tony Blair followed suit has been deeply controversial in the UK. Many of those around Blair (politicians, military and civil servants) have gone on record – particularly during the Chilcot Inquiry – to say that they saw through this false link.36 In interviews with this author (conducted prior to the Chilcot Inquiry, while British troops were still deployed on combat operations in Iraq) many were keen to portray themselves as rational and stoic, removed from the War on Terror hysteria peddled by the Americans. They considered (or, rather, represented their consideration of) Iraq as a ‘special case’, a separate matter. A senior officer involved in planning for

the campaign noted that his American counterparts overtly cited the ‘War on Terror’, while ‘when you got down to the British divisions in the south it would never be discussed, it just wasn’t seen that way’.37 British officials noted that the Iraq policy apparatus had little contact with those working on terrorism. For example, they were dealt with by entirely separate units in the Foreign Office.38 They also noted that the wider objectives of Iraq policy were set long before the government began to take a more comprehensive approach to Islamism after the 7/7 bombings.39 Though connections between Iraq and the War on Terror are controversial and highly – and rightly – disputed, I would suggest they deserve another look. One senior diplomat noted: ‘I don’t think they (politicians and senior Whitehall officials) had time to sit back and think about how [Iraq] policy fit in with the War on Terror’ but admitted that in hindsight it was perhaps ‘very strange that it was run in that way’.40 Building on the argument in the last chapter about the permeable membrane within the British security habitus, I would take the comment that this official disconnect was ‘very strange’ a step further. It would seem unusual that, as British officials have claimed, the human beings setting Iraq policy would have been entirely immune to cultural narratives circulating about the ‘global jihad’ or ‘War on Terror’, including the war in Afghanistan. Nor would they have been entirely immune to inclinations or disinclinations within the government to think through the dynamics of political Islamism. The walls of the Foreign Office and the Ministry of Defence are not hermetically sealed off, literally or figuratively, from wider society. Policy-making is a human activity, and rarely so tidy. Indeed, the discourse of British officials and senior officers about the Sadrists indicates subtle, intimate but unintentional connections between the wider, imagined ‘global War on Terror’ and the war in Iraq. Two myths – that religion is dangerous and benign – underpinning War on Terror narratives revealed themselves in British discourses about the Sadrists. Prior to the attacks the Sadrists were seen as largely benign. Speaking of the period prior to the Sadrist attacks, one provincial governor noted: ‘We dismissed [the Sadrists] – and that it is you know, bearded youths in long black gowns holding machine guns … no one took them particularly seriously, [we thought this was] basically “amateur dramatics with guns”’.41 British officials also had some genuinely positive reactions to the Sadrists, particularly where they were seen as assisting with policing and the distribution of resources, or where they expressed the wish to advise rather than run government.42 Discourse from British domestic policy found some support in Iraq. One British official noted, ‘we had to deal with clerics as a part of the social fabric, and a force for social cohesion’.43 ‘Social cohesion’ was the catchphrase used to describe post-2003 government policy towards the British Muslim community, and will be explored in the next chapter. These early reactions squared badly with heavily armed militia members disciplining citizens of Basra for infractions of strict Islamic social mores. The sheer unpredictability of local politics during this period – including the as-yet uncertain influence of the Iranians, who had a Consulate General in Basra, and the anticipation of violence from Sunni splinter groups that never materialized – meant that the British were not entirely sure which dynamics were more likely to produce threats. But there were also no ready parallels in British experience at home and abroad for the Sadrists.44 However, interestingly, one intelligence officer noted that their difficulty in reading the Sadrist trend was not wholly due to intelligence failures, because ‘social issues and conditions on the streets’ were ‘apparent without secret techniques’; the British operatives were simply not able to read them adequately. This is where pre-existing frameworks in the British

imaginary come into play, of which the secular habitus is one aspect.45 The next chapter discusses in more detail how these two myths – that religion is simultaneously dangerous and benign – provided the underpinning logic to the forms of British ‘pastoral power’ exercised during the 9/11 wars. But the myth of religious violence also became an organizing frame supporting British reactions to the Sadrists after the April 2004 attacks. Though officials did not explicitly mention Islam – unsurprising given British cultural taboos – its echo is evident. For example, a ‘sense of the unknown’ was a theme repeated by British officials about the CPA period. As one provincial governor put it, ‘There was this tremendous sense that nothing that you saw was what it seemed in Iraq’.46 This official also noted, ‘The canvas was huge and most of us found ourselves in the middle of pretty unfamiliar terrain, both intellectually and physically’. He noticed among young American soldiers a sort of – and I don’t mean this pejoratively – anxiety about Islam, about something that was imperfectly understood. It was a kind of superstition I guess. One met black-robed clergy in the souks and byways and sensed the public power and influence they had in the towns and cities – the rise of Sadr as a political force made that influence feel almost sinister. It took a long while even for me, growing up in the Middle East as I had, to understand better the place of religion in Iraqi politics if I’m honest with myself.47 A lieutenant-general remarked that, out of all the emergent leaders in the Iraqi state, radical clerics such as al-Sadr ‘constantly challenged our own boundaries of understanding’.48 When asked about his initial visceral or emotional reaction to the Sadrists, a senior diplomat commented that his reaction not only to al-Sadr but to his local representatives was ‘pretty negative’. They struck him as ‘pretty sinister people’, and he thought this was likely a common response among his colleagues. He said at the time that he felt like the Sadrists gave off a ‘creepy, sinister presence’ similar to what one might have noted ‘as a diplomat in 1930s Germany’.49 Muqtada al-Sadr was dubbed by one intelligence officer as ‘mercurial and difficult to predict’, and he noted that this was why the rise of the Sadrists in the south came as a surprise.50 Another marked, ‘Muqtada himself varied in his position. He had a ceasefire, and then he didn’t, and sometimes the Iranians liked him and sometimes they didn’t’.51 Another described him pejoratively as ‘a rather idiosyncratic, not to say incoherent leader’.52 These narratives echoed domestic metropolitan narratives about the War on Terror and the global jihad, which held Islamist violence to be incomprehensible, inaccessible and disturbing. However, the relative analytical sophistication evident among the diplomatic staff and officer corps broke down below officer level. Even though operational training occured, soldiers were not immune to public discourse. They came with their own ideas and, as the Muslim chaplain for the British Army, who has been brought in by commanders to do some training, has noted, ‘How much is actually taken in is another question’.53 One young British soldier commented, ‘They teach us the difference between Islam and Christianity; oh I mean Islam and “our way of life”’, as if he was not clear which was which.54 The Muslim chaplain for the British Army noted that young soldiers were often highly influenced by what they had read in the media about Islamist extremism in general, and then applied this framework to their understanding of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan: I think they can’t differentiate between [whether] this is a war on terror or a war on Islam. I think many soldiers who come back from Iraq and Afghanistan can’t differentiate between

the insurgents or the Taliban who are shooting at them, who are willing to kill them, and the Muslims around the rest of the world [and in Britain]… For example, I went to an RAF station and I gave a one-hour presentation on what Islam is, and afterwards one of the junior airman put his hand up and said, ‘So where does terrorism fit into all this?’ As if terrorism was one of the pillars of Islam! He was a naive individual who had not had much exposure to society, but I do actually find – and I can see why – that for many people Islam and the security threat are intertwined.55 As we saw in the previous chapter, a lack of experience with Islam within British civilian and military circles allowed myths to persist, and the War on Terror myth and discourse was powerfully conditioning. As the rest of the argument in this chapter will suggest, however, Orientalist myths of Muslims as either actively dangerous or benign and easily malleable were also cross-cut by liberal tenets of tolerance and separation.

Reading Religio-Politics in Southern Iraq In the context of such a fluid, complex and obscure operational environment as Iraq during the CPA period, accurate analysis of Iraqi social dynamics, including religio-politics, proved elusive. With hindsight, Sir Hilary Synnott, Coalition Provisional Authority regional coordinator for the four southern Iraqi provinces, noted: In the short period that I was there, it was very difficult to form sound impressions of the nature of Iraqi religious society. But … it is doubtful that the position was static once Saddam had gone: religious forces, or pseudo-religious forces which disguised political and criminal aspirations, developed rapidly once they ceased to be restrained.56 By contrast, one observer who had worked in Iraq in the aftermath of the invasion noted bluntly: In my experience from those I worked with, both [sic] security, media, and FCO colleagues in Iraq, understanding of Iraqi politics and social and cultural dynamics was very poor, highly superficial and simplistic, based on stereotypes and the handful of individuals or groups of Iraqis who had their own agendas and who supported the British political position.57 This critique must be clarified. The British were not at a total loss about Islam or political Islamism. Many civilian officials on the ground and in Whitehall had experience working in the Middle East, Bosnia and other Islamic cultural zones, though not Iraq.58 Some sophisticated points about religiopolitical dynamics were grasped almost accidentally. For example, the Secret Intelligence Service (the British foreign intelligence service, also known as MI6) understood that one part of the dynamic of Iranian interests in Iraq was ‘making sure that Najaf and Karbala [in Iraq] didn’t overtake Qom [in Iran] … as religious centres’, so as to maintain its dominance in the Shi‘a world.59 One British cleric commented that senior British officials in the CPA – Christopher Seegar, the first British ambassador in Baghdad after the invasion, and his successor Jeremy Greenstock – seemed to grasp slightly more quickly than their American counterparts in the CPA that rising sectarianism pointed towards

violence.60 However, it is noteworthy that few diplomats on the ground had had experience with Shi‘a clerics, as there would have been limited opportunities to gain such experience in most postings in the Middle East.61 Interview data suggest that the British had one expert on the Islamist parties on the ground during the CPA period. In relation to Iraq policy planning, concerns about political Islamism did not arise. Several officials have indicated the British government did not think, during the CPA period, that Islamism would be mobilized against the Coalition, so did not devote resources to it.62 Clare Short, then secretary of state for the Department for International Development, noted that her department did not have any particular strategies regarding Islam for the reconstruction period.63 Analytical resources were sparse, and funding for the military campaign and reconstruction was limited generally.64 Both the Americans and the British had little human intelligence from the sanctions period, as neither had had diplomatic representation in Iraq then.65 Starting with a 1993 conference in Washington, the US and the UK sought out interlocutors with whom they could work after the eventual fall of Saddam Hussein. Through the Future of Iraq Project, the Americans had contact with these groups, as well as with Ahmed Chalabi’s secular Iraqi National Congress and the Tehran-based SCIRI.66 But one Iraqi commentator has noted that the Islamist agenda was played down prior to 2003, at least to the Americans, because the Islamists knew the USA would not accept them as partners in post-invasion Iraq.67 The British government did not talk to the Hussein regime, in compliance with the terms of the sanctions.68 But the Foreign Office did have extensive contact with secular and Islamist Shi‘a exiles in the UK throughout the 1990s, including with the London branches of the al-Dawa party and the al-Khoei Foundation.69 The British government understood that the Shi‘a majority followed various senior religious teachers, such as the Grand Ayatollahs Sistani, al-Khoei, al-Hakim, and indeed the elder al-Sadrs. There were clerics at both local and national level who might be drawn into partnership, and they looked to the top families for potential signs of this. As they had done with the Americans, the exiles played a long game, and the British missed the class element. Several policy commentators have noted that British contacts with Shi‘ite exiles were mainly with ‘the more genteel clerics who were sometimes mocked as “the opposition of the four-star hotels” or the “Rolex-wearing” opposition’.70 The Sadrists – drawn from the impoverished classes – were easily dismissed as the hoi polloi, as opposed to the Westernized elites ready to take the international stage. The FCO had only a distant connection to Iranian-and Syrian-based groups like SCIRI, and knew next to nothing about domestic groups like the Sadrists.71 Additionally, not many Western journalists and academics operated in Iraq between 1991 and 2003. Prior to 2003, there were only a dozen academic papers, three books and two dissertations on Shi‘ite Islamism, few of which were in English.72 Even for those with experience in the Middle East or with Islamic culture, there was a steep learning curve in Iraq.73 On a basic level, the Coalition’s Arabic resources were minimal, and many Iraqis did not speak English. Coming from the poorer, uneducated classes, the Sadrists also lacked the diplomatic finesse of the Westernized exiles who so appealed to the Coalition. This ultimately made it easier for the Coalition to label them as troublemakers.74 The neo-colonial dynamic of the former imperial power coming back to re-govern the client state cannot be overestimated. This drastic imbalance of power meant that there was no particular imperative to understand Iraqi socio-political

life. Individual British diplomats certainly tried to understand and adapt sensitively to Iraqi society.75 But on the level of state foreign policy, there was little impetus to do more than establish a Westernfriendly regime and get out quickly. Though the Foreign Office had some expertise – albeit, again, very little on Iraqi Shi‘ism – many parts of the armed forces were reluctant to devote much attention to religious and cultural factors. Some brigade commanders sought out external advice for themselves and for troops under their command, beyond the limited resources provided by the army.76 This impetus went up to the highest levels, including General Sir David Richards, then chief of the Defence Staff. Accounts vary as to how comprehensive, mainstreamed or successful the training was. But anecdotal evidence suggests that there were some examples of good practice, particularly for officers, and that training had improved significantly since the pre-2003 period. British Army commanders also called upon the expertise of their own chaplains to build links with Iraqi clerics. As one general noted, ‘We use[d] them as a conduit to other faith leaders … their main job is the spiritual welfare of our soldiers … but any good commanding officer will say … Do you have a feel for the Sunni/Shi‘a problem? What’s that particular incident about? How can we learn from this?’77 But this informal and unsystematic reliance on Christian British chaplains with no particular training in the area as informal advisors on local religious dynamics was no substitute for expertise.78 Army efforts produced some well-intentioned oddities at times. For example, in late 2003: The British colonel in Maysan introduced a number of innovations. He appointed, for example, a man of uncertain provenance called Seyyed Faqr as the Islamic chaplain for the police; the police had never had a chaplain before, but he was convinced that this was a good idea ‘because every British regiment has a padre’.79 However, one researcher noted that while some in the armed forces were indeed interested and active in this area, there were also some who thought that ‘this is all fluffy stuff, we don’t need to know this, we know what we’re doing, delete Kosovo and insert wherever next’.80 Still, the researcher noted of British policy and practice in Iraq, ‘overall there has been a huge amount of good intention with unintended consequences’.81 Still, an 11 March 2003 document from Defence Intelligence (formerly Defence Intelligence Staff), a constitutive part of the MoD, declassified and released to the Chilcot Inquiry, suggests that while they knew little about what religio-politics might emerge, the intelligence community was not entirely ignorant of the range of possibilities in the run-up to the invasion: We have very little information about religious life in Basra … the extent to which the Iraqi Shi‘a, especially urban Shi‘a, will act along denominational lines in the political sphere is unknown … notwithstanding that, having the support (or at least avoiding the condemnation) of religious leaders will be important for the success of any Coalition-led administration.82 This document identified Ayatollah Sistani as an important figure, and SCIRI, the Da’wa Party and the Communist Party as important sources of resistance to the regime, and possibly also to the Coalition. It noted that SCIRI, Da’wa and ‘other Shi‘a groups’ might also wish for an increase in the religious (Islamic Shi‘a) content of public life, and might continue to look to sections of the Iranian regime for

guidance and funding.83 But the assessment was that ‘support for SCIRI and Da’wa is patchy (at best) and alternative forms of Shi‘a politics will emerge’.84 While the DIS did not predict the emergence of a Sadrist trend per se, the possibility was mooted of the emergence and fragmentation of Shi‘a Islamist politics. Given this assessment from Defence Intelligence, and despite the almost crushing salience of political Islamism in the War on Terror, how did the Sadrists manage to catch the Coalition so off-guard? While analysts on the ground were few, it is significant that there was no political impetus back in Whitehall and Westminster to devote more resources to this. While this may have been a decision ultimately rooted in the limited overall level of resources (Why look carefully at Islamism when so much else is going wrong?) it was also made plausible by the secular habitus described in the last chapter. Conditioned by the secular habitus, in the grip of hysteresis, British civilians and military personnel were less inclined to understand what social structures they were looking at. Furthermore, although the FCO had a relatively sophisticated understanding of the Islamic World, there was ignorance among politicians, leaving them open to American influence. And a lack of information inclined the USA towards the assumption that Iraqi society would not very devout, though dominated by three-way identity politics. For example, immediately prior to the invasion, on 18 February 2003, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz told an interviewer on National Public Radio: ‘[t]he Iraqis are … by and large quite secular’.85 Like the Americans, the British in 2003 believed that they would find an Iraqi society that was, though nominally Muslim, not particularly pious. Despite Saddam Hussein’s mobilization of Islamic rhetoric, it was known that the Ba’athist regime was secular.86 This was a myth that, Stansfield argued to the Chilcot Inquiry, was widely upheld by Western social scientists: Save for the Kurds … Iraqis were seen to be some sort of mass post-ethno/sectarian liberal individualists, with religious structures … tribal structures, modern political organizations … and ethnically-based movements … being used as evidence of the cosmopolitan nature of Iraq, but not of anything more concerning for the post-Saddam environment.87 The made-for-publication observations of one young British official (now a Conservative MP), about an early autumn 2003 party with other ex-pats in the Al-Rashid hotel in the Green Zone, are colourfully indicative: ‘Most Iraqis were not particularly pious, and senior civil servants might do some surprising things in private places, but Iraqis did not spend the small hours dirty dancing in public with strangers’.88 The markers of religious devoutness in Iraqi society took some time for CPA civilians to get used to; for example, some of the politically engaged Iraqis who were in favour of secular democracy seemed more personally devout than the Sadrist rank-and-file.89 But by the end of the year, Islamist trends and sectarian politics had begun to emerge in earnest. Both the British and the Americans underestimated the importance of religion in Iraq, particularly the fact that the Sunni/Shi‘a divide would become as prominent, politicized and deadly as it did.90 In contrast to the Americans, who presumed the sectarian divide would be strong, the British ultimately thought that Iraqi nationalism would prove to be much stronger than it turned out to be.91 It was thought that nationalism would ultimately take precedence that and, the Islamists would find themselves on the wrong side of history. While the popularity of the Islamists declined dramatically as a backlash against the civil war, this was certainly not the case in the period from 2003 to 2004.

Misreading Political Islamism in Iraq: Some Indicators There are various interrelated indicators that culturally Christian, secular, liberal habits of understanding fed British readings and misreadings of the Sadrists. Religious Authority The British were initially overly persuaded that Muqtada al-Sadr did not have the relevant religious authority to be influential.92 The British could see evidence of the Sadrists on the streets – distributing oil and food to the local population, setting up alternative councils, attracting greater numbers of followers. As noted, while the Sadrists did enter into Coalition calculations as a significant security risk before April 2004, they were judged as no more militarily powerful than other militias that had emerged.93 After the invasion, middle-class Iraqis and the hawza had advised the Coalition that the Sadrists were young upstarts, with no authority among the main power brokers in Iraqi society.94 This was not neutral advice; exiles and in-country elites were eager to see the back of a political rival. The British had very little intelligence with which to make their own judgment. Prior to the invasion, the FCO had only a distant connection to Iranian-and Syrian-based groups like SCIRI, and knew next to nothing about domestic groups like the Sadrists.95 The religious/secular texture of Islamist Iraqi politics was also continually changing, before and after the invasion, and one British official noted this was a challenge.96 Even though the Sadrists aroused Coalition suspicions as they began to be more visible on the streets, patrolling with heavy weaponry and setting up roadblocks, this framework persisted. Why was this the case? As we have seen, the British had only a limited feel for the dynamics of Iraqi Shi‘a Islamism. The advice from figures they knew and were inclined to trust – advice that al-Sadr was a young upstart without the necessary traditional religious authority – happened to dovetail with myths about ‘religious leadership’ that were allowed to circulate within a knowledge vacuum, underpinned by a secular social imaginary. The British (and perhaps the Americans as well) were initially inclined unconsciously to privilege culturally British Christian conceptions of religious authority. In this conception, religious leaders exercise private, social influence over the population, within the parameters of state authority. This is the role that religious leaders such as the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Chief Rabbi had exercised in the UK. It is also the role that Ayatollah Sistani adopted, despite substantial British and the American efforts to court him after the invasion, and then again in the run-up to the January 2005 elections. Sistani’s goals were neither political nor anti-establishment. One official noted that the British ‘probably had unrealistic expectations’ that Shi‘a clergy, including Sistani, would support the Coalition.97 But there was also an element of aesthetic distinction to this assumption: Sistani’s quietism was also likely appealing, as it mirrored the kind of quietism the British had learned to expect from Church of England clergy.98 The irony is that the British did have experience with radical clerics in the UK, such as Abu Hamza, who claimed religiopolitical authority for themselves outside traditional religious frameworks. In the absence of knowledge to the contrary, myths made possible by the secular habitus were allowed to stand in for fact. This blinded them to the religio-political warning signs that Muqtada’s star was in the ascendant. An acknowledgement that they should look more carefully may have led them to parallels between

al-Sadr and Mohammed al-Shirazi. Al-Shirazi was a highly charismatic cleric, who, also at the age of 33, built support among prominent families after Ayatollah al-Khoei refused to recognize his religious authority through traditional channels. In the 1980s he published a nearly 500-page book affirming a lineage going back to the Prophet; he opened schools and charities; he called for the reform of the hawza.99 Just as al-Shirazi relied on popular religion from the 1960s onwards to secure political influence outside traditional channels, so too did Muqtada. Some of Muqtada’s actions – murdering Ayatollah al-Hakim, trying to take over the shrines in Najaf and secure khums, recruiting followers and sending Sadrist clerics to preach widely in the mosques – may have been an attempt to accelerate his recognition as a marja, or religious leader, if not by the hawza then by the population. Traditionally, a marja would need to reach a venerable age, be recognized by his peers and by certificates from his teachers, publish a religious treatise, and wait for a senior cleric to die. But al-Sadr understood that marjas can emerge without this, based on their charisma rather than their religious knowledge, becoming de facto marjas by collecting khums.100 In the vacuum of authority left by the Coalition invasion, perhaps al-Sadr saw an opportunity to bypass or force the traditional steps to becoming a marja by killing al-Hakim (the death of a senior cleric), taking over the shrines (securing khums) and spreading his ideas through the mosques (bypassing the need to publish). Again, one would have needed the inclination to look in order to understand or predict this line of thinking and action. The Resonance of Religio-Politics The secular habitus also kept the British from fully appreciating the extent to which, as a quasiIslamist project mapped onto deepening poverty and resentment of foreign occupation, the Sadrist message was self-renewing and persistent. The so-called Shi‘a awakening had been anticipated by the British and the Americans. However, while the Coalition partners expected a reassertion of Shi‘a identity politics, they expected Shi‘a Islam to be only the label for communal political aspirations, not a resource that would provide content or structure. This had been their experience in other recent scenarios, including Northern Ireland.101 The Coalition presumed that the long-oppressed Shi‘a majority would have a political axe to grind after the fall of the Ba’athist regime. That Shi‘a identity would be politically mobilized was therefore anticipated; but it was expected that secular Shi‘a figures like Chalabi and political parties with a secular platform would play the key role. Islamism was largely overlooked, by the British at least, perhaps because it was played down by Shi‘a exiles in London looking to secure British support to overthrow Saddam Hussein. In the absence of an analysis of their own, the Foreign Office relied heavily on these exile groups for information. This reliance was misguided. The politicization of Shi‘a Islamic identity, also known as the ‘Shi‘a revival’, had begun in the 1950s, in the shadow of Arab nationalism. The Al-Dawa al-Islamiya political party was founded as a Shi‘a Islamist challenge to the secular Ba’athist regime. Al-Dawa would later split between those who would regroup in exile in Iran as the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, under the leadership of Mohammed-Baqir al-Hakim, and those who would remain in Iraq. At the heart of continuing Shi‘a religio-political activity in Iraq was the al-Sadr family. After the Ba’athist regime’s brutal suppression of the 1991 Shi‘a uprising, the politicization of Shi‘a Islamic identity as a form of resistance became a significant factor in the south. At the forefront

of this renewed politicization of Shi‘a identity was Muhammad Sadiq al-Sadr, father of Muqtada al-Sadr, and eventual leader of the Jaish al-Mehdi. Unlike the hawza, which preferred to remain apolitical, Sadiq al-Sadr focused on social and economic issues and the provision of social services.102 These were of paramount importance to the Shi‘a population under sanctions and the ill-fated oil-for-food programme. He became hugely popular among the rural poor, and was to be murdered by the Ba’athist regime in 1999. The 2003 collapse of the Ba’athist regime created a power vacuum. With the retreat of the state from people’s lives, local identities of all kinds, including sectarian ones, took on increasing importance, including in the south. Charles Tripp has noted that the British did not become aware of this until groups were already entrenched in positions of power.103 While the Coalition believed that they could merely lift the veil of the Ba’athist regime to find three fairly cohesive socio-political groups (Kurd, Sunni and Shi’a) underneath, this was not the case.104 The collapse also created a context in which the Shi‘a majority could expect to take substantial economic and political power back from the Sunni minority, after years of repression. This context paved the way for the diversification and politicization of trends that had begun with the 1990s Shi‘a revival but had been held in check by Saddam Hussein. The fragmentation of the state and the insecurity of the occupation led Iraqis to seek out new sub-loci of authority. In the Shi‘a context, religious institutions and clerics increasingly came to be seen as providing social guarantees of some hind. These became a way to generate authority in the absence of a functioning state, sometimes to the dismay of the middle classes.105 As one official put it, ‘The mosque was the only point to which society could gravitate after the fall of Saddam’s regime; and the religious parties were almost the only ones with any sort of organization or structure that survived the occupation’.106 As the Coalition failed to make rapid progress on reconstruction and people’s standards of living plummeted, the poor in particular came to rely even more heavily on religious institutions. Slow progress created tension between the British and the local population generally.107 As the population began to lose faith in the Coalition’s efforts, the mosque and hussainiyah also became important political fora, alternatives to the Coalition’s local councils.108 Processions during popular religious festivals such as Ashura became important displays of long-repressed Shi‘a power.109 Islamist political parties were formed, though they did not have widespread support initially, as they lacked a coherent political agenda.110 Here it is important to differentiate between the invocation of popular religion in the name of politics by the population and an Islamist agenda.111 These were not the same phenomenon. The fragmentation of the Iraqi state after 2003 made both of these possible, but the latter was not a natural extension of the former. For many people, their sectarian identity became politicized after 2003. Among the Shi’a, some were inspired to run for political office peacefully; others were moved to take up arms against the former Ba’athists and against the Coalition; others embraced the communal identity marker as a way of asserting newfound freedom; still others rejected sectarianism as an externally imposed phenomenon catalyzed by the Coalition’s misunderstanding of Iraqi social dynamics; and, for some, Shi‘a identity was just one feature of a fundamentally secular identity. However, after the Coalition dismantled the Iraqi security apparatus, the militias associated with these political parties provided security for the local population. That these militias came wrapped in Islamist packaging became a concern for the locals once they began to impose strict Islamic social

codes in areas under their control.112 This too was highly complex. The support the parties gained was therefore not so much enthusiastic as grimly pragmatic. The majority of Shi‘a in the south wanted neither Islamic government influenced by Iran nor a Western puppet government out of touch with modern Islamic social mores. Support for and resistance to the militias began to fragment further. Ahmed Hashim has argued that the appeal of religious leaders after 2003 was not about the collapse and fragmentation of state authority, but an outgrowth of a society feeling under attack and disrespected. Notably, the turn to religion after the invasion was not a specifically Shi‘ite phenomenon either; increasing sectarianism between 2003 and 2008 led many Sunni to turn to religion as a response.113 Hashim has noted: ‘In Iraq the Friday sermons by Sunni and Shi‘a clerics resonate with a population that has no notable or charismatic politician or lay leadership to turn to in this time of stress and humiliation’.114 British administrators in the South therefore found themselves confronted with a highly complex mix of nationalist aspiration, economic desperation, fragmentation of authority, physical insecurity, and power plays by an overwhelming number of groups at national and local levels, combinded with the political invocation of Shi‘a Islam, which had a decades-long role as the preferred idiom of resistance. It was within this context of the politicization of Shi‘a sectarian identity, the fragmentation of the state and an ensuing power vacuum that Muqtada al-Sadr emerged. His advantage was the reputation of his father, Sadiq al-Sadr, among the impoverished classes, who felt alienated from the power brokers dealing with the CPA. He introduced several new practices that integrated Islam with a politics of resistance. For example, he sent young, fiery, politically oriented clerics to preach Friday sermons in mosques around the country. These young Sadrists combined an interest in temporal concerns with an attachment to Shi‘ite mysticism.115 But British officials were unsure what role Shi‘a Islam played in the Sadrist political idiom or how it might tie into this broader dynamic. This led them initially to underestimate how sustainable the Sadrist threat was, politically and militarily, in the medium-to-long term. One important factor in this was the culturally Christian secular presumption that it is possible and desirable for there to be firm boundaries between the religious and the political. These boundaries have been so internalized in the West that the integration of religious and political legitimacy, or the political mobilization of religious identity, seems positively alien to those, like British policy-makers, whose cultural orientation is Western. The Religious is Epiphenomenal Another related factor, I suggest, was the assumption that an Islamist political idiom is epiphenomenal to other political and economic goals. The general consensus on the ground and in Whitehall was that economic motivations were extremely important for the rank-and-file. It was thought that either Iranian money or Coalition job-creation schemes could be used to incentivize al-Sadr’s recruitment pool, particularly in the more squalid sections of Basra and Baghdad. These were, in the words of one official, ‘fertile grounds for people who … wanted to exploit poverty and religion to build a political platform’.116 It was also felt that Sadrist leaders could be convinced to take seats on the provincial councils.117 It was difficult for some British officials to identify the nature of Muqtada al-Sadr’s ultimate

endgame, or that of his followers. British officials have explained that this was both because al-Sadr himself was not explicit about his aims and also because the control he exercised over his followers varied over time. In the words of one official, it seemed to be a case of ‘greed at the bottom, and political ambition at the top’.118 A senior British official noted that, prior to the January 2005 election Sadrist political ambitions were likely stronger, and later waned once they realized they would not be voted in as the leading party.119 The addition of religion to this mix compounded the confusion. It was difficult for British officials to determine what role political Islamism played among the motivations of the Sadrist rank-and-file. A senior official noted that it was ‘very, very difficult to make firm judgments. I think it was a mixture … of emotional, family and economic motives … Certainly for some of [the Sadrists] it was sincere religious belief, but I don’t think people saw Muqtada al-Sadr as the embodiment of Muslim piety’,120 Another commented, ‘If only we knew or they knew themselves’.121 As for the intentions of Muqtada himself, officials expressed mixed opinions. Some argued that Sadr was clearly religiously driven, as evidenced by his trip to the Iranian city of Qom in the summer of 2008 to seek further religious training.122 Another noted, ‘You have to question the sincerity of religious belief of somebody who had another very senior, much more respected cleric murdered. You could say he’s motivated in the same way as his forefathers, but he has a funny way of showing it’. This official noted further that ‘Sadr himself is an extremely complicated personality from an illustrious family whose piety is not in doubt, but he himself is a murderer and certainly hungry for power’.123 The British had difficulty grasping this paradox: that al-Sadr and his followers could simultaneously mobilize Shi‘a Islam in an instrumental, disingenuous way to gain power in the new Iraqi state while also being driven by sincere (if radicalized) religious belonging and belief. British secular habits of thinking made it difficult for them to understand that there are rarely clear boundaries between supposedly pious religious motivations and hunger for economic and political power in much religio-politics. For the British, the Sadrists were ultimately nationalists, using Shi‘a Islamism as a convenient political instrument. On the fallibility of this exclusivist, either/or assumption, it is worth quoting Roxanne Euben at length: The logic that renders religio-political practice as epiphenomenal fails, as Bruce Lawrence aptly puts it, ‘to take account of the autonomous nature of the religious impulse’. Religious commitments are not like tools, chosen for their efficacy, or because the hardware store was out of other brands. Ideas are often adopted and discarded for a variety of reasons, including instrumental ones, but religious convictions – as with all other commitments deserving of the name – are far too complex to be either reduced to an option in the marketplace of ideas or minimized as a ‘refuge that provides emotional peace and comfort’.124 There were two dynamics at work here. First, in response to the War on Terror, the religious had come to be fetishized within the British social imaginary, particularly within government circles. ‘Sincere’ religious belief was regarded as old-fashioned but also admirable. Also relevant is the assumption that ‘religion’ is a discrete activity separate from and epiphenomenal to politics and economics, an assumption that is a recent invention of the modern West.125 In the context of the engagement with Islamism, the fact that the British social imaginary is also beholden to this assumption became more

apparent. The assumption that Sadrist Islamism was epiphenomenal to a hunger for power or economic gains distorted British analysis of the sustainability of the Sadrist trend. It is true that some were swayed by money, as they were paid as much as $300 per week; but the motivations of Sadrist fighters were not exclusively monetary.126 The British overestimated the extent to which they could buy off or sway the loyalties of Muqtada’s fighters. Fundamentally, the fact that the Sadrists were drawn from the impoverished classes led the British too easily to stereotype their Islamist idiom as either disingenuous or an instance of the age-old cry of the poor to their gods. The Sui Generis Nature of the South A tendency to see the south as sui generis also has bearing here. This idea within Whitehall that ‘the south is very different’ persisted through 2007. The British enjoyed quite extensive autonomy in southern Iraq, as the USA was preoccupied with the situation in Baghdad.127 No other region in Iraq was administered as a unit in this way.128 Little guidance was provided by the Americans.129 The British administered the south as a place set apart in order to have the latitude to operate differently from the USA in military and political affairs.130 The mainly Shi‘a south has also seen itself as distinct from Baghdad.131 The south had been one of the main sites of resistance to the Ba’athist regime, particularly in 1991.132 For the southern population, the presence of oil, a distinctive Shi‘a identity and a highly cosmopolitan Basrawi society marked the south out as qualitatively distinct from the rest of the country.133 Official British Iraq policy between 2002 and 2004 was formulated separately from its counterterror objectives, for which radical Islamism was a direct concern.134 British policy in Iraq drew a sharp distinction between the Shi‘a Islamist groups in the south and the al-Qaeda-related insurgents in the Sunni Triangle (with which they had little contact).135 These dynamics proved easier to read than the Shi‘a ones, but still were less than straightforward. When asked by the Chilcot Inquiry to what extent al-Qaeda alliances with former Ba’athist elements came as a surprise, one intelligence officer noted that, even though the fact of the alliance was ‘no great surprise … it took a while, I think, to appreciate how all this was wired together’.136 Another noted: ‘You had quite a number of different organizations, and some of them no doubt only existed for as long as the press statement after some particular episode, and then they became something else’.137 The intelligence services thought that Iran was trying to sow discord in Iraq during the CPA period, funding and supporting various Shi‘a militias in the south as well as using links with al-Qaeda to foment Sunni opposition. Although it was difficult for them to read the dynamics, SIS worked off the assumption in 2004 that it was not in Iran’s interests to have a ‘secular Shi‘a dominated state [fostering] an alternative Shi‘a vision’ on their border, and that this partly fuelled some seemingly unlikely collaboration between al-Qaeda and the Iranians at certain points.138 Circumstances on the ground were highly complex and fluid, evolving quickly. However, a tendency to see the dynamics in the south as sui generis blinded the British to the extent of the artificiality and temporary nature of this. Interpreting the various Islamist actors in the south as driven almost entirely by local concerns allowed the British to focus their analysis too tightly, cutting off possibly informative lines of enquiry into the sustainability of these trends. For example, while Iranian influence on the security situation exercised analysts to a certain

extent, further attention to how ideology has sustained the Revolution over time might have helped them to reach a better understanding of what social and ideological dynamics – in conjunction with material factors – were fuelling the Sadrist trend, Fadilah, SCIRI and others. To some extent the secular habitus fed scepticism that a religio-political ideology could prove potent in Iraq beyond the short term (despite a rather large counter-argument just over the border). Again, hysteresis was a factor. While the lack of boots and analysts on the ground after 2003 inhibited this, assumptions indebted to the secular habitus produced a blind spot and prevented joined-up analysis. It is impossible to prove the counterfactual, but an appreciation for the potency of religious politics in general might have led analysts to look more carefully for comparative parallels among the Sadrists, al-Qaeda-inspired insurgents in other regions, and case studies of Islamism outside of Iraq, which might in turn have proved fruitful on the ground.

Building Resilience Through Secular Democracy So far I have explored British misreadings of the Sadrists as a security threat in the period March 2003–June 2004, bearing in mind that British policy was flawed in Iraq for many reasons that had little to do with religion. The picture drawn by many on the ground is of a fatal slowness to appreciate just how a significant factor the Sadrist sympathies would become in Basra, and this, I suggest, was partly the result of the liberal, secular suppositions about religion and politics that the British brought with them. However, it is important to bear in mind that the Sadrists were not merely a security issue – they were an intimate part of the democratic state-building process, particularly in the south. What can the British experience with the Sadrists suggest about British attitudes towards secular democracy in Iraq and perhaps beyond? The 9/11 wars were not just waged on the battlefield. The American-led War on Terror relied on democratization as a political containment-resilience and enhancement strategy.139 This strategy was designed to use democracy to prevent the spread of radical Islamist ideologies to institutionally weak societies in the Middle East, Africa and Asia that were unable to contain non-state actors who may wish to move against Western-allied targets. At the heart of this strategy was an old liberal chestnut: democratic peace theory. Though a direct causal relationship between democracy and the prevention of war has been powerfully questioned by scholars, it remains a potent organizing myth for liberal intervention. Iraq and Afghanistan, however, have produced an addendum to the myth. While the USA and its allies ultimately settled for procedural democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan, their hope was, in the first instance, that a secular–liberal form of democracy might allow Islamists to participate in government while being checked and balanced by secular politicians, allowing for the protection of human and minority rights. This preference was underpinned by the suspicion that Islamists were highly unlikely to produce stable democracies ensuring the freedom of the individual, and consequently needed to be balanced by secularists. How do the Sadrists fit into this story? Unlike the Americans, the British had no official preference for working with secularists like Chalabi or for secular governing councils. Officially, anyone with the necessary ‘power and authority’ who could be ‘sought out and reasoned with’ was approached, including various Islamist parties and politicians.140 On the military side, one British general has argued that the military tried to find the most powerful interlocutors who could build local

support for the democratization process, whoever they might be.141 ‘Power and authority’ was the basis for dialogue, rather than status as a tribal leader, religious leader, or secular leader per se. As the Sadrist power became more visible in the south, it too was included in this. This was a very different approach to that of their last foray into the country. When the British created the state of Iraq in 1920 they expelled the ulema into Iran in retribution for their role in the anti-British uprising. Though the shah put pressure on the British for the clerics to return and the British ultimately consented, they made it a condition that the ulema should not be involved in politics in the new state. The hawza would have religious authority but no political legitimacy, and the government would therefore lack religious legitimacy. The colonial occupiers thus wove into the very fabric of the modern Iraqi state a separation between religious and political legitimacy, that the Ba’athist regime later enforced.142 Perhaps the British expected to find what they had left behind? The integration of religious and political legitimacy at the moment when Iraq and Britain came back into a form of neo-colonial contact is one of history’s great ironies. Tolerance for and encouragement of the participation of Islamists in democratic politics in Iraq was the explicit UK government line. During the CPA period, the Sadrists’ level of engagement with the Coalition varied from province to province, and within each province over time. There was some successful engagement in Maysan,143 but a lack of engagement in others provinces.144 Where they would engage, the Sadrists were at first considered useful by some British officials. They provided important services to the population which allowed the British government to limit their financial contribution to reconstruction. The Sadrists also took on certain security tasks, such as policing religious marches.145 British civilians claimed that violence was the breaking point for dialogue with the Sadrists. As one official put it, ‘We would listen to them as long as they weren’t throwing stones at us’.146 The April 2004 attacks put a significant damper on relations. However, it is also important not to strip the social, interactive and qualitative out of this account. For example, in his memoirs, Rory Stewart, deputy governate coordinator in Maysan and senior advisor in Dhi Qar, gives an interesting account of a meeting with a Sadrist cleric that provides a snapshot of the complex, multi-layered interactions between Western, liberal officials of an occupying power and religiously committed figures in the resistance. In Stewart’s account of this dialogue, the cleric, Seyyed Hassan, began by saying, ‘The world is nothing … I am not concerned with politics but with God and the life hereafter’. When Stewart replied, using the language of worldly politics, asking if he was in revolution against the Coalition, Hassan said, ‘My purpose is to study and teach the truth of Islam. I speak nothing but God’s truth’. Stewart, impressed, gives a romanticized description: there was a vigour in these last words, emerging from a rich loam of faith … it was the same tone I heard from Buddhist monks discussing suffering, a blend of recitation and feeling … the cadences and inward gaze revealed not only the centuries of tradition he’d absorbed at the hawza … but also his appeal to the hundreds of young men who attended his sermons and came armed into the streets to rescue him. As Stewart tried to steer the conversation towards the political balance of power and Coalition authority, Seyyed Hassan ‘continued in his gentle voice to give a long account of Islam and the state’. He then covered terrain intertwining religion and politics, including ‘a state based on shariah law with a strong position for the clergy’ and ‘the importance of the sermon at Friday prayers and a national

social network appealing to the young and poor’. Stewart then expresses his surprise that the Sadrist cleric ‘wanted only that I should occasionally take his advice’. Stewart concludes his account of the episode somewhat triumphantly: ‘we [now] had a chance to bind into our structures the most hostile, heavily armed Islamist group in the province’.147 Because Hassan did not want a role on the provincial council, this made his desire for shariah seem aspirational and not politically contentious. Certainly one cannot generalize analytically based on an anecdote, but Stewart’s account suggests that unconscious, romanticized notions of religion as benign were also in play for the British, below the level of official policy and practice. However, below the official FCO line, the assumption that secular politics is ultimately the best way of ensuring democratic rights also lurked in the background of the wider British political imaginary for the duration of the 9/11 wars. For example, Fabian Hamilton, a Labour MP and member of the House Select Committee on Foreign Affairs (the parliamentary body charged with oversight of the FCO), argued in 2003: ‘it is surely our duty here in Europe – and in the United States – to encourage those elements that want to push the Islamic element and the theocratic part of the republic back into a box and establish a secular democracy’.148 In a 2006 hearing on British support for democratization in Iraq, another MP asked an expert witness: … is a secular democracy as we understand it possible in Iraq? … Is there not another perhaps less ambitious way to try and recognize the religious situation there, to try and achieve some reconciliation so we will not leave behind a functional parliamentary democracy but maybe something else?149 Diplomats familiar with Muslim-majority states and aware of how Islamist political parties have functioned outside Iraq held a far more nuanced view than MPs. Still, suspicions that Islamists participating in politics might not, for example, ensure liberal rights for women, were not uncommon across the British government. In an exchange with the minister for women in 2003, MPs asked what measures would be taken to ensure that female jurists and politicians would be represented on the constitutional drafting committee (taking for granted that women are naturally liberals and not Islamists).150 That the liberal assumption that both secular politics and other women automatically protect women from strict interpretations of shariah law is held within the British political imaginary was apparent in the testimony of the former prime minister’s special envoy to Iraq on human rights.151 Improving the treatment of women was also listed as the second of eight crimes of the secular Ba’athist regime presented by former Prime Minister Blair in the so-called ‘dodgy dossier’ as evidence pointing to the rectitude of intervention.152 This British view, however, was not adopted at national level until it became time to secure constitutional agreement, and then only by default. The extent to which the Americans directed Iraq policy at national level, often with less regard for British opinion than the British had hoped, has been raised during the Chilcot Inquiry and in various memoirs.153 This is important because, while the Americans were directly involved in the writing of the Iraqi constitution in 2004, the British role was to bring partners to the table at local and provincial levels, rather than nationally, to build support for the democratic process. The official British position on the constitution was to encourage a United Nations lead and to maintain ‘a low public profile’.154 The softer British position on secular democracy and Islamist politics was therefore not as well represented at national level as the American

view was during the constitutional negotiations. What was the American view, and what was its impact? Along with Martinez, writing from his own position as intimately involved in the negotiation process, Noah Feldman has argued that ‘it is important not to overstate American influence in shaping the substantive constitutional outcome, particularly regarding the role of Islam’.155 They have argued that, though one of the USA’s stated goals was the democratization of Iraq, the Iraqi political classes and the majority of the citizenry shared this goal, and Iraqi ideas about what that democratic constitution might look like ultimately took precedence.156 However, the USA also explicitly backed the Kurds and secular Arabs against the Shi‘i Islamists on a number of matters. One of these was a proposal for a separate Constitutional Council to sit above the Federal Supreme Court, with four of the 11 seats filled by shariah experts and the parliament to be given significant oversight over the Court.157 The USA also ‘echoed [the] objections’ of Iraqi liberals opposed to the phrasing of a clause put forward by Islamist politicians that they felt ‘would condition women’s equality on its compatibility with Islamic law’.158 The one time that President Bush personally intervened in the constitutional negotiations was on a matter of secularism: he called SCIRI leader ‘Abd al-‘Aziz al-Hakim partly to register his wish that freedom of religion would be protected in the new constitution.159 Still, in the very brief period allocated by the CPA to the constitutional negotiations, the Shi‘i Islamists were able to secure many of their proposals. Feldman and Martinez write: if before the war the Bush Administration had been told that the final Iraqi constitution would formally prohibit any law contradicting Islam (or rehabilitate shariah as an option for personal-status law, or require Islamic experts to serve on Iraq’s Supreme Court), it would have been very surprised indeed.160 This suggests that, while the USA offered strong, ideological support to secularists in their quest for a secular democracy, they ultimately had to revise their ideas about what kind of democracy they were willing to tolerate in Iraq, after it had been decided that the deadline for withdrawal would be brought forward, ahead of the US mid-term elections. The role of Islamic law was a point of compromise. Ultimately the American approach became similar to the British approach on this point; but the settlement was not static. Though a framework had been put in place in 2005, the detailed role of Islamic law still had to be fleshed out.161 The extent to which the Islamists have been able to exploit their advantage in constitutional provision has been curtailed by their electoral losses since 2010. That both soft and hard positions on the incompatibility of Islam with democracy have featured in the Western imaginary since 9/11 is well-documented.162 However, from what evidence is available, it appears that the British officially and unofficially took an ‘expect the best but prepare for the worst’ approach to Islamist democrats in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere during the 9/11 wars. It seems that, while the British did not explicitly promote secular democratic formulae in Iraq and Afghanistan, they were also open to being pleasantly surprised should these would-be Islamist democrats be forced, through circumstances on the ground, to compromise in favour of more socially liberal legislation. This begs the question: For the UK and its US ally, what has been the legacy of the interface with Islamist democrats in Iraq and Afghanistan during the 9/11 wars (and, unofficially, with Hezbollah and Hamas, elected to government in 2006 and 2011 respectively)? Secular governance has been a largely unstated US policy preference, formalized in 1998 through the International Religious Freedom Act

and couched in the formula of American secularism: ‘freedom to’. The discourse surrounding the Act and its implementation, facilitated through the State Department, is to promote freedom of religion and conscience as extensions of democratic governance, and to denounce regimes that persecute their citizens on the basis of religious belief.163 The USA strongly preferred that the new Afghan and Iraqi democracies, on balance, should contain secular candidates, though they had to adapt this preference following the democratic election of Islamist candidates. This preference was based both on liberal assumptions that secularists were more likely to uphold personal freedoms – including those of religion – and on realist calculations. The Americans felt they could trust secular regimes to resist the influence of al-Qaeda, the Taliban and other Islamist factions that might prove dangerous to American citizens and investment. During the 9/11 wars secular politics has become a more salient – though not exclusive – determinant of international political trustworthiness for the American government. This operates at the level of the unconscious habitus. I would also suggest that, while the outcome of the construction of the international system after the Second World War was to make a world safe for secular states, the USA and its allies hoped the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan might make possible a world safe for secular spaces. By this I mean that inherent in the state-building projects in Afghanistan and Iraq was the hope that, with Western tutelage, these states would embrace an episteme of religiously neutral government, where the ulema and Islamist political parties could participate but would not exert exclusive control over governance. Islam might still condition culture and be vital in people’s private lives, but it would not be allowed to control their private lives without their consent. In the sphere of civil society, social institutions and private life, people would have the space of choice; young Afghan women could choose whether to cover their hair as well as go to school. This cannot be interpreted as a straightforward attempt to tutor Iraqi and Afghan societies in Western values. The notion of secular space in an Islamic context has existed in its current form since the nineteenth century. In an ethnographic study of nonreligion in contemporary Egypt, Schielke describes social milieus where non-religious or not very religious ways and visions of life are more commonplace. The most important such milieu is the intellectual and artistic scene of downtown Cairo, where most people are in some way religious, but there is enough space for nonbelievers to encounter and exchange ideas.164 Secular space is eclectic, ambiguous, often self-contradictory, but is shaped by the classically liberal values of ‘freedom, individual choice and self-realization’.165 History shows that there has been an ebb and flow to secular space in Muslim majority states.166 This is due to a history of empire, but the dynamics have evolved beyond that.167 The irony of these most recent liberal attempts to orchestrate such things is that they often spiralled beyond the control of the USA and its allies, due to a failure to appreciate the internal dynamics of this ebb and flow, and its association with elite authoritarianism and empire before that. However, for the USA, a preference for secular democrats has also been neither exclusive nor a guarantor of human rights protection or political loyalty. Historically, not all regimes with Islamic inclinations domestically are seen by the West as a war-worthy problem: Bahrain and Saudi Arabia are cases in point. A rather secular Gaddafi was sold armaments for the sake of American and British oil

contracts not long before he started shelling his own people. Ultimately, realist imperatives trump ideological factors. For example, at the time of writing the USA and its allies have been far more concerned about a fragmenting Syria than they are about Islamist fighters in Mali, a campaign which the French have fought solely with Malian troops.168 The USA is suspicious of Iran not because of its regime’s ideology but because former President Ahmedinejad routinely threatened to forge nuclear weapons and launch them at Israel. Still the USA, the UK and their allies have long been suspicious of Islamist regimes who are not declared allies. A country need not secularize in order to be an American security ally – but its security services must keep tight reign on its Islamists. In the Western security imaginary, secular governance is not proof of peaceful intent – Saddam Hussein springs to mind – but in the post-9/11 security environment it has been seen to bode well. The politics of trust is, after all, not carved in stone but subject to revision. Although the British government has stayed away from discussion of secularism with the Iraqi authorities over the course of the decade, it has continued to press several related areas. For example, women’s rights has been an area of key concern which the British government has continued to press with Iraqi authorities, as has the removal of religious and ethnic affiliation from national ID cards.169 More recently, however, there has been a new twist in the British approach to secular democracy. Since 2011, the UK has followed both the policy lead of first the USA (1997) and then the EU (February 2011) and UN (March 2011), in making support for religious freedom an explicit part of its democracy promotion efforts.170 In Iraq, the UK government has taken an increased interest in Christian minorities since 58 people were killed in an attack on Our Lady of Salvation Church in Baghdad in November 2010. This interest manifested itself during the July 2011 Wilton Park Conference, ‘Promoting Religious Freedom around the World’, and during the December 2011 House of Lords debate on Christians in the Middle East, tabled by the Archbishop of Canterbury.171 In 2011 the UK government also funded a series of meetings between local religious leaders in Iraq as well as a meeting in Copenhagen of the High Council of Religious Leaders in Iraq.172 The British government has actively promoted and funded interfaith work at home and abroad since 2003, and these activities in Iraq follow this larger policy trajectory, which will be explored in the next chapter. However, the government is also concerned about being seen as inter-ventionist and neo-imperial on these matters (‘our powers are inevitably limited’).173 Still, the British government seems to be edging closer to an evolving international norm on religious freedom which follows more closely the American conception of secularism as ‘freedom to’. Still, during the period 2011–2012, while secular democracy was mentioned very infrequently by the British, when it was – in relation to government transition in Egypt – it was spoken of favourably, as preferable to Islamist or procedural democracy. For example, in April 2011 testimony to the House Select Committee on diplomatic preparedness, Foreign Secretary William Hague casually noted that, in a meeting with leading figures in the Egyptian government, ‘we put the case that what you need in your parliamentary election is the emergence of a credible, secular and democratic opposition’, a point he had also stressed in November 2010.174 In the Egyptian case ‘secular’ was British shorthand for ‘not the Muslim Brotherhood’. This discourse has changed since the majority election of their Freedom and Justice Party to parliament in January 2012 and the presidency in June 2012, which is also the case for the USA. It remains to be seen the extent to which the British will be wary of Brotherhood politics in Egypt (and potentially Syria) on the grounds of its Islamism, or whether they will simply do

business with them, in or out of government. British history suggests the latter.

Dialectics and Possibilities However, the British encounter with the Sadrists on matters of security and democracy sheds light more light on the relationship between liberal war, democracy and the secular. The development of secular sensibilities in Western modernity has also involved, in Mustapha Kamal Pasha’s words, ‘a redefinition of forms of being and belonging in a world increasingly marked by contingency and uncertainty’.175 Charles Taylor has gestured towards a similar sentiment in his discussion of the ‘buffered self’ of secular modernity, no longer subject to the whims of angry gods.176 Liberalism, Pasha argues, rather than being neutral, presents its own conceptions of security, with ‘the State as the new deity whose worship guarantees negative freedoms, development and democracy’.177 Pasha cautions that the wedding of modernization to liberalism and secularity in the Western imaginary allows for ‘liberal secularity [to] take[…] on the character of a civilizing project’ in ‘Islamic cultural zones’.178 The case of the British in Iraq smudges the line of this argument a bit. Asad has argued recently that part of ‘the attractiveness of dialectics as a method … for so many scholars in our time wanting to explain our contemporary world (including capitalism, democracy and secularism) is due to the embeddedness of the Christian dialectic in Western culture’.179 Asad, invoking Jean-Luc Nancy, writes: The move from God to human and back dialectically to God through death (incarnation, crucifixion, resurrection) is part of Christianity’s founding story, part of the promise that is handed on to the secular project of modernity: democratic ideal, suffering and death for a just future, a restored humanity at once historically situated and transcendent. [Nancy writes] ‘Henceforth, the democratic ethic of the rights of man and of solidarity … constitutes, in sum, the durable sediment of Christianity’.180 Pasha argues similarly that ‘the instability of the liberal project rests on a simultaneous reworking of notions of redemption and secularism and denial of liberalism’s theological underpinnings’.181 Asad uses an account of bodily pain to ‘direct … attention at disjunctions, parallels, permeations, and recursivities’ in liberal secularity’.182 Shifting the analytical gaze directly onto the empirical messiness of democratization in Iraq also suggests some similar things. Critics of liberal war have argued that the impulse to tutor others in the ways of democracy has been deeply embedded in the discourse of liberal war since the 1990s. As Asad suggests, this liberal notion of redemption through democracy is indebted to the Christian dialectic which is embedded in Western liberal democracy. Habits of secularity have disguised its Christian origins from the liberal gaze, and have also made it seem as though the separation of religion and politics found in liberal democracies is the best way of ‘doing’ democracy. Habits of secularity have thus reinforced hierarchies of democratization, with liberal versions at the top and ‘Islamic’ versions lurking at the bottom. Habits of secularity have also made it seem as though secular democracy – in which religion’s imposition on public life is carefully monitored and curtailed by the state – is more likely to produce security, stability and resilient, terrorism-proof, international-citizen states. Still, the empirical example problematizes this. It suggests the fundamental heterogeneity of the

liberal impulse to democratization and the role of secular habits in producing this heterogeneity. In Iraq, CPA authorities drew on a repertoire of Western suppositions about what constitutes healthy politics. Liberal, secular habits – conditioned by an ongoing history of cultural Christianity – simultaneously produced seemingly contradictory impulses within the CPA administration about how to deal with Shi‘a Islamist political forces in Iraq: on the one hand, the urge to curtail Islamists as blocks to the democratization process and the protection of women and religious minorities, and on the other hand, the urge to include Islamists in the democratic process, in the name of tolerance, neutrality and freedom of religion, as well as a sense that ‘religion’ produces ethical citizens and can curtail violence. Which impulse overrode the other in any particular circumstance came down to a mixture of pragmatism, bureaucratic fog, and who (for example, British, American, Iraqi or other CPA ally) individually or culturally had the power to impose their vision. And where violence was involved, British positions were likely to harden on balance in favour of exclusion. This suggests that, even within the context of an encounter defined by neo-imperial dynamics, secular habits may be sufficiently heterogeneous, open-ended and conditioned by material circumstance to mitigate any straightforward external imposition of secular democracy on Muslimmajority societies. I agree with Asad, Pasha and others that the problem of liberal exclusion of the other forms of democracy and modernities from global politics persists for the time being. But I think we should also be nuanced in our despair. This small example humbly suggests, as Pasha does, that the great diversity within liberalism also points to its possible dialectical redemption. Chapter 7 explores these possibilities. But first we move the discussion chronologically forwards and geographically westwards, to examine secular democracy in the UK after the London bombings.

The extension of the hand of government into the everyday lives of Muslims in Britain in the name of an ever-expanding security remit – through stop and search, Control Orders, detention without trial, biometric ID cards and enhanced police powers during arrest and investigation – has been thoroughly catalogued by civil society activists, journalists, academics and those close to government who have disagreed with the approach. This situation was aggravated by the 7 July 2005 attacks on the London transport system, as well as attempted attacks later that month, the attack on Glasgow airport in 2007 and the plotted attack on Heathrow airport in 2006. The UK government has been accused of being anti-democratic and of violating the civil rights of its citizens by using a series of blunt legal and policing tools to prevent further attacks. Despite introducing a series of measures to promote a sense of citizenship and community, it has alienated many Muslims in Britain by treating their ethnicity or religious identity as a reason for suspicion. In order to analyse the function of the secular habitus in this wider context, this chapter will examine specifically the government’s interest in Islam – its theology, leaders and institutions – as a site for building ‘resilience’ and countering the perceived risk of radicalization. It uses a similar range of sources to the previous chapter, including nearly 30 interviews. Certainly Muslim politicians, government officials and civil society leaders were also interested in how the younger generation could be persuaded either by more modernist, cosmopolitan interpretations of Islam or by conservative but politically quietist strands. Though these leaders used a similar discourse to the government, their intentions were different from the more instrumental ones of the state. The domestic case also demonstrates that the function and impact of the British secular habitus has not remained static over the course of the 9/11 wars. In Chapter 4 I set out how British policy logic in Afghanistan from 2009 to 2011 indicated a mutation in the secular habitus, from hysteresis to the elision of Islam into ‘culture’. Domestically, from 2005 to 2010, there was also a shift in policy logic, but it took on a very different character towards British citizens. As with democratization in Iraq and Afghanistan, the unstated hope was to produce ‘good citizen-subjects’ and democracies strong enough to contain their more illiberal Islamist participants. As in counterinsurgency strategy, the hope was both to protect those good subjects and to prevent them from allying with the enemy. Where British

civilians and members of the armed forces tried to build trust by showing respect for imams, mullahs and local customs abroad (for example, hosting iftar dinners in Iraq and holding jirgas, tribal assemblies, in Afghanistan), the British government also tried to demonstrate sensitivity and sometimes enthusiasm for Islamic customs and practices in the UK. As in Iraq and Afghanistan, these efforts were imperfect and perceived as instrumental. As in Iraq and Afghanistan, attitudes towards observant Muslims were somewhat ambivalent, coloured by implicit sentiments of both warmth and unease. But there were two significant differences between Iraq and Afghanistan and the domestic case. First, the prospect of terrorism on its territory forced the British government to learn much more about Islam very quickly. While this in some ways moved them past hysteresis, the primary modality of the secular habitus towards security changed. The government paid greater attention to and addressed the concerns of ethnic-minority religious communities more vigorously than it ever had before. Rather than confusion, the primary political logic after 2001 became akin to what Foucault called ‘pastoral governance’. Second, the British government’s approach to secular democracy was very different in the domestic arena. There the government made explicit reference to secular liberalism as a political good and as the valued referent object of security practices.

Multiculturalism as a Secular Habit From the 1960s to the 1990s the British government imagined its minorities through the rubrics of multiculturalism and race, privileging ethnicity but paying little attention to religion.1 For their part, these post-imperial migrant generations engaged in their religious practices largely privately and within a community setting. Like other communities from the 1960s wave of immigration, Muslims were politically quietist for much of this period. The turning point in the government, public and British Muslim imaginary was the Salman Rushdie affair of 1989–90.2 In the fallout from the Rushdie affair, the British government’s interest in finding a single, national political interlocutor to prevent a recurrence brought the national government into brief contact with the Muslim population qua Muslim and its community politics. Though the book-burnings and demonstrations in northern Britain were the initial catalyst, it became increasingly clear to the government during the 1990s that certain changes within the wider Muslim world, and within British Islam in particular, were slowly leading Muslims living in Britain to self-identify with their co-religionists across national lines. British Asians-also-as-Muslims entered the fringe consciousness of British policy-makers through a series of international and domestic incidents, including the first Iraq War, the first Palestinian Intifada and conflicts in Bosnia, Kashmir and Chechnya.3 The 1997 Runnymede Trust report on Islamophobia in Britain highlighted the levels of social and economic deprivation as well as racism experienced by British Muslims. It also provided a focal point for the growing assertiveness of Muslim representative groups within the political sphere.4 This was a process fraught with intra-community tension, with many Muslims criticizing the organizations for being self-appointed London elites, removed from grassroots concerns. This was set against a background of significant change for second-and third-generation Muslims in Britain. The findings of a 1991 study indicated that 70 to 80 per cent of Muslims, particularly young people, did not belong to

an Islamic centre or mosque, and that this was a time of ‘alienation, confusion and disruption of Muslim identity’ in Britain.5 During the early 1990s, international events gave oxygen to various political movements within British Islam jockeying to represent themselves at national level.6 Although the British government was aware that transnational and international rivalries were being played out on its shores (in particular, between Iranian- and Saudi-backed groups), it did not wish to intervene. The Muslim Parliament and the Muslim Council of Britain, established in 1992 and 1997 respectively, provided just such interlocutors. Representative or not, they were convenient. The modus operandi of these two organizations and the government’s interactions with them would shape how the British security community, mainly politicians and officials, would come to see politically active Islam in Britain during the 1990s. Dr Kalim Saddiqui, head of the Muslim Parliament and supporter of the fatwa against Salman Rushdie, was a particularly divisive figure. His call for a campaign of civil disobedience was harmful to relations with central government, allowing the British government to imagine a conflation between political activism, even radicalism, and violent extremism.7 Politically organized Islam was thus simultaneously embraced by liberal government through the rubric of engagement with ethnic minority communities and seen as potentially disruptive. During the mid-1990s the British government also became aware that Islamist extremists were recruiting and training militants on British soil for attacks against foreign governments.8 In addition, forms of Islamist extremism had begun to gain credibility among young Muslims, spread primarily through existing social networks, often based around certain mosques. At the same time, for the British government, this was seen as a private matter for the community to settle on its own without national, regional or local government interference. Muslim calls on government for help, for example, to remove radical cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri from the Finsbury Park mosque in the late 1990s were gently rebuffed. One government official commented that this ‘was not intentional but [it was] not a known area for the government to engage with’, noting that the national government at that stage had a policy of minimal interaction even with the Church of England.9 Within the context of liberal multiculturalism, the government could not begin to imagine interfering in what it construed as a local, private matter. For them, Islamist extremism was an annoyance, but not yet a threat to British interests.10 The British domestic security priority was the Provisional IRA, which detonated a series of bombs in mainland Britain in the mid-1990s.11 One civil society representative noted that, with hindsight, if the government had been willing to tackle non-violent Islamist extremism during the 1990s it might have headed off many post-2001 problems.12 Though the government moved to try to bind British Asian Muslims to domestic governance structures during the 1990s, the British media did not follow suit. In her study of British press coverage of British Islam during the 1990s Elizabeth Poole identified four key themes to the coverage of the Rushdie affair: that Muslim involvement in deviant activities threatened UK security; that Muslims were a threat to British mainstream values; that there were inherent cultural differences between Muslims and the host community, leading to interpersonal tension; and that Muslims were increasingly making their presence felt in the public sphere.13 Poole has argued that ‘a discourse of conflict, deviancy, difference and backwardness runs through these themes’, underscored by racism, ethnocentricism and xenophobia. However, she has also noted that, during the 1990s, Muslims in Britain were seen as less of a security threat than ‘the global construction of Islam’ portrayed by the

media.14 Interestingly, with the exception of the book-burnings and demonstrations around the time of the Rushdie affair and the Bradford riots in 1995, this discourse of deviance propagated by the media in the 1990s had little to do with actual violence (or even crime) committed by Muslims. Though seen by central government as a matter of race, the Rushdie affair, fed by the media, introduced ‘religious violence’ to the public imaginary as an anomaly in British social life. Bhikhu Parekh noted, in relation to the liberal, secular media’s reaction to the Rushdie controversy: It was depressing to note how the legitimate rage against the Ayatollah’s murderous impertinence and outrageous Muslim support for it escalated step by even sillier step to a wholly mindless anger against all Bradford Muslims, then against all British Muslims, then against all Muslims, and ultimately against Islam itself … The neutral observers were left wondering on which side of the debate lay ‘fundamentalism’, ‘medievalism’ and ‘intolerance’.15 However, it must be noted that the British media propagated problematic representations of religion generally during this period, and not just of Islam alone.16 Still, there was something sui generis about its treatment of Islam. In the aftermath of the Rushdie affair, the media began to invoke transnational Islam, alongside ethnicity or race, as a tool to explore the significance of international and domestic events. Quality press coverage of the 1991 Gulf War in particular drew connections between Muslim integration in the UK and transnational solidarity on the basis of religion. For example, now-Baroness Uddin noted that she saw more of her young male Bangladeshi constituents ‘drawing on the very essence of militant Islam. Many of them said they supported Saddam because it’s the very first time they’ve known a Muslim leader stand up to the West’.17 That Muslims outside the West also feared the borderlessness of Western secular liberalism was an irony lost. However, these trends were short-lived. Even after the Rushdie affair and the Islamophobia report, the visibility of British Muslims qua Muslim at national level should not be overemphasized. Until the shift in policy focus from 2003 in response to the 2001 riots in Bradford, Oldham and Burnley, the government understood Asian and Arab Muslims in terms of ethnicity, to be managed by what one civil servant dubbed the government’s ‘race industry’.18 Following sizeable ‘race riots’ in the 1980s in London’s Brixton, Dudley, West Bromwich and Mosley (April 1981), Liverpool’s Toxteth area, London and Leeds (July 1981), Bristol, Birmingham and Bradford (early 1980s) and north London’s Broadwater Farm (1985), substantial policy resources were devoted to improving the integration and prospects of immigrants and descendants of the 1960s wave of immigration, particularly those from the West Indies and sub-Saharan Africa.19 As noted by one Muslim civil society organization, ‘In the decades before 9/11, Muslim communities fell through the gaps while the government addressed poverty, drug abuse, homelessness and mental health through the prism of race. As a multiethnic faith-based community, Muslims were effectively invisible to the government’.20 However, while government policy continued to privilege race and ethnicity, domestic ‘[p]rocesses of assimilation [were] eroding more tangential aspects of ethnic identity’.21 for British Muslims which, combined with increasing levels of cross-border identification with the umma, or imagined pan-Muslim global community, led more to identify qua Islam.22 This suggests that multiculturalism as a framework was conditioned in important ways by the secular habitus, helping to elevate race and ethnicity in government eyes while obscuring religion. This

was not an intentional omission, but is part of the recent historical trajectory of government interaction with the churches. Although the British government’s interaction with religious groups has undoubtedly been shaped by the 2001 riots and 9/11, in no way did it originate then.23 Many observers, governmental and non-governmental, have noted that the government’s relationship with faith communities at national and local level was already developing as the product of a quite separate policy trajectory. This may overstate the case, but to some extent it is true. As one civil society representative put it, the Labour government’s interest in the role of faith-based groups had been part of its a general interest in ‘social action’ and in developing the Third Sector, ‘echoing a similar interest … in the States’ in the 1990s in so-called ‘faith-based initiatives’.24 After a lull in the 1960s and 1970s, the British government again began to interact with the churches on social matters, especially poverty and disadvantage during the 1980s. After a period of political quietism, during the late 1970s and early 1980s the Church of England began to adopt a more progressive social agenda in response to the movement of national politics to the right. The Church of England heralded its move into this area of work through the Archbishop of Canterbury’s autumn 1985 report Faith in the City. The Church commissioned the report as a response to the ‘emerging gaps in society’ made evident by urban rioting during the summers of 1981 and 1985.25 It had become clear that the ‘post-war unwritten settlement’ or social consensus was being eroded by socio-economic deprivation in the inner city and within council housing estates.26 Though branded as Marxist by the Thatcher government, the report did pave the way for other churches and faith communities to work with the government on poverty and social exclusion issues, including minority communities.27 Philip Lewis, former advisor to the Bishop of Bradford who has written extensively on the Muslim population there, noted that there was a lack of awareness of the role of religion generally in community relations during the late 1980s unless it was in relation to church support for urban development.28 From 1992 until 2003 the small Inner Cities Religious Council was the main point of contact between faith groups and the Urban Policy Unit, located in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. While the Christian churches mainly interacted with the government on poverty and urban development during the 1980s and 1990s, Muslims and other minority religions mainly interacted with government on race and equality issues. The Racial Equality Unit was established in the Home Office in 2002 in accordance with the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000. While this unit was the product of government interest in race and multiculturalism evident throughout the 1980s and 1990s, its establishment after 2001 meant that its primary interaction was with the Muslim community.

From Multiculturalism to Cohesion: Moving Beyond Secular Hysteresis? After 9/11, the British government began to imagine a segment of its British Asian community as Muslim seemingly overnight. This mirrored a shift in the wider (white mainstream) public imaginary.29 2001 was a pivotal year for British government thinking not only on Islam but on religion and the role of religious groups in public life more generally. According to one government official, the government ‘could no longer presume that society was entirely secular after the census return and the Northern riots’.30 These street disturbances in Bradford (site of the Rushdie book-burnings), Oldham and Burnley involved Muslim youth. One civil society actor noted:

It’s a wider cultural thing out of which New Labour came which was a genuinely optimistic viewpoint … that good people were trying to pull in all the same directions. There was rather an unthinking pluralism that all the religions were going to be saying more or less the same thing … and therefore you didn’t really need to know the Other as someone particularly different. 2001 was one of those first big moments where people began to think, well, is that an assumption too far?31 The main report into the disturbances, the independent Cantle report on the riots, argued that immigrant communities were living ‘parallel lives’, reflecting a failure of multiculturalism policy.32 While the government’s Denham report (on Bradford) and Burnley report were both silent on religion, the Oldham independent review mentioned extremist preachers exploiting disaffected youth. The Cantle report also identified both faith and non-faith schools as being socially divisive.33 The texts of these reports – published immediately prior to and following 9/11 – indicate how rapid the shift in government thinking from ‘race’ to ‘religion’ was. Additionally, 76.8 per cent of the population of Great Britain indicated a religious affiliation on their 2001 census return. This was the first time the census had included a question on religion in Great Britain, though it has been asked in Northern Ireland since 1861.34 As noted in Chapter 1, the accuracy of this census finding has been highly controversial, and is dismissed by many scholars as inaccurate. However, the fact that the government was convinced after 2001 that Britain was a far more religious society than they had previously thought is important because of its impact on policy-making. The aftermath of 9/11 converged with pressure from religious groups to acknowledge, post-census, that something needed to be done about religion. The Lambeth group recommendations and religious group lobbying around the Millennium Development Goals and debt forgiveness also drew government attention to the political activity of faith groups. After 9/11, the British government began to use the term ‘Muslim faith community’ to describe the object of its attention – a homogenizing and flattening of diverse lived identities and habits, religious and nonreligious. As Raymond Williams has pointed out, community is a ‘warmly persuasive word’. But it is also not benign. Williams suggests that, ‘unlike all other terms of social organization (state, nation, society, etc.) … [community] never seems to be used unfavourably, and never to be given any negative or distinguishing term’.35 The designation by the state of Muslims in Britain as a community was not a recognition of Muslim solidarity so much as a means of designating a population to be watched. Tsoukala has also argued that the discursive appropriation of Islam as a religion of peace and tolerance is one way in which Muslims are ‘totally depoliticized to be solely defined in cultural terms’.36 It was also an artificial, homogenizing definition that simultaneously claimed certain citizens as British but also presumed they would behave somewhat differently from other Britons. As one senior intelligence source put it, ‘when the call went out after 9/11, asking “Where is Britain’s Muslim community?” [to help with the fight against terror], well, Britain’s Muslim community was in Tesco, B&Q, doing stuff that British people did’.37 The Cantle report into the disturbances in Northern towns in the summer of 2001 had advocated measures to promote ‘social cohesion’ within communities.38 In response, robust changes were made to domestic social policy and practice in 2003, including the establishment of the Community Cohesion Unit in the Home Office. Departmental restructuring later in 2003 brought the creation of the

Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) to further this new policy agenda. Importantly, it moved a series of responsibilities for religion, race and multiculturalism out of the Home Office. Administrative changes were made at the national level to streamline government dealings at the local level. The major policy initiative that came into immediate effect after the restructuring was the introduction of a series of ‘Community Cohesion Pathfinder Programmes’, the purpose of which was largely diagnostic, to assess the needs of communities at local level and find possible channels for further policy development. Officially, the government denied the focus was the Muslim population. But this population came under, and also reaped benefits from, increased government interest. This was due to government acknowledgment of levels of underdevelopment and disadvantage among that group, as well as the international security situation. The government’s work with religious groups after 2003 has contained, according to one well-placed civil society member, ‘a tension between the natural focus of the government on Muslim organizations and concerns about extremism … on the one hand and then on the other a desire to maintain relations across the board’.39 Though by no means driven solely by security considerations, the need to interact with the Muslim population helped to accelerate the government’s work programme on ‘faith communities’. It has also prompted a policy shift from exclusive multiculturalism to the inclusion of multi-faithism. One senior civil society representative who was critical of the shift also commented, ‘It’s difficult to know what was in people’s minds about that and I doubt it was as planned or intentional as it might look’.40 In 2003 the British government established the Faith Communities Unit in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, and in 2006 the Faith Communities Consultative Council which was disbanded after the election of a new government in 2010. The establishment of a Faith Communities Unit, as one civil servant noted, ‘was not unconnected with 9/11’.41 (Religious groups have mentioned that an advantage of this subsequent independent Council was that conversations might take place either without the government or with its participation, and that the Council might also address the impact of foreign policy on the domestic communities.42 The Faith Communities Consultative Forum – later the Faith Communities Forum – was a nongovernmental body set up by the Interfaith Network in 2003.) The 2004 report Working Together was the culmination of a series of government consultations with faith groups.43 In January 2005 the Faith Communities Capacity Building Fund was introduced as part of the government’s ‘Improving Opportunity, Strengthening Society’ strategy, to provide development funding for community groups. The broader conceptual significance of the social cohesion agenda was to promote ‘shared values’, within which ‘faith communities’ were seen by government as having a key role. The problematic politics of this will be addressed later in the chapter. In the words of one retired senior intelligence officer, the 7/7 attacks on central London prompted a period of ‘soul searching’, a rethink of total security strategy. But it seems such ruminations went beyond strategic thinking, extending into community policy.44 In contrast to 2001–04, the 7/7 attacks prompted the national government to make an urgent priority of the improvement of its understanding of Islam and Islamism, especially their understanding of Islam and Islamism’s bearing on the radicalization process and of extreme and moderate narratives and counter-narratives. The attacks and attempted attacks of 21 July 2005 brought a flurry of new activity related to the Muslim population living in Britain. Some British Muslims welcomed government support of the community, but many more were suspicious, and historical echoes were rife. A technique of empire had been to acquire and

systematize knowledge about subject populations so as to govern them more effectively.45 In the immediate aftermath of the 21 July 2005 attacks, government ministers journeyed to nine UK towns and cities to meet with nearly 1,000 Muslims. Initially, seven community-led working groups were set up under the auspices of an initiative called ‘Preventing Extremism Together’ (PET). These working groups, which consisted largely of Muslim representatives, were to generate suggestions for ‘tackling violent extremism’.46 The November 2005 recommendations of these working groups included a national advisory council for mosques and imams, professional development for imams and mosque workers, and a unit to ensure fair reporting modelled on the Islamic Media Unit in the FCO.47 While most activity was focused in the Home Office and the Department of Communities and Local Government, this was not exclusively the case. A senior intelligence officer noted that ‘there was a lot of casting around looking for ways that the Prevent agenda could be initiated and there was a tendency to assume that the security and intelligence community [had more of a role] to play than I ever thought was reasonable or desirable’.48 An April 2006 review of ‘faith communities’ commissioned by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister in the aftermath of 7/7, and featuring prominent academics, identified key issues related to disadvantage, housing, urban planning and public services, with a focus on the Muslim, Hindu and Sikh communities.49 Several new funding schemes for community groups were established in response. This and the establishment of a series of consultation channels were not without difficulties. Internal politics within the Muslim population were as divisive as during the fallout from the Rushdie affair, if not more so. In May 2006 two previously separate strands of work – community cohesion and ‘faith’ – were amalgamated. The two Home Office units were merged to create a single Cohesion and Faiths Unit, situated in the Department of Communities and Local Government, which was created as the successor to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. This was part of a planned, major restructuring of government after the general election in May. According to one official, it had become increasingly clear that these units were having the same conversation twice with Muslim civil society groups. In July 2008 a new interfaith strategy was published, building on a consultative process stemming back to 2003–04.50 This drew some criticism from civil society groups for its emphasis on relations between faith groups to the detriment of relations between those identifying as religious and those identifying as nonreligious.51 This interfaith approach as an example of pastoral power made possible by the secular habitus is explored later in the chapter. In addition to hiring in experts, after 2006, government departments commissioned work ‘from time to time’ from academic institutions and individuals under the Prevent schema, to improve their knowledge.52 This included, for example, an April 2007 report on Muslim identity politics and an October 2009 ‘Contextualizing Islam in Britain’ report by Muslim academics, sponsored by the Universities of Cambridge, Exeter and Westminster.53 Although the remits of the projects have been by no means confined to security concerns, and participants have been keen to emphasize their independence, the very act of commissioning must be seen within the context of security: How could ‘moderate Islam’ be used to help ensure against risk? Also, the number of reports commissioned or generated says very little about the flow of information through the group policy apparatus or the uptake of knowledge. Despite this flurry of activity and good intentions, habits of secularity proved to have deep roots.

One senior official noted that the British government did not know much about its Muslim population before 2004–06, with the exception of a few specialists working in the area.54 A civil society representative, interviewed in June 2008, indicated that, at that point, ‘faith literacy’ varied between government departments, with pockets of expertise in the Department of Communities and Local Government and the Home Office, and among the police. The same representative indicated that, ironically, there seemed to be both more expertise and more ignorance at local level, with government officials operating at national level being more flexible in their views.55 A Muslim civil society representative indicated that local authorities seemed ‘nervous’ about talking to Muslim communities about extremism.56 While ‘faith literacy’ improved slowly between 2006 and 2008 within certain government departments, at a political level the government was still wary of overstating its capacity. In a January 2007 speech to the First International Conference on Radicalization and Political Violence, Jacqui Smith MP noted that ‘the government can facilitate but it should be cautious about the degree of expertise it can bring to bear on matters of religion’.57 This can be read in several ways. First, it could be read optimistically as a statement of humility, and as an open call to civil society to weigh in. Second, it could be read as a reassertion of liberalism, stating that religion is something private that government should not and will not get involved in. I would suggest that it is best read ambiguously, as an expression of confusion. Speaking on expertise on Islam and religion more generally among back-bench politicians, one MP noted in 2008: ‘I don’t think there’s a great deal of thought or expertise in this field. It’s not my primary concern and I’d be among the ten or dozen who do think about it. A lot of other people aren’t interested’.58 The same MP also stressed that members of parliament were ultimately most concerned with understanding how radical Islam produced such dangerous consequences: It’s very difficult to speak to other people about religion but … I think there are a few who have read deeply. I don’t think that many people are interested. They’re concerned about the possible consequences of the activities of a minority of fanatics … and what they ought to be more concerned about is to avoid doing things to … push others to have sympathy for the fanatics.59 When asked about radical Islamism in particular, one MP, a cabinet minister and a Christian, though not working specifically in the area, offered several comments but was quick to admit to his own inexperience in the matter. He said: ‘I don’t think I have a very good, detailed understanding of radicalism. I’ve met people who might be regarded by others as radicalized … but this is a very, very complicated field and one that I’m not entirely comfortable with’.60 Anecdotally, beyond the pockets of expertise, politicians’ access to knowledge about radical Islamism came through limited sources, such as quality press coverage, Ed Husain’s The Islamist or, in the case of MPs, interactions with their Muslim constituents.61 Bureaucratic officials cited to the author their experience working and living in Muslim-majority countries, as well as writing by academics and journalists including Olivier Roy, Philip Bobbitt, Jason Burke, Peter Bergen, Malise Ruthven and Bernard Lewis. In this context, there was some confusion and debate over the extent to which Islamist extremism actually included a religious element, or merely used religious rhetoric. A former cabinet minister not

working directly in the area observed: ‘I don’t think it’s a religious project. I think it’s more likely to be a political phenomenon … I don’t think it’s authentically religious in its origin’.62 A retired senior intelligence officer observed in the summer of 2008 that, though al-Qaeda had originally had political goals – for example, to bring about the downfall of the House of Saud and for US troops to leave the Middle East – it seemed not to have a political agenda anymore. With ‘no territorial agenda’, ‘religious visionary aspiration’ made al-Qaeda dangerous, causing it to be ‘inoculated against compromise’, with little sense of ‘proportion or restraint’. This former official saw a clear distinction between the Taliban and al-Qaeda’s allegedly Sunni-inspired ideology, on one hand and, the nationalist political agenda of Shi‘a groups such as Hezbollah.63 Anecdotally, from the experience of the author, many policy-makers seemed to find the introduction of religion into discussion about Islamist terrorism alternately confusing, irrelevant and difficult to analyse. Reactions ranged from confusion to vigorous denial that religion was even a relevant topic for a discussion of counterterrorism (for example, ‘The government is not using a “faith rubric” [the speaker’s mischaracterization]; that is totally wrong’).64 One civil society representative involved with government at a local level through interfaith work commented on this lack of self-reflection at national level, and how it may have contributed to policy inaccuracies: I think in terms of the governing elites there’s a real problem there, not just about a profound lack of terminology, but a profound misunderstanding of in what faith consists. Because they don’t know of what it consists in their own lives or political life so they sure aren’t going to understand it in someone else.65 This echoes the discussion about British politicians in Chapter 3. Exchanges about the treatment of Muslims in prisons provide a small illustration of confusion about Islam among some British policy-makers. It also indicates diverse levels of knowledge among those tasked with making decisions on risk-management and those advising them. One civil society representative suggested that it seemed like police, prison guards, service-providers and others working at the coalface ‘often have more progressive ideas about Muslims, though they may also have held more stereotypes’.66 For example, in November 2007 the Home Affairs Committee heard testimony from various non-governmental sources on counterterrorism proposals, including the two brothers assaulted, one shot, by anti-terror police in their raids on Forest Gate outside London, in June 2006 – Mohammed Abdulkahar and Abul Koyair. Before hearing from the brothers, the Committee heard evidence from the governor of Belmarsh prison, Claudia Sturt, and the director general of the Prison Service, Phil Wheatley. They were asked a range of questions having to do with the regime at Belmarsh and nationally, including about the training of prison imams and provisions for prisoners to take part in religious worship. While the prison service representatives seemed to have a grasp of the difference between religious worship and radical activity, this was not the case for a member of the Home Affairs Committee, who suspected Muslims were getting special treatment that might lead to further contact with other prisoners and radicalization: Q291 David Davis [Conservative MP for Haltemprice and Howden, shadow home secretary, and prominent critic of multiculturalism]: It has been suggested that letting

people out of prison five times a day to pray encourages people to be radicalized in some way. Does that happen in Belmarsh?67 Ms Sturt: I do not understand the question. Mr Wheatley: We do not let people out of prison five times a day. Q292 David Davis: Not out of prison, out of their cells five times a day to pray. Ms Sturt: We do not regard a Muslim praying five times a day as a sign of extremism or as anything that we would have concerns about. Q293 David Davis: Do you let people out of their cells five times a day to pray? Ms Sturt: At Belmarsh, no, we do not, but if somebody is already out of his cell, we would certainly expect him to be able to go to a corner of the workshop he is working in, for instance, in order to pray if a prayer time falls at a time when he is doing some other activity. Q294 David Davis: Nobody gets let out of their cells that much? Mr Wheatley: People are let out of their cells to attend the Friday service. Otherwise Muslim prisoners who are required to pray at certain times during the day can choose to pray either in their cells or out of their cells, it depends where they are, but there is nothing improper in a Muslim prisoner praying. Earlier in the same hearing it had become apparent that some members of the committee had a low level of knowledge about Islam: Q275 Mrs Cryer [Ann Cryer, then Labour MP, Keighley]: Can I just clarify. You say you train imams. Does that mean that you are training Muslims who have not been imams before as imams or are you training – Mr Wheatley: No, no. Just like we train chaplains – and they are chaplains for the Muslim faith – so that they can operate in prison, because prison is not quite like operating outside.68 Misunderstandings of violent Islamism also persisted in some political quarters. The following November 2005 exchange between then home secretary Charles Clarke and John Bercow MP on draft anti-terror legislation recalled romantic notions of religious violence circulating within the wider Western imaginary: Mr Clarke: What on earth is meant by the term ‘other inducement’, in the context of someone who is starting to think about preparing an act of terrorism? Perhaps the draftsmen had in mind newspaper stories – I suspect that they are somewhat exaggerated – that suggest that a vision of heaven is held out to some misguided fanatics, who consequently believe that they will enjoy all sorts of earthly and sensual delights if they die as martyrs. John Bercow [then Conservative MP for Buckingham; Speaker of the House since June 2009]: They are offered paradise. Mr Clarke: As my hon. Friend says, such people are offered paradise as an inducement to commit an act of terrorism. However, it is still a big step for the young people concerned to take, even given the visions of pleasure that are held out to them. Another problem has

to do with what will happen if someone says, ‘Well, I don’t agree but I’m sure God will forgive a person’s sins if he performs a terrorist act’. Is that an inducement to go out and prepare to commit an act of terrorism? I think that it is …69 This is also a good example of the inappropriate ascription of Protestant notions of sin, salvation and reward in the afterlife to Islam. On the face of it, such misunderstandings are not necessarily unusual. As noted in Chapter 1, the November 2005 BBC poll of the general population indicated that 35 per cent of respondents stated that they had no understanding of what it would be like to be a Muslim (a figure that was similar or higher for other non-Christian religions), with 42 per cent indicating a little understanding and only 18 per cent indicating a high level of understanding.70 But this discussion of politicians is important because, no matter how much expertise is gained among civil servants, politicians carry decision-making authority. The conclusion reached by a June 2008 report by the Von Hügel Institute, University of Cambridge, Moral but No Compass: Government, Church and the Future of Welfare, was that there was a lack of understanding or interest in faith communities’ contribution to the public sphere and an excessive focus on minority religions.71 This seems to overstate the point. Immediately after the 2005 attacks, those Muslims held to be religious, identified by externally visible factors such as mosque attendance, presence of a beard or hijab, and manner of dress or lifestyle, were seen by many security practitioners as risky. For example, the 2006 official report on the London bombings made note of when the bombers converted or became devout, or when they made the haj. But an MI5 document seen by the Guardian in August 2008 noted that those involved in terrorism did not practise their faith regularly, did not know much about Islam, and were more likely to engage in behaviours forbidden by Islam.72 Attitudes towards religiosity as a risk factor did improve over time. But civil servants have been quick to acknowledge that their own learning curve was steep, and that understanding among politicians remained simplistic.

The Logic of Pastoral Governance The unevenness of expertise, in combination with real efforts (including good intentions) to ‘do something’ about religion, suggests that after the 7/7 attacks the British government moved into a new mode, away from secular hysteresis. While there was some persistence of hysteresis in the domestic context, there was also the increased salience of a new mode of logic made possible by habits of secularity: a logic of benevolence, which Foucault suggested underpins liberal, pastoral governance. Olaf Corry’s Copenhagen School–Inspired distinction between the logic of securitization and the logic of ‘riskification’ is helpful in understanding the British government’s political logic in relation to those Muslims it designated as ‘moderate’. Corry posits that while a government’s response to risk is different from the logic of normal politics, it also does not imply the ‘no holds barred’ approach of the logic of securitization.73 Rather, he argues, perceived risks ‘tend to increase debate rather than close it down, can require transparency as well as secrecy, promote long-term thinking and investment in governance capabilities, as well as involving precautionary measures’.74 Risk-security replaces ‘the criteria of emergency and exceptional politics with a governmental policy of longer-term societal engineering’.75 For Corry, governments do not fight risks; they ‘prepare for them, try to change and govern them’.76 While certainly the British government has taken measures to govern its Muslim

population that would qualify under the logic of security (stop and search, detention without charge), the full range of measures taken would seem to require, as Corry suggests, ‘a more fine-grained’ analysis of the political logic in play.77 Its approach towards Islam, particularly, requires a more nuanced analytical approach. Some scholars of risk have turned to Foucault to illuminate risk as a particular rationality of government that works to legitimize certain technologies of power.78 As Corry suggests, this deployment of Foucault is an interesting but rather blunt instrument. Other scholars – working on subjects other than risk – have highlighted the importance of Foucault’s conception of the pastorate for understanding, for example, the ‘new paternalism’ of the welfare state.79 It is useful, I suggest, to bring the insights of the latter to bear on the former, to illuminate more subtle aspects of the War on Terror, aspects that have received less attention than the more intrusive instances of the governing of populations, such as border control. Foucault argued that modern techniques of governmentality are based on the kind of powers exercised by the Church between the second and eighteenth centuries – what he calls the ‘government of souls’. The government of souls had three key features. First, it was concerned with the conduct of individuals in all aspects of their personal lives as well as the group as a whole (omnes et singulatim). Second, it was exercised on a population rather than over territory. Third, Foucault argued that ‘pastoral power is fundamentally a beneficent power … a power of care’.80 While the sheep are the recipients of the shepherd’s care and attention they are also under continuous surveillance, to which they become accustomed over time. Beneficence is fundamentally disingenuous. For Foucault, liberal governmentality in the modern period operates in a similar fashion.81 It is often difficult to detect, even by those upon whom it is operationalized or those who are doing the operationalizing, because many of its interventions are disguised as being in the best interests of the individual, the citizenry, or both.82 This is the masking effect of the ‘power of care’. Under the influence of the secular habitus, British government attention to its Muslim population bore a resemblance to the kinds of rationalities and technologies identified by Foucault. First the government was concerned with the ‘faith’ and ‘values’ of the individual Muslim as well as those of the ‘community’. Second the ‘British Muslim community’ was constructed as a population which, despite its transnational loyalties, was territorially bounded and hence governable. Third, and most importantly, government action towards moderate Muslims was fuelled and accompanied by a discourse of generosity, compassion and good will.83 A kind of secular ambivalence towards the religious subject and the secular self fuelled this pastoral logic.84 Foucault’s full account does not map perfectly onto the British case, but his insight into the beneficent logic of pastoral governance and its exercise over populations suggests something profound.85 Rather, a reading of Foucault’s sense of the benevolent logic behind the pastoral governance of populations with Douglas’ account of the cultural origins of risk and Bourdieu’s habitus is illuminating for the British case.86 Douglas argued that notions of risk and blame are social constructions peculiar to societies, arising from those societies’ ideas of purity and danger. Douglas observed that risk has no independent ontology, and ‘is not a thing, it is a way of thinking, and a highly artificial contrivance at that’.87 To invoke Bourdieu, notions of risk and blame are made possible by, and are constitutive of, the relevant cultural habits of societies in a particular instance. In this case, the secular habitus was

particularly important in designating the parameters of what would be considered risky and safe. Petersen has noted that notions of risk and political secularism emerged in parallel during the early modern era, around the same time as the emergence of the state as a political unit.88 In addition, its historical experience of secularization and the myth of religious violence that emerged in eighteenthcentury liberal European thought has conditioned Western perceptions of Islam as ‘risky’.89 At the same time, historically particular positive experiences have undermined this mythology. In this case, the positive contributions practising and non-practising Muslims have made to British society over the last century and a half, but particularly in the last 50 years, have undermined this mythology in Britain. The government’s previous experience with other moderate religious leaders in the UK (including Northern Ireland) also undermined the myth. Further, secular sentimentalism about privatized religion in general (thanks to the cultural echo of Protestant Christianity) also made possible the government designation of some Muslims and some strands of Islam as ‘safe’. But the 7/7 bombings provoked dormant mythologies of risk lurking in the cultural brainstem. The government’s ambivalent pastoral logic for governing its Muslim citizens and residents was a result of a clash between dormant myth, contemporary experience and the homogenizing logic of the War on Terror. Pastoral logic illuminated the British government’s imagined geographies of benevolence. As I argued in Chapter 4, the War on Terror forged new architectures of amity, domestically as well as globally. In the aftermath of 9/11, care was taken not to provoke British Muslims; in a statement to the House of Commons on 14 September 2001, former prime minister Blair argued that ‘those who truly follow the religion of Islam are decent, peaceful and law-abiding people. Like us, they have often been victims of terrorism and, like us, they want it stamped out’ (emphasis mine).90 This claiming of ‘good’ citizen-subjects had imperial echoes. British Muslims were also initially delineated as a population and claimed by the government in the aftermath of 9/11 for international PR purposes. For example, the intention of the Foreign Office Global Opportunities Fund’s ‘Engaging with the Islamic World’ programme was to ‘counter the terrorist narrative’, support civil society in overseas countries and foster positive diplomatic ties with the Muslim world. Initiatives under the programme included sending British imams and other Muslim representatives to Muslim countries to raise the profile of the well-integrated parts of the Muslim population.91 That British Muslims were referred to as being ‘like us’ echoes what Singh Mehta has called the ‘paternal posture’ of late-colonial liberalism: an odd mix of maturity, familial concern and an underlying awareness of the capacity to direct and if need be, coerce [evident in] the frequently used expressions ‘our Indian subjects’, ‘our Empire’, ‘our dependents’. The possessive pronoun simultaneously conveys familiarity and distance, warmth and sternness, responsibility and raw power.92 This is not unique to Britain. Writing about American Indians and African Americans in US history, Olsen has pointed out that ‘an important part of how cosmopolitan-liberalism operates is precisely by assimilating difference, not rejecting it: [it] produce[s] sameness, and therein lies the claim to legitimacy of cosmopolitan empires: they include’.93 British efforts to include were not uncontroversial, even within circles close to government. For example, Leonard and Smewing, writing for the Labour government–affiliated Foreign Policy Centre, wrote in 2003: ‘How can you talk about a “public diplomacy strategy for the Middle East” when carrier battle groups are sailing, troops are

assembling and soon the bombs will begin to fly?’94 There are precursors to this move towards pastoral logic. Early British readings of Sadrists as proto-democrats who merely needed to be guided away from their Islamist ways are one example. Still, this logic matured when confronted with British citizens. But pastoral logic also extended beyond the state. For example, COIN doctrine – introduced nearly contemporaneously – is predicated on the logic that there are innocent Afghans (usually women, children and ‘elders’) who need to be protected from the Taliban, but who also need to be monitored and governed so as to move them away from supporting the Taliban.

Pastoral Discourse and the Myth of Shared Values After the 7/7 attacks multiculturalism came to be seen experiment by policy-makers as a failed social, prompting a new move towards something like assimilation, this time around ‘values’.95 From 1999 onwards, the Blair government had invoked shared liberal values in its foreign policy discourse, so their application to the domestic arena was not a large leap.96 The idea of organized religion as useful for countering radicalization and fostering ‘shared values’ among the risky Muslim population became an increasingly potent idea in political circles after the 7/7 attacks.97 One civil servant commented that, during the 9/11 wars, British politicians have naively tended to ‘see faith communities as repositories of moral values’.98 This simplistic political assessment is based on politicians’ observation that faith communities ‘carry profound ideologies’. He observed that this had impaired their ability to see that ‘faith traditions are always double-edged’.99 As Williams noted about ‘community’, ‘values’ is a necessarily positive term, with no negative connotation.100 But what were these ‘shared values’? Responding on behalf of the government, Lord Bassam of Brighton gave some indication of what was left largely undefined by government: ‘These values are community, personal integrity, a sense of right and wrong, learning, wisdom and love of truth, care and compassion, justice and peace, respect for one another, for the earth and its creatures’.101 At other moments, ‘shared values’ meant explicitly liberal ones, and at all times ‘shared’ meant ‘not violently allied against the UK government’ and ‘moderate’. The construct ‘moderate’, as Orsi has argued, ‘is epistemologically and ethically singular … rational, respectful of persons, non-coercive, mature, nonanthropomorphic … agreeable to democracy, monotheistic, emotionally controlled’.102 Although the policy discourse of ‘shared values’ disguises itself as universal and politically neutral, it rests on mythological foundations. The liberal mistake in categorizing religion and ethics as synonymous has a long history, which lies largely outside the realm of the discussion here. As Orsi notes, a ‘denominationally neutral version of Christianity recast as an ethical system’ has a pedigree in the West that is several centuries long.103 Kant called this ‘religion within the limits of reason alone’.104 The Scottish Enlightenment also picked up this line of thought, developed through the work of Locke and Hume, and this tradition has been very important to the British association between religion and ethics. This recasting or stripping down of Christianity into ethics is a powerful myth for Western modernity. The equation of religion and ethics is part of the mythology of religious violence upon which Western secular systems are based. This myth suggests that secular modern state have so successfully domesticated religions out of their violent tendencies that what remains of religion are

‘repositories for ethics’. The secular habitus has disguised this history, making it appear a natural state of affairs. But the relationship between religion and ethics is far more complex than the myth suggests. There are nonreligious systems of ethics that cast doubt on religions’ exclusive claims to right behaviour, and religious traditions often endorse practices as the will of the gods that liberals see as discriminatory, barbaric or cruel. Lord Bassam of Brighton, responding for the government noted: That is not to say that the Government does not recognize religion as a source of conflict and tension … But evidence suggests that faith communities in the United Kingdom can also play an important role in resolving conflict by building community cohesion and acting as a vital source of social capital in their local communities.105 Still, since 9/11 the British and other Western liberal governments have amended this myth: those religious followers who have been domesticated by the modern state in turn can be used to combat violence by their co-religionists against the state. Mamdani has pointed out that a ‘Good Muslim/Bad Muslim’ binary has been an integral part of the logic of the War on Terror.106 To Mamdani’s formulation I would add that the British mythology was often tripartite, a mirroring of colonial responsibilization: Good Secular Liberal or Good Christian tutors Good Muslim, but ultimately the responsibility lies with Good Muslims to contain Bad Muslims. In this discourse, religion was reduced to private morality and cognition, things that were interrelated: ‘shared values’ were born out of shared ‘true faith’. For example, one peer noted, ‘… Faith gives rise to good works and to good will, and can easily exist in a multicultural society’.107 Another noted, ‘There is no depth of faith. Trouble begins with … superficial religion’.108 Scant attention was paid to the importance of right practice in Islam. Speakers within this discourse also distinguished between ‘true faith’ and radical jihadist ideology. For example, former prime minister Tony Blair noted in a March 2006 speech: The extremism may have started through religious doctrine and thought. But soon, in offshoots of the Muslim brotherhood, supported by Wahhabi extremists and taught in some of the madrassas of the Middle East and Asia, an ideology was born and exported around the world (emphasis mine).109 Like ‘true faith’, jihadist ideology was understood by the government as a personal ethical and cognitive stance. This discourse was not merely the musings of a few politicians in Westminster, but also appeared in security policy. The July 2006 Counterterrorism Strategy declared: The principal current terrorist threat is from radicalized individuals who are using a distorted and unrepresentative version of the Islamic faith to justify violence … Muslim communities themselves do not threaten our security … It is genuinely international in scope, involving a variety of groups, networks and individuals who are driven by particular violent and extremist beliefs (emphasis mine).110 Similarly, the March 2008 National Security Strategy stated: The United Kingdom faces a serious and sustained threat from violent extremists, claiming

to act in the name of Islam. Although they have very little support among communities in this country, and their claims to religious justification are widely regarded as false, the threat is greater in scale and ambition than terrorist threats we have faced in the past (emphasis mine).111 Though originating with the Labour government, this discursive nexus (shared values = true faith/distorted faith = extremism) proved surprisingly magnetic, and was adopted by the opposition, civil society, religious institutions and the media. But there were several problems with this political logic. First, the extent to which an outsider can even discern the ‘faith’ of another person is highly contested.112 According to the logic of the British government, evidence of someone’s ‘true faith’ seemed to be merely an absence of jihadist activity. Second, faith in the sense of exclusively individual cognition is largely alien to Islam. Like the liberal mythology of religion-as-values, the association of religion and faith is a myth born out of European Protestant history. Jonathan Z. Smith has argued that, in Western discourse, ‘belief is the defining characteristic of religion’, as opposed to ‘ritual practice, social organization or political advocacy’.113 The secular British habitus, conditioned by culturally Protestant resonances, made this false ascription seem plausible to the government. Third, as one Muslim civil society representative noted, ‘if you say “the ideology that justifies terrorism” it sounds ambivalent and actually all it sounds like is you’re avoiding saying “Islam”’.114 For example, in early 2008 a new counterterrorism phrasebook was drawn up in Whitehall to advise civil servants on how to speak to Muslim communities. The guide encouraged government officials to avoid terms such as ‘Islamist extremism’ or ‘jihadi-fundamentalist’, in favour of ‘violent extremism’, ‘criminal murderers’ and ‘thugs’.115 This reduction of religion to faith (personal morality and cognition) mirrored a shift in counterterrorism and counterinsurgency strategy to a ‘war of ideas’ from 2005 or 2006 onwards among the British and their allies.116 But the British secular habitus, culturally conditioned by Protestant Christianity – which understands religion as personal and best kept non-political, which presumes religion to be a repository for ethics, and which mistakenly ascribes the Christian model of faith to Islam – was also a factor. The secular habitus made possible the pastoral logic sustaining the invocation of ‘religion’ for counterterrorist, anti-radicalization purposes and the political self-justification of British policies as ethical. The designation of the British state as the arbiter of values – ‘at the heart of any foreign policy must lie a fundamental set of values’ – has been widely interrogated, even within its own ranks.117 Carne Ross, a former British diplomat who resigned over the Iraq war, wrote: ‘I question whether “values” have not simply become a more palatable and politically-correct excuse for realist “business as usual”’.118 Kundnani has argued that the turn to ‘values’ discourse in British policy circles, adopted in the shift from ‘multiculturalism’ to ‘community cohesion’, is evidence of an illiberal turn within British liberalism.119 Kundnani argues that, where once British liberals poached ideas about social solidarity and community from the left, over the past decade they have increasingly turned to the ideological basket of the right. He argues, ‘liberal anti-Muslim sentiment rationalizes itself as no more than criticism of an alien belief system’, rather than hostility towards an ethnic a racial group.120 Islam is seen by liberals as violating dearly held European values of ‘secularism, individualism, gender equality, sexual freedom, and freedom of expression’.121 While conservatives see this dissonance as a

matter of ethnicity or culture, liberals see it as a matter of beliefs and values. Kundnani suggests persuasively that this is simply racism in another guise (‘race as culture’ rather than ‘race as biology’). He argues that within this new liberal view Islam is the primary object of ‘values-based nationalism’, fuelled by an underlying assumption that Muslims need to be tutored in Western values, to which they are naturally opposed. This, I suggest, is where pastoral power comes into play. In what ways did the production of good Muslim subjects by the state also involve the production of a good Islam?

Blurred Borders: From Hysteresis to Pastoral Power In April 2007 the British government launched the latest iteration of the Prevent strand of counterinsurgency policies, called Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE). If proscription, exclusion, deportation, detention and the rest of the Protect and Pursue workload were the sticks, then social cohesion measures in place since 2003 were the carrots. However, the PVE agenda further blurred the boundaries between the government’s approach to community development and security. Huysmans and Tsoukala have observed about the response of the USA and its allies to the War on Terror: In this rapidly evolving context, borders blur. The defining borders of key concepts, such as war, threat, or freedom, are being reframed … security concerns are thought to be of interest even to ostensibly irrelevant sectors, such as business and finance.122 While the objects of analysis here are narrow, it is worth noting the wider context. After the London attacks, major legal changes were made that complicated relations between the British population and the government.123 In October 2005 the Terrorism Bill was published. Prime Minister Tony Blair’s announcement that police had presented an ‘absolutely compelling case’ for the 90-day detention of terror suspects prompted an immediate outcry from Muslims, civil liberties advocates and the opposition parties. The Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005 continued a range of legal changes concerning the definition of terrorism, proscribed organizations, weapons training, weapons possession for terrorist purposes, directing terrorist organizations, fundraising and disclosure of information. The highly controversial Terrorism Act 2006 came into effect in March 2006 after generating a great deal of media coverage and public debate. It provided for new government powers in the areas of encouragement of terrorism, dissemination of terrorist publications, preparations for terrorist acts, training, attendance at a place used for terrorist training, 28-day detention of terror suspects, and search and seizure. Security operations in Muslim communities, including the June 2006 shooting at Forest Gate, outside London, of a terror suspect later found to be innocent, and the 22 July 2005 shooting of Brazilian national Jean Charles de Menezes on the London Underground, prompted a public and political outcry. In July 2006 the government published the counterterrorism policy, CONTEST, that had been operational since 2003. The four strands of work set out in the 2003 iteration remained: Pursue, Prepare, Protect and Prevent.124 The first three focused on combating and responding to imminent threats or attacks, in the present or the immediate future.125 Prevent, on the other hand, targeted medium-to long-term risk and community resilience and, while underdeveloped prior to 2005, took on a new importance. April 2007 saw a subtle shift towards the PVE (Preventing Violent Extremism) agenda that would dominate counterterrorism policy through 2008.126 There were also several important administrative

changes announced in March 2007, and implemented later that year, to streamline the counterterror response across government departments.127 The two main changes were the creation of the Office of Security and Counterterrorism in the Home Office and the cross-governmental Research, Information and Communication Unit.128 These changes were made to facilitate the implementation of Prevent across government departments, including new anti-radicalization measures. The Preventing Extremism Division of the Department of Communities and Local Government hired three senior advisors, two of whom were contracted to work from November 2007. By November 2007 it seems that, in addition to high-level advisors, more analyst time in this division was devoted to security issues.129 By August 2009 the Preventing Extremism Division had also added two members of staff focusing on theology and religious institutions. Officials and politicians have indicated that the June 2007 change in Labour prime minister from Tony Blair to Gordon Brown did little to alter policy trajectories already in progress, particularly the PVE and its emphasis on counter-ideology and work at a local level. Perhaps the most controversial move by Prime Minister Gordon Brown was the announcement soon after his taking office of his desire to revive plans to bring in 42-day pre-charge detention for terror suspects. Though MPs voted in November 2005 and then July 2007 for an extension of the 28-day limit, this debate continued through 2008. The controversial provision was ultimately dropped from the Counterterrorism Act 2008, but the extended debate was a source of tension between the Muslim population and the government while the government was trying to bring the Muslim population into partnership.130 In March 2009 the government published a new version of the counterterrorism strategy, CONTEST 2. The draft strategy leaked to the Guardian in February 2009 indicated plans to classify as extremist those who ‘advocate a caliphate, promote shariah, believe in armed jihad, argue that Islam bans homosexuality and fail to condemn the killing of British soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan’.131 While it seems the final draft toned down this sort of language, the final version did not make significant changes to the Prevent strategy.132 Notably, in August 2009, new communities secretary John Denham indicated a governmental shift away from the controversial Prevent strategy towards an approach that would address far-right extremism and focus on ‘shared values’. In a review of counterterrorism strategy published in June 2011, the coalition signalled an additional shift, to focusing on what it calls non-violent ‘extremist’ views. This drew criticism from Muslim groups and others, who claim this would shut down opportunities for conservative but non-jihadist Islamic voices to counter al-Qaeda discourse.133

Prevent and the Manifestation of Pastoral Power Although the particular role of secular attitudes in sustaining readings of Islam is as yet unexplored, the Prevent agenda has received attention in academic and policy literature. Following Joppke’s argument that multiculturalism is ‘in retreat’ in a number of states, including the UK, Brighton has argued that Prevent’s cohesion and integration framework marks a reworking of the British multiculturalism agenda put in place in the late 1960s and 1970s. Brighton has suggested that this recent iteration has ignored foreign policy concerns, particularly about the Iraq War.134 Aradau and van Munster have argued that technologies of surveillance in the UK, under the rubric of precaution, have been ‘increasingly arbitrary’ and ‘indiscriminately targeted at the whole [Muslim] population’.135

Pantucci has criticized the strategy for being open-ended.136 From the non-governmental sector, the An-Nisa Society, the New Local Government Network and the Institute for Race Relations produced detailed policy reports in 2009, all criticizing Prevent.137 The objects of these critiques ranged from Prevent’s targeting of the whole Muslim population to, more controversially, alleged spying.138 In March 2010, the House of Commons Community and Local Government committee criticized the government over the Prevent approach.139 Not all Prevent activities emphasized religion and not all efforts to support religious groups were driven by the Prevent agenda, but it is the areas of overlap that are of interest here.140 The British government paid more attention to moderate imams in the context of security than it ever had to religious leaders during times of war, through consultation days, the Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board, the Radical Middle Way Roadshows, and proposed capacity building of Muslim seminaries. It supported organizations (such as the Quilliam Foundation) and research projects commissioned by the Economic and Social Research Council, King’s College London, the University of Cambridge, and the Royal Society for Arts dedicated to mobilizing religiously relevant counternarratives. It undertook work to train and ‘support’ Muslim chaplains in prisons. It proposed changes to the religious education (RE) curriculum in mainstream schools, the creation of an advisory group to support citizenship education classes in mosque schools, and the twinning of faith schools with schools of different faiths, for example pairing Muslim with non-Muslim schools. Still, the British government’s promotion of community-cohesion work, mainly undertaken at local and regional levels, was fundamentally problematized by its controversial and unpalatable actions in traditional, hard security areas like policing. The implications of these were more problematic than the seemingly benevolent governmental discourse about partnership betrayed on the surface.141

Prevent, Islam and Pastoral Governance Undoubtedly, government support for Muslim civil society was well received in some corners of the Muslim population, and some strong projects were undertaken that have had a positive effect on civil society and people’s lives.142 Despite the overall depoliticizing thrust of Prevent, some British Muslims received some government support in organizing themselves politically, and efforts were made to improve the socioeconomic prospects of the most disadvantaged. The myriad difficulties with the distribution of Prevent funds – including local authorities simply absorbing them into their main budgets – have been catalogued by Muslim civil society. Other ‘faith’ organizations, particularly the Christian churches, warmly welcomed government attention (though the British Humanist Association and the National Secular Society have resented it). Nor can difficulties within the PVE approach be ascribed exclusively to secular misreadings of Islam. For example, a perception among Muslims that ‘the government is sponsoring Muslim organizations on the basis of theological criteria, privileging Sufis over Salafis, who were seen to be more peaceful’, made relations between the British government and its Muslim population difficult.143 This unpopular strategy was a political error, not a secular mistake. The examples discussed below point towards the evolution of hysteresis to pastoral logic over time. As knowledge improved, the government was able to target its pastoral initiatives more accurately vis-à-vis religion; the discourse of ‘shared values’ was an example of this transition from hysteresis to pastoral governance, as was the

privileging of Sufis. Birt has also pointed to the British government’s pastoral approach to Islam between 2001 and 2004. He has argued that after 9/11 the British imam became a central figure for the government’s counterterrorism strategy, with a key discursive division made between the ‘good imam’ (pastoral, civic-minded, challenging of extremism) and the ‘bad imam’ (‘obscurationist and isolationist, or rejectionist, anti-West and possibly a supporter of violence and terrorism’).144 Birt argued: The role of the good imam has been defined in reference to models of ‘civic religion’ developed by the Church of England over the last twenty years, which have been taken up by the government in relation to the ‘minority religions’: interfaith, inner city regeneration and community cohesion. The coincidence of this new outreach with the simultaneous securitization of Muslim communities has meant that the government has subcontracted this additional training to Muslim institutions, mostly moderate Islamist ones, in order to avoid charges of religious engineering.145 Birt suggested that a series of security moves by government had been the outcome of this distinction. He cited tightened immigration controls for foreign-born imams, the deportation of jihadist Salafi preachers, intelligence mapping of the Deobandi community after the Richard Reid incident, a security focus on Deobandi seminaries, and the expansion and professionalization of Muslim chaplaincies in the prison service, National Health Service and military. Birt’s argument also suggests that government attention to the imam as a public figure was a depoliticizing strategy, to ‘potentially displace … the community’s current leadership and professional Islamic activists’.146 Birt’s 2006 article was written and published before many of the post-2005 policy changes. The next section will explore three subsequent examples of government attention to Islam under Prevent.

Narrative Management and Fighting Extremism in Schools On 8 October 2008 the government announced £4.68 million of funding for ‘preventing radicalization’ in schools, which it said was in response to direct requests from schools. This move marked an extension of risk-management logic. As former secretary of state for children, schools and family Ed Balls stated, ‘Dealing with violent extremism is nothing new for the UK and we have learnt from past experience that a security response is not enough’ (emphasis mine).147 A toolkit issued to schools in 2008 encouraged teachers to ‘understand how an extremist narrative which can lead to harm can be challenged by staff in schools; use teaching styles and curriculum opportunities which allow grievances to be aired, explored and demonstrate the role of conflict resolution and active citizenship’.148 The version of the toolkit available for Further Education colleges included a simple two-page description for teachers of what the document referred to as the ‘al-Qaeda Single Narrative’, and suggested how teachers should talk to students about it.149 This marked the first time that the government had asked schools formally to address potentially violent religious narratives of any kind. Previously, the national RE curriculum had explored the basic tenets and practices of the major world religions. In practice, teachers were tasked beyond their knowledge base. Even RE teachers trained in the national curriculum were not trained in the intricacies of moderate Muslim counter-narrative. One RE

teacher trained during 2008–09 noted: With regards to dealing with radical views, we did discuss it in depth at one point – but that was more a question and answer session which we brought up rather than actually being trained in it. We discussed various ways of dealing with it before coming to a general consensus of what we would do – namely say that they are entitled to their views but it certainly isn’t one which is taught in mainstream religion and often causes problems for many people – basically try and be as objective but as discouraging as possible.150 Some teachers also felt uncomfortable that they were being asked to perform a political and security role outside their remit. For example, the acting general secretary of the National Union of Teachers (NUT), though broadly supportive, noted that trust had to be maintained in schools. Quoted in the Independent, she said: ‘No teacher will ignore obvious information about a specific, real threat, but it is vital that teachers are able to discuss with and listen to pupils, without feeling that they have to report every word’.151 George Pitcher, columnist for the Daily Telegraph, highlighted the danger posed by alarmism, citing an example of children invited to produce presentations from the perspective of the bombers, which was condemned in some circles as encouraging radicalization. Pitcher in turn condemned such paranoia: Similarly, we would doubtless have applauded attempts by schools in Northern Ireland, during the Troubles, to have Protestant children try to think like Roman Catholics and vice versa. Nor should we fear that children who are invited to think themselves into the parts of Romeo and Juliet for the school play are being tutored in suicide.152 This example is just one illustration of the government’s sometimes awkward intervention on the terrain of the religious counter-narrative, though efforts between 2005 and 2009 grew increasingly sophisticated.153 These efforts were well received. For example, Muslim leaders broadly welcomed Muslim-led initiatives supported by the government such as the Cambridge Muslim College, and the moderate Muslim population has been relatively satisfied with the Radical Middle Way Roadshows. But the government’s attention to religious narratives rested on several faulty premises: first, that religious narratives, doctrine and law are static entities that can be used for instrumental purposes, including security ones; and second, that there is a ‘slippery slope’ between mainstream Islamic ideas and extremism. This has drawn criticism. In 2010, Waqr Azmi, OBE, former UK government chief diversity officer in the Cabinet Office, argued that there has been a perception within the Muslim population that the preoccupation with theological issues means that the government is interested in a social engineering of its own impression of Islam – the impression is that the government wants to create its own version of Islam, and this is corrosive to community confidence.154 Similarly, a Christian leader involved in community interfaith work in London argued that ‘security groups are not competent to judge between “safe” and “dangerous” theological interpretations of any faith group and civic authorities tend to make false distinctions between expressions of religious faith

that aid community cohesion and those that question the accepted political order’.155 The politics behind the seemingly neutral quest to combat the radical narratives remained largely opaque and problematic during this period. For example, the May 2008 PVE strategy for delivery declared: We are clear that it is not the role of Government to seek to change any religion. However, where theology is being distorted to justify violent extremist rhetoric or activity and threaten both Muslims and non-Muslims, Government should reinforce faith understanding and thereby build resilience. (emphasis mine)156 This is revealing phrasing. Though elsewhere the government had discussed maintaining a balance between support and intervention, and insisted that it did not have the requisite theological knowledge, such wording in a major policy document may give potential allies pause as to where the government might consider that balance to be. The juxtaposition of support for moderate Muslim theology with intense public debate about 42-day detention generated an irreconcilable tension for many British Muslims.

Mosque Closures We now turn to a moment in the early evolution of Prevent which illustrates that overall progress cannot be used to judge its early phases. On 6 October 2005, then home secretary Charles Clarke announced new powers to close down mosques and places of worship, with members of mosque committees facing criminal charges for failing to stop extremists from using their facilities.157 This was disguised by the language of pastoral governance: these powers would be used ‘as a last resort’ and were part of the government’s eagerness ‘to explore ways in which communities can be supported to address the problems of radicalization … lest the activities of extremists in recent months taint the good reputation of the mainstream Muslim community’.158 In the public eye, these plans were largely overshadowed by media attention given to proposals to introduce the offence of ‘glorifying terrorism’, after criticism from lawyers, politicians and civil society groups.159 The mosque proposals provoked substantial Muslim outrage and condemnation by religious and other civil society groups as ‘another kind of collective punishment’.160 Critically, the Association of Chief Police Officers ‘warned that the proposed plan could be seen as an attack on religion’. This proposal was retracted in December 2005, on police advice.161 That it was mooted in the first place is revealing. It possibly demonstrates the tenuous grasp British politicians had – of inter-community relations, the social work of mosques in historically disadvantaged communities, the sensitivity of sacred sites or the mosque’s role as a place for spreading peaceful counter-narratives and building social solidarity – in order to believe that such heavy-handed interference would be a helpful measure. Alternatively, it could show that security imperatives overshadowed common-sense approaches, such as supporting imans and mosque communities rather than threatening them with criminal prosecution. Such measures would have better achieved the government’s objective ‘to enable those in charge of places of worship to take action if previously they have felt unable to’.162 Although the government later adopted this approach, the fact that is was not their first thought is significant.163 The plans mooted in 2005 would also have allowed the state to

interfere in the freedom of worship of Muslims not suspected of wrongdoing and the freedom of expression of moderate clerics by placing mosques under unprecedented government surveillance. The proposed reach of the hand of government into domestic religious institutions for security purposes was unheard of in modern British history. According to the original consultation document, Muslims would have had no say over how extremism and extremist acts would be defined for the purpose of prosecutions. That would be determined solely by agents of the state.164 The exclusion of Muslims with expertise and a stake in the community was deeply problematic. It showed ignorance of the internal social, institutional and intellectual resources within British Islam.165 It also showed ignorance of the extent to which people who had been radicalized were devout practitioners, something rectified subsequently in government circles. This focus on mosques was shaped in part by uneasiness with strange, ungoverned spaces in which terrorist activity could be carried out below the radar of government, mediated by liberal respect for places of worship. Government policy later shifted from a focus on mosques as it came to a new geography of radicalization, one that identified and focused on ‘ungoverned spaces … not mosques so much these days, but places like cafes, bookshops and gyms’.166

Interfaith Dialogue The previous two examples have shown that risk management under Prevent involved the Muslim population in combating radicalization and transmitting shared values under the surveillance (called ‘support’) of the state. A widening of responsibility for security is by no means a new phenomenon in Britain. Garland observed that a strategy of ‘responsibilization’ became increasingly important in British crime-control policy.167 But this responsibilization was predicated on the assumption that religious ‘communities’ are both dangerous and largely benign purveyors of ‘true faith’ – a noteworthy tension, and an indication of a kind of Foucauldian ‘power of care’ in operation. The third example most clearly addresses this. As the British government began to conceive of its counterterrorism approach as counterideological, it also posited that, alongside moderate Islamic identity, moderate narratives could be deployed through soft security means to manage risk. Under the Prevent agenda, boundaries were blurred between the usual function of religious groups – to teach, to engage in rituals, to promote individual and group welfare – and the security imperatives of government. Non-governmental ecumenical and interfaith initiatives have a long history in the UK; it is government enthusiasm for them that is new. Though government support for interfaith dialogue evolved along a separate policy trajectory, and was well received by many, including Muslims, it also became a way to support security objectives. Religion was seen by British policy-makers as a powerful internal force, and one of the best ways to promote a morality in which terrorist acts would become untenable for the individual. In the immediate aftermath of 7/7 and the attempted 21 July attacks, a re-focus on Prevent accompanied an expansion of the parameters of what would count as security. In a statement to the Commons, Blair noted, ‘Obviously there is a limit to what we can do by conventional methods of security’ (emphasis mine).168 In his speech to the Labour Party Conference, Blair elaborated on this point: ‘We should take what security measures we can. But let us not kid ourselves. In the end, it is by the power of argument, debate, true religious faith and true legitimate politics that

we will defeat this threat’ (emphasis mine).169 In this discourse the ‘power of care’, the tension between helping and governing, is made manifest. In this construct, interiority can be mobilized for security purposes. A powerful tripartite discursive link was established between religious groups as purveyors of moderate ‘true faith’, holders of ‘true faith’ as uniquely placed to strengthen society based on ‘shared values’, and ‘faith’ and ‘values’ as keys both to preventing radicalization and ensuring security. Values became both the risk object and the weapon in defence of that object. The interfaith approach emerged because the government recognized that the Church of England and other Christian churches already had some expertise in working with Muslim groups that could be capitalized upon. Jonathan Bartley, co-director of Ekklesia, argued that ‘a certain “multi-faith establishment” has emerged that is politically pragmatic for both Churches and the government’.170 Though relations between the churches and their Muslim interlocutors have been good in many areas, this is not true everywhere. A pilot study on impressions among the Asian community of how the public sector interfaced with different faiths found that the Church ‘was seen as patronizing and divisive in its approach to different faiths’.171 It is unclear how widespread this attitude was, but anecdotal evidence from those involved in Prevent-sponsored interfaith dialogue at a local level from various religious positions has indicated that the War on Terror backdrop put increased pressure on that dialogue. A new interfaith strategy was published in July 2008, building on a five-year consultative process.172 It drew some criticism from civil society groups for privileging the matter of Islamist radicalism and for emphasizing relations between religions groups to the detriment of relations between those identifying as religious and those identifying as nonreligious.173 Interfaith dialogue has been shown to have a positive role in breaking down misconceptions, particularly on a local level, and government support for it was welcomed by some Muslims in Britain. In particular it has helped break down notions that ‘people of faith are … some exotic species engaged in mysterious, irrational and obscure rituals unconnected to the health, well-being and flourishing of their neighbourhoods, their schools, their community centres and local economies’.174 However, one interviewee noted that ‘sometimes people are a bit concerned about interfaith relations becoming too instrumentalized by government, not just in the context of security issues but more generally’, and this was echoed by others in civil society.175 Again, as in the government’s foray into counter-narrative work in schools: it was the context, rather than the specific initiatives, that meant that interfaith work was broadly, though not completely, incorporated within its risk-management logic. The government’s enthusiasm for an interfaith approach also misses another important point. As noted in the Introduction, secularism has become an important and contentious site for Britain’s encounter with radical Islam. Within governmental and non-governmental circles, some have noted that there is still a need for ‘a less shrill, more positive dialogue between religious and nonreligious sectors’.176 Humanists have been included in some local interfaith dialogue initiatives. But the government has been persuaded by the notion that religious groups are somehow uniquely equipped purveyors of shared values (and therefore risk-mitigaters), and are the appropriate interlocutors because they ‘speak the same language’.177 But there is a larger issue. There has been no acknowledgement by government of the need for a large-scale reflection on the extent to which British life, politics and governance are shaped by the secular habitus and the impact that habitus has had on British Muslims vis–à-vis the War on Terror. This broader omission has been perhaps the most significant drawback to the government’s interfaith

approach. This omission has upheld notions that interfaith dialogue is something that should go on behind the closed doors of the private sphere, among the personally devout. In making this omission, the government may have mis-channelled its resources, and governed interfaith dialogue out of its most significant contribution.

Securing Secular Politics and Life Practices? These developments do not represent the worst ills perpetrated against British citizens by their state during the 9/11 wars, nor will their detrimental impact on British democracy be explored here. But they do illuminate the conditioning impact of the secular habitus on the 9/11 wars. This unprecedented extension of the hand of government into what were previously construed as private issues begs the question of what, precisely, was being secured. What was the valued referent of the simultaneous ‘riskification’ and mobilization of Islam?178 On one level the answer is banal: British citizens and their interests. On another it is more profound: British secular liberal politics and ways of living. Added to the defence of the state and of individual citizens, the 2008 National Security Strategy formally declared ‘our way of life’ and ‘a core set of values’ as being within the state’s security remit.179 British policy discourse during the 9/11 wars tended to imply rather than to make explicit the notions ‘liberal’ and ‘secular’, but the reference is clear. The strategy states: Our overall response to terrorism seeks to preserve both our security and the core values on which our society depends – values that are shared by the overwhelming majority living in the United Kingdom. The current terrorist threat can itself be seen as an attack not just on us but on those values, including human rights, the rule of law, justice, freedom, tolerance, and opportunity for all.180 This is a profound, unprecedented move in British security policy. Not just British liberalism but all liberalisms, Western and non-Western, were brought within the logic of riskification, to be fortified against the wilderness of globalization, an ‘increasingly complex and unpredictable’ security landscape with ‘a diverse and interconnected set of challenges’.181 Beyond Prevent, the wider national security imperative was to secure liberal, secular politics, freedoms and life practices from a fluid range of as-yet-unknown risks.182 Given the fluidity of the imperative, the logic of the precautionary principle, the object of that risk calculus became anything outside the bounds of ‘our way of life’ or ‘community cohesion’, from carrying out terrorist attacks to wearing the veil. For example, then-foreign secretary Jack Straw asked in 2006, ‘Would those people who do wear the veil think about the implications for community relations?’183 This begs the question: What societal vulnerabilities did the British government think were in play that prompted this designation of liberal secularism and secular ways of living as the referent objects of risk? After the 7/7 bombings there was a significant public conversation, including governmental and non-governmental contributions, about what constitutes contemporary ‘Britishness’ after the supposed failure of multiculturalism. A subcategory of this conversation was explicit discussion of liberal secular politics and ways of life. Although British political life has been liberal and secular since the mid-nineteenth century, and social life has been secularizing since the 1960s, the salience of Islam during the 9/11 wars provoked unprecedented reflexivity among governing circles and the public at

large about taken-for-granted secular politics and ways of living. The only precedent for this within British public discourse was the height of the Rushdie affair. The 7/7 attacks provoked public debate in Britain not only about liberal secularism as a political system but also about nonreligious ways of living and thinking.184 Between 11 September 2001 and the day before the 7/7 attacks there were 159 major, but largely disparate, mentions of atheism in UK broadsheets. By the period from 7/7 to the end of 2010 that number had more than trebled, to 520, with evidence of a strong ongoing debate on issues including the existence of God, the teaching of evolution, the role of scientific rationalism in society, and the possibilities for morality without religion.185 Scholars have begun to explore the nonreligious practices and rituals that are emerging in British society.186 Some activities falling on the more extreme end of the spectrum received increased media coverage, such as the Atheist Bus Campaign; ‘Nine Lessons and Carols for Godless People’, held in London in December 2008; the distribution to interested parties in 2009 of a ‘Certificate of Debaptism’ by the National Secular Society; and the start of Britain’s first atheist children’s summer camp.187 But scholarship in this area indicates that the real transformations are occurring at the level of micro-practices, for individuals and close social groups.188 While nonreligiosity is not a new phenomenon in the UK, the data indicate that the past decade has seen a deepening and enriching of the possibilities of nonreligious living, as more than simply an antireligious or a-religious stance, among a larger percentage of the population. This shift also spread to politics. Between 9/11 and 7/7, references to secularism in the House of Commons were intermittent. Sporadic references were made in discussions of faith schools, civil partnership, employment equality, the Draft Charities Bill, nonreligious funerals and naming ceremonies, disestablishment of the Church of England, and the internal affairs of Turkey and Iraq.189 These references increased after the 2005 attacks on London, not only in relation to Islam and jihadism but also in parliamentary debates over the BBC charter and programming, the Human Rights Act, the Equality Act, the Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006, and faith schools.190 This was particularly the case from the period between the July 2005 attacks in London and late 2008. An early October 2006 Sunday Times lead editorial entitled ‘Time for a secular state?’ asked if it was now appropriate for the UK to move to an American or French model of separation.191 Several politicians weighed in on employees’ rights to wear religious symbols in public places (Peter Hain on the dismissal of a British Airways employee for wearing a cross; Jack Straw and Phil Woolas on whether Muslim women should remove their veils in politicians’ surgeries and schools). A 16 October 2006 Independent editorial complained, ‘we could all do with a rest from these rather calculated contributions from ministers’, which seemed to have little to do with actually ‘enlighten[ing] anyone about Islam, secularism, democracy and the rest’.192 A cultural and political debate, catalysed in part by the 9/11 wars, has prompted groups at both ends of the spectrum – supportive and rejectionist – to become more assertive in the public sphere, with a largely quietist majority. While the media accused the political classes of instrumentalism over the course of the decade of the 9/11 wars, but particularly after the 2005 London bombings, some in the political classes in turn accused the media of a pervasive secular bias.193 These debates also circulated against a hybridized artistic and cultural milieu, in which Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion and Christopher Hitchens’ God is Not Great: The Case Against Religion achieved substantial circulation figures in the UK, while at the same time Mohsin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist, a worldwide bestseller, was shortlisted for the 2007 Man Booker Prize.194

At the level of national politics, these debates took place mainly in the House of Lords, the upper, unelected chamber comprising hereditary peers and late-career appointees. The Lords enjoy a great deal of freedom of debate, unhindered by electoral pressures. Between 7/7 and 2009 they discussed the following questions: To what extent is British society shaped by its Christian cultural heritage, and to what extent should it continue to be? What should be the appropriate role for government in improving relationships between faith groups? Who is most discriminated against in British society: the actively religious Christian, the non-believer, or the minority religious adherent? Three debates in particular featured extended discussion of the roles of belief and non-belief in British society: an April 2007 Lords debate on non-believers, a December 2007 Westminster Hall Commons debate on ‘Christianophobia’, and a May 2008 Lords debate on interfaith dialogue. The April 2007 debate in particular brought issues of nonreligion into extended parliamentary debate for the first time, with over a dozen members declaring membership in the British Humanist Association.195 Lord Harrison, the initiator of the debate, decried the lack of equal status afforded to the concerns of non-believers, regarding prayers in the parliamentary chamber, the Christian ethos in schools, public service broadcasting, the lack of legal status for humanist marriages, the provision of social services by religious NGOs, the status of the Queen as head of State and Church, and the omission of nonreligious belief organizations from government consultations with faith groups. He also took issue with what he called ‘the harsher tones of those like the most reverend Primate the Archbishop of York, who describes us as “illiberal atheists” and “aggressive secularists”’.196 Others countered in favour of the positive social and personal role played by faith and by organized religion. For example, Baroness Carnegy of Lour argued: ‘All of us, the Government of the day included, need to nurture spirituality wherever it grows’.197 However, as the War on Terror gradually retreated from the forefront of the British public imaginary from early 2009, so too did the number of discussions about secularism. Within the metropolitan media, since an uproar over the Archbishop of Canterbury’s February 2008 discussion of shariah law in Britain, discussions of secularism have diminished.198 They have been revived by events that have nothing to do with the 9/11 wars, such as the Pope’s September 2010 visit to the UK and attack on ‘aggressive secularism’, or the February 2012 High Court ban on prayers at local council meetings, overturned by Communities Secretary Eric Pickles as ‘illiberal’.199 However, unlike during the period from 2005 to 2008, Islam was not a major feature. The last significant statement by the British prime minister on pluralism in Britain was in early February 2011. David Cameron pitted a more accommodative political secularism against the need for more robust, activist forms. He argued, ‘Frankly, we need a lot less of the passive tolerance of recent years and much more active, muscular liberalism’.200 Since then, the Arab Spring and the electoral successes of the Islamist Ennahda party in Tunisia and the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party in Egypt have largely relocated British discussions of secularism and Islam beyond the borders of Europe once again. While the domestic intelligence agency MI5 publicly warned in June 2012 that insecurity in Libya and Syria might lead to conditions that pose a threat to British interests, within the British public imaginary at the time of writing Islamist politics and the spectre of jihadism are largely understood as confined to Muslim-majority states.201 Still, how did liberal secular politics and life practices become valued referents governed by the logic of risk? One explanation would be the provocation of jihadism, underpinned by imminent

terrorist threats. An additional explanation would be a perception that sociocultural trajectories entirely separate from and longer than the jihadist threat are rendering these unstable. Against the main government narratives, others within these circles have invoked a discourse of liminality and loss. Conceptually developed by cultural anthropologists Arnold van Gennep and Victor Turner to describe rites of passage, liminal phases are moments of social and cultural transition, ‘where established structures are dislocated, hierarchies reversed and traditional settings of authority possibly endangered’.202 For example, one civil servant observed that we have entered a ‘watershed in society’ over the nature of governance, the role of civil society, and how civil society interacts with the institutions of democracy: ‘all the old certainties [from the post-war social settlement] are going away’, giving way to ‘something we don’t understand’.203 For example, commenting on discussions between British military personnel and locals in Iraq, Lieutenant General Sir Graeme Lamb noted: ‘… Duty, service, sacrifice, integrity – [these are] common values with moderate religious leaders and insurgent leaders, although some of these values have been lost to us’ (emphasis mine).204 This sense of liminality comes across obliquely in a description by a retired general, a practising Christian, of al-Qaeda sympathizers: Essentially, as they would see, it is about them resisting our values system, or they would argue our lack of a values system. They watch the West, they like aspects of the West … but their basic underlying message is ‘We don’t like your values system’. Interestingly, I don’t think they’re saying we don’t like your Christianity. They’re saying we don’t like your postmodernism, your rejection of Christian values, we don’t like how you’re destroying family life … And terror is again a weapon of choice in this battle.205 A perception of liminality has been echoed within British public discourse, from voices on both left and right. Objectively, these changes to British society are not as materially and ideationally profound as the end of empire, or the Industrial Revolution and accompanying urbanization in the nineteenth century. But changes need not be objective; perception matters. These discussions suggest that, while some in British society, influenced by the secular habitus, confidently see British liberal politics as threatened but ultimately secure, others on the left and right see that British liberalism has produced its own vulnerabilities: crime, the breakdown of the community and the family, mistreatment of the elderly, teenage pregnancy, antisocial behaviour. Although the decline of British society is a decades-long theme, explicit references to secularism are a distinctly post-9/11 phenomenon. The designation of some strands of British Islam as a risk to liberalism during the 9/11 wars can thus be read as a security response towards and through the very thing that provoked further awareness of the dark side of liberalism: Islam. In short, the pastoral response towards Islam and British Muslims has been made possible by what is perceived as their challenge to the British secular habitus, but also by a suspicion that British society and politics are in a vulnerable, transitional phase.

We have seen that a secular habitus led the British – and potentially other Western militaries and policy-makers – to misread religious idioms, symbols and social structures across the global landscape of the 9/11 wars. Although it is difficult to pin down direct causality in specific cases based on the information currently available to scholars, it seems this overarching tendency towards misreading played an important role in the early strategic and psychological advantages enjoyed by the Taliban, Iraqi militias and terrorist groups inspired by al-Qaeda. Sun Tzu’s invocation was to know your enemy.1 In the early stages of the 9/11 wars, Western security services did not know theirs, and Islamic cultural idioms were a powerful smokescreen. Western secular habits also contributed to the riskification of Islam and the imposition of security services into the lives of Muslims globally over the course of the 9/11 wars. Secular habits made it difficult for Western security services to come to grips with nuances within Muslim populations, to understand what was truly threatening and what was just unfamiliar. But the picture is not entirely negative. Western habits of secular state neutrality also made possible overdue support for disadvantaged Muslim organizations, further political integration of Muslims in Europe at a national level, and support for Afghan-and Iraqi-led democratization processes. This should be qualified – the USA and its allies also took up the opportunity to tutor Muslim populations in liberal secular forms of democratic politics. Equally, the impact of the British secular habitus was not uniform across the 9/11 wars. While hysteresis conditioned security policy logic in the first half of the decade, after the London bombings conscious British attempts to overcome this hysteresis produced two mutations: ‘pastoral’ governance and a culturalist approach.

Secular Ways of War: Reading and Misreading the Enemy What have the last three chapters suggested about the strategic impact of the liberal, culturally Christian secular habitus on war? As noted in the Introduction, Hassner has argued that the primary effect of religion on war is constitutive, not causal. Religion may shape the identities of participant and opponent, and in turn the way in which participants talk about or justify conflict. It can shape the causes and duration of a war; the legitimacy of weapons and targets; the timing and location of confrontations; tactical and strategic calculations; conceptions of victory and defeat; and the

materiality and ideascape of soldiers’ lives, including how they ‘dress, eat, fight and die’.2 But Hassner also cautions that religion pervades all aspects of human behaviour, and that identifying its role in warfare requires keeping an open mind. Similarly, we must keep an open mind about the pervasiveness of the nonreligious secular. The terrain Hassner has cleared points to the following. The secular habitus does not enter into the dynamics of war unless three conditions are satisfied. First, religion must be a prominent feature of the identity construction or idiom of Participant A. Second, Participant B’s identity construction must be predicated – overtly or tacitly – on culturally significant habits of secular politics and ways of living. Third, participants A and B must construct their mutual identity opposition on a religious– secular binary. This oppositional construction may be openly articulated or it may be subtle. The term ‘secular’ may not feature in the identity construction of Participant B. It may be embedded, and therefore disguised within a web of identity claims and mutually constituting binaries: the Self as democratic, liberal, fair, progressive, tolerant, attentive to human rights, governed by the rule of law, constructed in opposition to an immoral, brutal, fanatical or fundamentalist Other. Further, even in wars where these conditions are satisfied, the impact of Participant B’s secular habitus is limited. Most objectives in war – gaining or holding territory, killing the enemy, undermining the ability of a military to re-arm or sustain itself – are outside this dynamic, are areligious and asecular.3 But there are moments in war in which the religious–secular binary is activated by Participant A or both participants (for example, on a sacred site). This is when secular ways of war play a constitutive role in that encounter. Hassner has suggested that religion can provide a source of legitimacy for actors’ choice of weapons or targets. By contrast, within a secular habitus, the legitimacy of weapons and targets is prescribed by strategic necessity and legitimized by their impact on human life and property. The law of armed combat (LOAC), as well as other international norms, rules of engagement (ROE) and respect for human rights provide a source of legitimacy and justification. Over time, this set of international norms has evolved to limit human suffering – particularly that of civilians. As we have seen, the liberal international human rights regime and system of international law were largely derived from Christian natural law. Hassner has argued that religion may determine the timing and location of confrontations, with actors seeking to avoid religious holidays, sites and weekly practices, or to target them to cause maximum bloodshed and symbolic impact. For example, in Iraq the Ashura festival became a particular site of sectarian attacks on Shi‘a pilgrims. By contrast, the Western secular security ‘calendar’ is relatively uninterrupted, with the possible exception of Christmas. The location of confrontations is largely determined by the location of civilians, soldiers and infrastructure to protect or extract maximum human life. The one exception, within a Western secular habitus, are symbols of nationhood, such as national memorials to the war dead. These are understood as elevated targets, emblematic of the people, their destruction evocative. However, as I have suggested in the last three chapters, governments and armed forces also make strategic decisions despite or against their cultural impulses, for a variety of reasons. And while secular habits may be part of war-as-social-encounter, they are not the only cultural impulses at play, and may or may not prompt errors that either over-interpret or under-interpret the significance of religious sites, symbolism, temporality and discourse. However, where over-or under-interpretation happens, this

cannot necessarily or exclusively be ascribed to habits of secularity. For example, Hassner cites an instance in April 2005 when US soldiers upset local Iraqis by occupying mosques to prevent insurgents from occupying them. Many Iraqis were upset by the lack of respect shown for ritual cleanliness. Similarly, in February 2012 the accidental incineration of Qurans by US armed forces personnel prompted serious protests in which 30 Afghans and four American soldiers were killed.4 These mistakes could be ascribed to a combination of strategic imperative, ignorance, and cultural insensitivity or arrogance. The British were also accused of instances of cultural insensitivity, such as using dogs to search houses in Maysan province for heavy weaponry and explosives.5 This mistake could be ascribed to a similar cocktail of circumstances, including a secular habitus among British personnel. Therefore, while analytical attention to the religious and/or nonreligious habits of soldiers and civilians can tell us something very analytically interesting about how they subjectively experience a conflict, we must be nuanced in our account of how those habits causally shape the conflict. Hassner suggests that, while you cannot often control the use of kinetic force, you can take steps before and after an operation to minimize anger.6 From the cases discussed in the last three chapters, I would add that secular habits can increase the chances of a mistake but inheritance is not destiny; militaries and civilians can learn. But this learning process – as seen in the British case in the shift over the from secular hysteresis to pastoral governance and then to a culturalist approach over the course of the decade – may be a double-edged sword. Over the past three chapters, I have described a unidirectional flow, with the Western, liberal secular habitus structuring aspects of Western security logic during the 9/11 wars. But I want to suggest in this chapter that the relationship between secular habits and the 9/11 wars is in fact reciprocal. The 9/11 wars have catalysed, though not instigated, processes of examination and restructuring of unconsciously secular habits in the West. This has important implications for modern nonreligious subjectivity and political secularism, and for the possibility of a more inclusive, hybrid global politics.

War/Truth, the Secular and the 9/11 Wars Brighton and Barkawi have argued that, ‘while destructive, war is a generative force like no other’, making and remaking social and political orders in its wake. They suggest that wars are moments of ‘radical contingency’, when ‘fighting both comprises knowledge about war and forces the unmaking and remaking of social and political orders’, producing complex and contingent systems of knowledge they call War/Truth.7 Simmel noted that war also radically transforms religion as social practice and episteme, individually and collectively. In his writings on culture and crisis Simmel highlighted the generative and revealing capacity of the First World War, which gave ‘both inner and outer reality to those [religious] rifts which, though structurally inherent in [German] society, were not actualized in peacetime’.8 He wrote that ‘the spiritual forces of religion have been unmistakably vitalized’, and that the war had put an end to that ‘peaceful age of gradual transitions, of hybrid forms, of that pleasant twilight zone’ of ‘universal religious tolerance’.9 In a decade of wars in which religion has been so salient, Simmel’s prompt begs the question of what transformations in relation to religion have been enacted by the 9/11 wars, what political orders and forms of knowledge made and unmade. Simmel saw war as producing a hardening of potentially

antagonistic religious positions, over the production of hybridity. Was this the ultimate outcome of the ‘violent embrace’ between the West and the Muslim-majority world during the 9/11 wars as well?10 Though the focus of my argument is specifically post-9/11 War/Truth produced about religion and its secular, it is worth noting the wider context. The negative, often interrelated material consequences of the 9/11 wars have been widely catalogued by their critics. Most spectacularly, the power vacuum and fragmentation of the state precipitated by the invasion of Iraq provoked a sectarian civil war that killed approximately 250,000 and radically exacerbated the refugee and internal displacement problems.11 Intervention in neighbouring states played a role in strengthening authoritarianism in Pakistan and Yemen and, ironically, also weakened the hand of the Pakistani and Yemeni governments in dealing with internal security problems. US distraction has been one of several factors contributing to the stalled Israeli–Palestinian peace process. Overall US approval ratings have dropped over the past decade across the Middle East and North Africa, despite a temporary rise in 2009 with the election of Barack Obama and country-by-country variations.12 Iran expanded its regional influence into Iraq, and became antagonized by US interventions in its eastern and western neighbours. Though its nuclear ambitions pre-date the 9/11 wars, this antagonism has spilled over to its negotiations with the international community, and it is currently locked into a logic of brinkmanship and proxy war with Israel. A spike in Islamophobia in Europe and the USA, and also Muslim anti-Semitism in Europe, manifest the sharp end of the mistrust sown by the 9/11 wars.13 The success of the suicide bomb as a tactic has spread its popularity to new conflict sites.14 As I argued in the last chapter, the largest ideological transformation has been the penetration of a meme of risk into hitherto unmolested areas of civil life, inside and outside the West. This has been the most significant War/Truth produced during the 9/11 wars. The pre-emptive strike as a form of global policing – whether in the form of drone attacks or military invasion – has become increasingly accommodated as a new norm in international relations, despite a global outcry. Citizens and residents of those states and regions where the USA has taken some interest vis-á-vis during the War on Terror – even those only very loosely associated with the main contours of the 9/11 wars, such as West and East Africa – have seen penetration of a meme of security into the everyday lives of citizens, as states see new ways to exercise control over domestic opposition.15 Beyond Pakistan and Yemen, new flows of capital for ‘counterterrorism’ purposes have strengthened the hand of authoritarian regimes across the globe – a new manifestation of the longer-term US practice of financially rewarding the ability of its allies to guarantee regime stability and open markets. This has roots in the post–Cold War decade, when the USA and its allies were given the structural opportunity to pursue quite extensive risk management through democracy promotion, with politicians ‘increasingly unwilling, and perhaps politically unable, to wait for risks to mature’.16 Further, the privatization of security provision – in the form of both troops and supplies – has shifted the balance of security provision and risk management further towards the market-driven private sector and away from the state. Though the privatization of security on the current model pre-dates the 9/11 wars, the success of private companies in waging the 9/11 wars on behalf of the USA and its allies has facilitated the spread of this depoliticized model. The negative consequences of the 9/11 wars for democracy in the USA, Europe and elsewhere have been documented extensively by scholars, politicians and citizen activists.17 But what of secular politics and ways of life? At the height of the British empire in 1847, Frederick Maurice argued that England’s status as a colonizing country preaching to non-Christians

had prompted wider reflection in Britain on the question, ‘What then is Christianity?’18 Similarly, the evidence suggests that the 9/11 wars have provoked wider reflection in the West on the question, ‘What then is secularism and secularity?’ Bourdieu’s conception of hysteresis seems to have broader application than simply micro-and mezzo-misreadings of radical Islamism by Western civilians and armed forces. The social and political rumblings of the past decade point to a precipice. Bourdieu calls it a ‘crisis point’, where the organizing frame no longer fits the evidence. The extent to which there is a ‘crisis of secularism’ in Europe has been the subject of recent academic debate as well as metropolitan musings.19 A secular crisis point has happened before. For Christian Europe, the Lisbon earthquake was such a Bourdieusian crisis point: The Lisbon earthquake struck in 1755 and shattered the moral legitimacy of established power. It did to the psychic inviolability of the Church and absolute monarchs what the Vietnam war later did to that of the United States. This catastrophe, which killed indiscriminately thousands of children, women and men, poor and rich, seemed somehow to require an immediate explanation. The people of Europe asked themselves a collective Why? The Church and the constituted authorities couldn’t stop themselves from replying that God was punishing sinners … The claim of divine retribution was obviously so ridiculous that, abruptly, people felt liberated from any obligation to believe anything the authorities said. In particular the Church discredited its power to give or to withhold moral sanction on the way people led their lives.20 The Lisbon earthquake made more apparent what the Peace of Westphalia had set in motion: that the Christian churches in Europe were on the wrong side of history and would see themselves and the frameworks they offered swept to the margins by the rise of the nation-state and a more human-centred morality, cosmology and politics. These shifts would not have been fully apparent in 1765, ten years after the earthquake. Nor are contemporary shifts fully apparent now. Proximity is its own kind of myopia. We are, historically speaking, probably still in a moment of hysteresis, in which the old paradigms have been shaken but have not yet crumbled. Whether historians will look back on our current period in 250 years and see 9/11 wars as a crisis point, followed by a period of hysteresis and then a radical shift, is impossible to tell from here. The old joke goes that when asked about the outcome of the French Revolution, Mao Zedong replied that it was too soon to tell. So the argument in this chapter will humbly address those rumblings that are apparent. The 9/11 wars have not set in motion a reordering of secular global politics on post-secular lines, though they have set in motion some further imaginings of these possibilities. What comes of these imaginings remains to be seen. Rather, the 9/11 wars have primarily catalysed processes of reordering within the secular worldview dominating social and political life in the West.

Re-Assessment of What It Means To Be a Secular Modern Subject The making and remaking of the Self is a common feature of war. Brighton has noted that ‘alienated subjects of war are required to make new acts of self-recognition, to lay creative, constitutive claim to

themselves in reference to their experience’.21 Since 9/11 those living in the West have become more conscious that, first, the predominant worldview in the West is secular and that they themselves are secular subjects, and second, that this worldview and subjectivity is contingent rather than universal. Such reflexivity is part of a wider trend in Western thought since the advent of postmodernism as an intellectual trend in the middle of the last century. What it means to be modern, what counts as authoritative knowledge and what counts as a good life have undergone sustained critique from numerous quarters. The 9/11 wars have thus merely generated more intensive consideration of what it means to be a secular subject within the context of modernity. As I argued in the Introduction, the hybrid habit of how people make and experience meaning in their lives lies beyond the categories ‘religious’, ‘pious’, ‘secular’ or ‘nonreligious’. The 9/11 wars have merely given a particular orientation to the answers to long-standing questions: What is the right way to live? What happens after we die? How should one treat other people? Many more in the West than ever before are conscious of giving this a label, though they may not agree on what that label is: humanist, agnostic, atheist, ‘nothing really’, ‘a lapsed Catholic’, ‘a non-practising Muslim’. (People in the West rarely describe themselves as ‘secular’.) This consideration has manifested itself primarily in the terms set out by the Enlightenment – private, interiorized, individualized. What does being a secular modern mean to me? But the 9/11 wars have also brought about a tension whereby private consideration of identity, practice and selfhood has become structured by and oriented towards conversation with and about the nation-state and the role of religion in political life. The two main areas in which this tension is apparent are the increased visibility of nonreligiosity as a way of relating to the world and religious conversion.

Increased Visibility of Personal Nonreligiosity among Western Publics There is some consensus among scholars that nonreligion – particularly atheism – has become increasingly visible in Europe since the mid-twentieth century.22 The latest wave of the World Values Survey has not yet been fully analysed and integrated with the previous four, which would tell us about how global religiosity and nonreligiosity in the post-9/11 decade compares to the previous two decades.23 However, my crude analysis of the survey data suggests that there may be something significant about the post-9/11 decade within the West’s broader secularization story. A brief glimpse into one of the questions on the survey indicates that overall rates of self-identity as nonreligious in the West (including the USA) rose between 1981 and 2008 by 8.6 per cent. During this period self-identity as religious dropped by 10.2 per cent, and those declaring convinced atheism rose by 4.7 per cent. But the most significant factor is that these trends each intensified between the last two surveys (1999–2001 and 2005–08), more so than during any other period since 1981. This crude measure suggests that there may be something unique about the period 2005–08 for the West. More people within the West came to self-identify as nonreligious (either as convinced atheists or in fuzzier terms) in this period than in the previous 20 years. Further comprehensive statistical research based on the full range of religious indicators evaluated by the World Values Survey, and other surveys such as the Eurobarometer, would be needed to confirm this, and particularly to compare rates of change following 9/11 versus, for example, the 1960s, which is widely acknowledged as a decade of rapid social change, including secularization, in the West. Further qualitative and quantitative analysis is also needed to explore the range of social, economic and political factors contributing to the

intensification of these trends in the post-9/11 decade. But the salience of religion (particularly Islam and evangelical Christianity) in the Western imaginary during the 9/11 wars and possible reactions to this salience should not be overlooked as possible contributory factors. Further research is also needed to explore differences across the West. For example, for the USA, widely considered to be more religious than Europe, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, the 1990s were the years of the ‘secular boom’, not the years since 9/11. During the 1990s the ‘nones’ rose 6.1 per cent (to 14.1 per cent). Between 2001 and 2008 that slowed to 0.9 per cent (to 15 per cent of the American population).24 Still, while in the USA there is a softer, less antireligious profile than that found in Europe (nearly 60 per cent of the non-religious define themselves as agnostics or deists) it is growing.25 The 1990s boom coincided with the election of a Democratic president, following eight years of a Republican amenable to the New Christian Right (NCR). It also likely has to do with a decade of significant economic growth and a boom in the technology sector.26 The US trends – the result of 30 years of ‘culture wars’ between the socially conservative and the socially progressive – defy correlation with the 9/11 wars. Still, the nonreligious have become increasingly politically organized and visible in the USA during and following the presidency of George W. Bush.27 Reading the political tea leaves, President Obama in his 2008 inaugural speech described the USA as ‘a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus … and non-believers’.28 Presidential candidate Mitt Romney also made reference to the non-religious on the 2012 campaign trail. Exploration of variations across the West does not undermine the overall trend towards the increasing social and political visibility of nonreligion in the West. The New Atheism, which came to global prominence in 2006–07 with the publication of Christopher Hitchens’ God is Not Great and Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion, has been the most recognizable manifestation of the trend.29 This increased visibility of Western nonreligion is also apparent in the mobilization of atheist, humanist and freethinking civil society groups in the West over the past decade, the explosion in online resources and communities, and the popularity of books by New Atheist authors. This trend towards increased visibility pre-dates the 9/11 wars. But some voices asserting themselves – particularly the New Atheists – have capitalized polemically on the 9/11 wars, charging global jihadism and the increased visibility of Islam in Europe as equally dangerous. In Europe, civil society groups such as the Central Committee for Ex-Muslims in the Netherlands and the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain have helped to increase the visibility and respectability of those leaving Islam, and have received a boost from the extremes of jihadism during the 9/11 wars. Since 9/11 the international English-language media has also drawn increased attention to penalties suffered by those accused of apostasy in Muslim-majority states in recent years. While this in part reflects a broader trend of those seeking reform from authoritarian governments reaching out to international publics (and governments) through the internet and the media, it also reflects an awareness that the violation of freedom of religious conscience in Muslim-majority countries has attracted even more attention in the West since 9/11. What is also apparent at a global level is the emergence of an anti-religious, globalized identity and idiom of political protest that juxtaposes individual freedom and citizenship with communitarian religion, associates religion with enmity towards science and progress, and accuses the state of not doing enough to protect its citizens from religion. The internet has been pivotal in bringing some extreme European secular idioms and habits to more religious societies (including the USA) in an

interactive way. For example, the works of Richard Dawkins have been picked up by bloggers in the Middle East, and have been transformed into a kind of leftist protest against societal repression, for example of homosexuality. This is one example of the ‘glocalization’ of the New Atheism. In the process of translation, the end result is often far more hybrid than at its points of origin. For example, one blogger noted that the gay community in Amman both meets in private and goes to the mosque; in the same post the blogger also suggested that the help of the ‘international community’ was needed to support scientific education and research in the Middle East.30 Science, rationality, political freedom and personal freedom were intertwined as the blogger tried to make sense of what it means to be ambiguously Muslim in a globalized world. While this anti-religious political idiom is in its nascence, it is a part of two wider trends in global politics. First, civil society voices are calling on states to revise political settlements around religion. States are in turn adapting creatively to pressures from religious and nonreligious voices in civil society, introducing new settlements between religion and the secular, in an attempt to shore up the state. Secondly, however, society and the individual, rather than the state, have also been the targets of these new anti-religious or assertively secular voices. For example, whether individuals believe in evolution has been as great a concern as whether the state prohibits the teaching of creationism in schools. Similarly, Saba Mahmood has argued that Islamic ‘piety movements are political but not in the old way’.31 Rather than making claims on the state or judiciary, using the language of rights or identity, and engaging in public protest, the women Mahmood studied in Egypt engage in technologies of the self – for example, ensuring they dress or pray in a way that reflects their devotion and piety – in order to bring about a new social and moral order.32 Though they lie at opposite ends of the pious– impious spectrum, in so far as these new anti-religious voices also point towards technologies of the self (personal belief and habits) as well as attack the state, they too are engaged in the transformation of politics as we know it. However, as this trend is only just emergencing it is impossible to tell what its impact on global politics may be. Religious Conversion The 9/11 wars prompted some individuals in the USA and Europe to consider their own religious traditions more intensively, within the policy community and outside it. For example, one British official noted: I’ve become more religious after being abroad and working on these issues. [Our] misinterpretation and failure to deal properly [with jihadist Islamism] made me think more about religion. The official noted that, among colleagues, it seemed as if ‘those who were already religious became more religious and those who were secular became more secular’.33 However, for some in the West, the salience of Islam during the 9/11 wars has prompted a more extreme response, a move between traditions. Although there are no definitive statistics on the matter, significant anecdotal evidence indicates that increased interest and attention to Islam in the USA after 9/11 has also prompted a certain number of religious conversions.34 The academic literature so far relies on case studies with small sample sizes

in discrete communities, and it is therefore difficult to generalize about the experience of post-9/11 converts to Islam, or to compare their experiences with those of post-9/11 converts to other religions.35 Across the West, however, there have been several prominent cases of conversion to Islam during the past decade that have attracted international media attention: the British journalist Yvonne Ridley, held captive by the Taliban and released in 2003; Lauren Booth, the sister-in-law of former UK prime minister Tony Blair; and Terry Holdbrooks, a US Army specialist who served six months as a guard at Guantánamo Bay.36 Perhaps the case of voluntary conversion most shocking to the American imaginary was that of John Walker Lindh, a white Taliban fighter from California. He was captured by US forces in a 2001 prison revolt in Mazar-e-Sharif. In the initial media coverage in the early days of the Afghan invasion, the distinction was elided between Lindh’s conversion to Islam and his commission of treason. Also, though conversion to Islam in prison has been a prominent feature of the African-American social landscape for decades (as it has in the UK and France), the spectre of prison conversion has elicited an alarmist response since 9/11, on the part of both the US intelligence community and one strand of the academic debate.37 The yearly conversion rate to Islam in US prisons is 30–40,000, and there is as yet no scholarly evidence that this figure has changed since 9/11.38 Although conversions to and from Islam during the 9/11 wars have happened in relatively small numbers, their disproportionate significance has come in their reception – particularly that of Western converts to Islam. For example, the alarmist response to prison conversion has been propelled not by overwhelming empirical evidence of jihadist radicalization in prisons (though a few examples do exist), Hamm argues, but by a ‘myth of Wahhabi imperialism’ and penetration.39 These converts have been portrayed – overtly or more subtly – as a ‘win’ for the ‘other side’. For example, Tony Blair’s sister-in-law converted following a spiritual experience in the Iranian shrine city of Qom. This was not a reaction to the Iraq war, but she did make a public statement hoping that Blair would revise his views about Islam.40 Still, her conversion was read in the British commentariat as a political act: There is quite a lot that could be said about anyone who converts to Islam in Iran under the impression that it is less inhumane than New Labour … But it is also always a political and social act, a statement about where you fit into the world. To convert is to announce your allegiance to a new tribe, or a new idea of humanity.41 Roy points out that ‘religious conversions in all directions are a sign of [the] muddying of the link between culture and religion’.42 Conversion is often read as religiously, culturally, politically and ‘racially’ threatening. Forced religious conversion in times of war has been long absent from the Western experience – one exception being that of the Croat fascist Ustaše during the Second World War, who forced Orthodox Serbs to convert to Catholicism – and forced conversion generally has nearly disappeared globally.43 But the spectre of forced conversion as a tool of war – specifically forced conversion to Islam, rather than forced conversion to Christianity which was far more predominant in European history lurks in the Western cultural brainstem. Though the 9/11 wars have raised the Orientalist spectre of forced conversion to Islam, this discourse has not fallen exclusively along a Christian– Muslim or secular–Muslim axis. For example, Sikh Islamophobia and the discourse of forced conversion in the UK have been part of Sikh attempts to distinguish themselves as ‘more Western’, in a scenario in which Sikhs were often erroneously and violently identified as Muslims.44

In addition to raising Orientalist hackles, the act of religious conversion during the 9/11 wars also disrupts the public/private boundaries upon which Western politics is based. Since the eighteenth century, religious conversion in the West has been understood as an individualized, private experience. But the idea of religious conversion as a public act of political resistance in this period is not unheard of. Viswanathan has argued that resistance to the consolidation of the nation-state often took the form of religious conversion to minority or non-mainstream religions, in both metropolitan Britain and colonial India.45 This was a mirror-image of the imperial conversion project in which conversion to Christianity was part of the production of modern imperial subjects and the re-ordering of those societies.46 Still, to read the act of conversion either as an exclusively individualized transformation or as an outward political statement to an audience is to misread it. In her pre-9/11 works on Western converts to Islam, Wohlrab-Sahr argued that conversion was a process of interaction between external and internal factors: the disintegration of one’s own social context, with external factors facilitating a kind of social dislocation.47 She cites war and colonialism as such external factors. Although Simmel did not highlight religious conversion, he noted that war forces individuals to choose their religious convictions, that sitting on the fence is ‘no longer possible in a period of radical eruption of man’s religious depths’.48 There is very little academic scholarship on the relationship between war and voluntary religious conversion in the modern era, though it is known to happen. One exception is Kent’s account of the late Vietnam era, when a small but significant number of former peace activists became involved in new religious movements, such as the International Society of Krishna Consciousness (the ‘Hare Krishnas’) and the Unification Church (the ‘Moonies’).49 Still, as Khalil and Balici point out, conversion is more common in ‘frontier zones’, in which there is intense, sustained contact and syncretism between cultures.50 Therefore it is unsurprising that religious conversion might be a feature of wars in which contact between different majority-religion populations is a feature.51 Still, Austin-Broos cautions that religious conversion should not be read as syncretism nor as an absolute breach; rather, it is an ongoing process of ‘passage’, reordering and re-orientation of identity.52 The theosophical movements of the mid-nineteenth century and the ‘Eastern turn’ of the 1960s, both made possible by the British imperial experience in India, are examples.53 Conversion is, Austin-Broos suggests, a ‘form of relatedness’.54 This is an important point in relation to war; religious conversion is a particularly intimate form of the violent embrace of North–South war. Renda has argued that war not only reworks individual religious identities, but also reworks or re-inscribes collective national identity and a sense of sacred nationhood.55 Against this, I would argue that it depends on the war. Just as the 9/11 wars were a symptom of and facilitated the continuing erosion of the state, conversions in and out of Islam during the 9/11 wars seemed also to erode the state through claiming a transnational religious identity. In wars in which religion and the secular are important idioms, conversions to and from Islam have been read etically as protests against the state. However, during the 9/11 wars these conversions can also be read as claims to forms of global solidarity, beyond national subjecthood or exclusivist readings of both religion and secularity. This can take both progressive and regressive forms. Roy has argued that the disembedding of religion from culture and territory is one of the hallmarks of fundamentalist religion.56

Reflexive Interrogation of the Terms of Western Secular Political Settlements While the 9/11 wars saw the incomplete transmission of Western ideas of liberal democracy to Afghanistan and Iraq, they also provoked significant scrutiny of the terms of liberal secularism and the appropriate role of religion in political life in the West. The particular local colour of this (largely metropolitan) scrutiny varied between states. For example, in France it was the subject of a national review of laïcité that led, among other things, to the banning of the burqa and other religious symbols in public places. In the Netherlands, the murder of filmmaker Theo Van Gogh in 2004, and in Denmark the 2006 cartoon crisis, sparked a particular focus on secular freedom of artistic expression.57 This also manifested itself at EU level. The question of European religious identity – Was Europe culturally Christian, or still devoutly Christian, or secular? – rose to prominence in February 2003, 16 months into the war in Afghanistan and a month before the invasion of Iraq. While EU anxieties about Turkish accession have been predominantly economic, these identity debates forced Turkish accession into the public eye and securitized the question. Secular Turkey ‘became Muslim’, and its (mainly PKK-driven, not al-Qaeda) security problems a potential threat to Europe.58 The War on Terror prompted a re-evaluation of European states’ relations with their Muslim minorities, particularly in religious and cultural terms.59 These were mapped onto long-standing, post-imperial anxieties about race, immigration and assimilation. Rather quickly, the ‘Arabs’ and ‘South Asians’ of Europe became ‘Muslim’ in European metropolitan imaginaries, and – generations of wealthy and educated ex-patriots aside – largely poor. European domestic difficulties with immigrant populations – particularly the violence associated with the banlieue riots in France in November 2005 and the riots in northern towns in the UK in 2001 – dovetailed with and reinforced European anxieties about the global jihad spreading to Europe, as it did in Madrid in 2004, Amsterdam in 2004, and London in 2005. But public debate in Europe in response to the stimulus of different events varied according to countries’ own political settlements and historical experiences with Muslim populations, the behaviour of their Muslim citizens and residents, and the reactions of other European states to their own domestic controversies, large and small. In short, although events of the post-9/11 decade invigorated European public debate about Islam, secularism and the state, what was necessarily considered by European publics and their governments to be prescribed by secularism – integration, multiculturalism, or something in between – varied between European states.60 The American conversation took a different direction from that in Europe, for several reasons.61 First, religion and its role in public life have been prominent features of the American political landscape since the early 1980s, with the ascent to political prominence of the New Christian Right during the Reagan administration. Second, though Islamophobic hate crimes rose after 9/11, the majority of Arab Americans are educated, middle-class and relatively well-off, and are well assimilated into majority culture. There was very little negative attention paid to American Islam within the mainstream media following 9/11 until the rapid coincidence of several things: the cultivation of the myth that Barack Hussein Obama was a Muslim during the 2008 presidential campaign, the November 2009 Fort Hood shootings, the December 2009 attempted ‘underwear bombing’ of a Christmas Eve flight bound for Detroit, the May 2010 discovery of a bomb in Times Square, and the summer 2010 ‘Ground Zero Mosque’ controversy.62 Third, because American political secularism is understood as freedom to practise rather than freedom from religious practice, American discourse over the past decade has focused on celebrating its domestic religious pluralism as a political

good and on exporting the American secular model of ‘religious freedom’ abroad. While equally lively debates in the USA and Europe proceeded along rather different lines and came to different conclusions, they converged on the need to explore and re-asses religion’s presence in public life. However, this interrogation of the political modalities of Western liberal secularism was not bounded, internal and unidirectional, from the West to the non-West, Global North to Global South. The Western secular was also interrogated and contested outside the West during the 9/11 wars. Some aspects of this conversation are available in English-language sources. The influence of Western secular politics and habits – transmitted first by the Europeans and later by the USA – has been a long-standing point of contention in the countries of the MENA and other Muslim-majority states. Struggles between Islamists and liberals in Muslim-majority societies pre-date the 9/11 wars, as does the emergence of nonreligion in these societies.63 Still, some critics invoked a connection between Western liberal secularism and its proponents with US hegemony, as a new idiom of critique. For example, Shaykh Muhsin al-Awaji, a prominent critic of the Saudi royal family who rejects its close alliance with the USA, argued that the greatest danger to Saudi society were ‘the criminal secularists [within Saudi Arabia], who approach us with unwanted US rhetoric’.64 Reworked Iranian complaints about secularism as an American ‘secret cultural strategy’ to dominate Iran are another an example of this trend.65 In 2003 an Afghan political party leader stated, in response to the US-led push towards democracy there, ‘there is no place for secularism in Afghanistan’.66 While he embraced democratic proceduralism, he rejected the notion that it must necessarily come with secular trappings, a position echoed by Islamist political parties globally. But other voices took Western secular models to task for not living up to their own declarations of neutrality. For example, speakers at conference in Sudan on Islam and the West argued that there are inherent contradictions within Western secularism, particularly in many states’ response to their Muslim minorities: ‘there [is] no real freedom of religion in Western states and the secular state in all Western countries [is] not open to all, unless one believe[s] in the principles of the secular state and respect[s] its constitution’.67 Prominent Islamist cleric Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi – widely popular across the Arab world, refused entry to the UK and France, but trustee of the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies – has called on the West to live up to the promises of its own liberalism. He has urged the West ‘to leave us to organize our life according to our creed if that is the wish of our peoples, without meddling in our affairs and imposing its philosophy by force’. He has also urged the West ‘to adopt a really universalist and humanist perspective and discard the superiority of the Romans, who saw all the others as barbarians’.68 Such a critique resonates with conversations within the West. Sheikh al-Qaradawi’s plea sounds very similar, for example, to this Guardian column: ‘there are many dimensions to liberalism – proportionality, due desert, mutual respect, belief in pluralism and tolerance of dissent – but we liberals [do not] want to pillory those who have faith’.69 But ultimately there has been little dialogue between these voices. One of the legacies of the European imperial period is that the colonized often understood their overlords better than they understood themselves and were able to speak uncomfortable, though often unheeded, truths to power. Further research is needed on this dynamic but one thing is clear: Western leftists and liberals and Islamist critics of the West are, so to speak, preaching to their own choirs. A legacy of the 9/11 wars is that this aspect of the violent embrace goes largely unacknowledged on both sides.

Re-envisioning the Liberal Secular Sacred However, the 9/11 wars have also provoked as War/Truth further awareness of the contingency of liberal politics and the secular worldview within the Western imaginary. This is contextualized by a renewed self-consciousness of Western decline within the global order, though the idea of decline has been a periodic feature of the Western imaginary since the end of the nineteenth century.70 But there is something historically novel about widespread self-consciousness in the West of the contingency of its liberal secular worldview. Interrogation of the terms of liberal secular settlements and what it means to be a secular modern among Western policy-makers and within Western popular culture described in this chapter are some of the manifestations of this burgeoning self-consciousness. Scholars of ‘postsecular’ politics point to the potential of religious voices to fundamentally alter the terms of global politics, even redefining what counts as politics, history, time and power.71 Building on Connolly and Buber, Mavelli’s account of the potential for a new postsecular politics in Europe made possible by its post-9/11 encounter with its Islamic Other speaks to the possibilities and opportunities for re-envisioning political life. Invoking Balibar, he argues that the ‘fragilities and indeterminacies [of European life] – the unstable mix of secularity, Christianity, proceduralism, nationalism and supranationalism that accounts for Europe’s self-understanding – may be used to bring about an ethos of generous engagement’.72 Europe’s encounter with its Other is, in Mavelli’s account, ‘an opportunity [for democracy] to flourish’.73 Mavelli’s invocation for European politics is normatively deeply appealing, but to what extent can it be extended to the global scale? As I argued in the Introduction, Western and Muslim-majority states are ultimately realist actors, and have long engaged on issues of common concern (most recently Iran, oil and Syria), regardless of religious or cultural differences. Further engagement at state and civil society level through the rubric of religion and culture may facilitate architectures of amity, but will likely do little to alter the complex texture of Western relations with Muslim-majority states, which are based on geostrategic, security and economic imperatives. In these, some Muslim-majority states (particularly in the Gulf) hold the upper hand. Within civil society, the 9/11 wars have generated an increased awareness of each other, and this has already begun to manifest itself. Linkages between leftist activists in the Arab Spring and the Occupy movements in the West are one very prominent example of this, though these are facilitated through leftist politics and have little to do with religion.74 But the encounter with Islam during the 9/11 wars has also forced the West to consider the extent to which its dearly-held liberal values are not natural and universal but ‘secular sacred’, and therefore contingent and in need of periodic reflection and re-envisioning. McIntyre has argued powerfully that the liberal tradition has reached an ‘epistemological crisis’ point.75 It arrived at this crisis, he argues, by being tautological; it can provide no compelling arguments about the human good ‘except by appeal to premises which collectively already presuppose that theory’. Its claim to neutral, rational, universal starting points for evaluating the good are false; they are liberal starting points.76 The salience of Islam, a rich rival tradition during the 9/11 wars, has instigated a kind of mirror-image Enlightenment in the West, exposing the ‘fragilities and indeterminancies’ of liberal secular politics. Lynch has developed a neo-Durkheimian, functionalist understanding of the sacred which he argues is at work in modern societies.77 He writes: ‘the sacred is defined by what people collectively experience as absolute, non-contingent realities which present normative claims over the meanings and

conduct of social life’.78 As case studies Lynch explores the BBC’s refusal to air a humanitarian appeal for Gaza in January 2009 in the wake of Operation Cast Lead and the emerging condemnation of Irish Industrial Schools in the 1990s. Both of these cases, he argues, featured public debate over the care of children as a sacred value, as something urgent, morally non-negotiable and implying social action. The majority of modern social life is mundane, with the sacred and the profane emerging intermittently. The sacred and the profane thus need to be contextualized within the ‘mundane logics, practices, emotions and aesthetics of everyday life’.79 However, for Lynch, the sacred is not necessarily associated with the good; rather it is morally ambiguous and historically contingent. For example, he uses Ground Zero and the Ground Zero mosque controversy of 2010 as examples of how the sacred emerges in social contexts and implies action whose moral and political status is problematic.80 Lynch also argues that modern society features multiple and competing sacred forms, which change over time. For example, in the Republic of Ireland, Lynch points out, the sacredness of the protection of children has superseded the sacredness of the Roman Catholic Church since the 1990s. In short, in Lynch’s neo-Durkheimian account, the sacred is a functional term and is not exclusively associated with the domain of ‘religion’.81 In turn, Knott and Franks have coined the term ‘secular sacred’ to denote those things that are functionally sacred, by Lynch’s definition, but sit on the non-religious side of emic and etic religious/non-religious boundaries.82 However, Knott points out in another article, ‘the boundary between the “religious” and the “secular” can itself become a matter of “sacred” concern, with those on either side ready to voice the special yet non-negotiable nature of their own positions’.83 She uses the Satanic Verses controversy as an example. During the controversy, Knott argues, freedom of speech was referred to as secular sacred (non-contingent, non-negotiable, implying particular moral action) by Rushdie’s defenders. The depiction of the Prophet was designated as religiously sacred by Rushdie’s detractors. In the context of the controversy, the very boundary between the ‘religious’ and the ‘secular’ was rendered sacred and fixed. The 9/11 wars, like the Satanic Verses controversy and the more recent Danish cartoon controversy, both emically provoked and etically exposed the ‘secular sacredness’ of liberal values. Within the context of the desire of the USA and its allies to spread liberal democracy to Afghanistan and Iraq (‘free and fair elections, separation of powers, a fair and independent judicial system, a free and inquisitive press, the widespread sharing of democratic values, respect for human rights and ethnic minorities and the presence of civil society’) some liberal values were elevated over others, to the level of sacredness.84 These values were individual liberty and self-determination, the right to privacy, protection from illiberal interference, freedom of speech and worship, and equality between persons, especially between men and women. Positions on either side of the jihadist/liberal boundary became entrenched around what were considered non-negotiable, inviolable, sacred values, worthy of the deaths of soldiers. However, as Lynch points out, what counts as the sacred is historically contingent – it can change, which suggests possibilities for draining this boundary of its violent potential. I have suggested that the 9/11 wars have not radically altered the global political order; but they are pregnant with possibility because of the forms of knowledge they have generated. What would it mean to carry the ‘violent embrace’ of the 9/11 wars through to its logical conclusion? Joanna Bourke has noted that ‘combat does not terminate social relationships; rather, it restructures them’.85 Over the

past decade, scholars and policy-makers from across the political spectrum, in the West and in Muslimmajority milieus, have explored in greater depth the extent to which Islam and democracy are compatible. This conversation has hitherto been predominantly unidirectional: in what ways can Islam accommodate the greater good of democracy? However, in response to Abou El Fadl’s Islam and the Challenge of Democracy, Saba Mahmood argued that it is vital to ask not just how liberal tradition might inform Islamic political theory, but how the latter might reciprocally suggest alternatives for revisiting the former: What would it mean to take the resources of the Islamic tradition and question many of the liberal political categories and principles for the contradictions and problems they embody? Or, how would one rethink these problems by bringing the resources of Islamic political history to bear upon them?86 McIntyre too points towards the intellectual resources present in rival traditions, suggesting that the tradition in crisis may encounter a wholly new rival tradition, or may simply because more aware of and open in a new way to encountering aspects of a long-term rival tradition.87 Almost entirely overlooked in Western-dominated international relations, there has been a vibrant, creative, innovative and often progressive debate going on among Muslim intellectuals from across the political spectrum on issues related to war, terrorism, peace, democracy, politics and the good life. These debates have been instigated in response to colonialism, the rise of authoritarianism and the subsequent rise of conservative Islamism, as well as the 9/11 wars. Scholars as diverse as Hamid Dabashi, Mohammed Arkoun, Khaled Abou el Fadl, Tariq Ali, Mohammad Fadel, Tareq Ismail and Emran Qureshi are just some of those engaged in these debates.88 They do not agree with one another, and their critiques often speak deeply uncomfortable truths to those powers waging the 9/11 wars, as well as to authoritarian governments of Muslim-majority states. Although there are significant divisions among these thinkers, and MENA regimes have erected significant barriers to their productivity, conversation is ongoing. Many have chosen to work in exile, in the USA or in Europe. My suggestion for further engagement between these ways of knowing the political is of course deeply imperfect. There is the problem of translation: To what extent do differing ontological and moral absolutes render mutual intelligibility difficult, if not impossible? There is a problem of universality. One of the ‘defining beliefs’ of liberal modernity, McIntyre notes, is in the infinite intelligibility of other traditions to it – ‘the ability to understand everything from human culture and history, no matter how apparently alien’.89 Islam and leftist thought also share tendencies towards universalism. There is a challenge posed by differing palettes of concerns: for example, while liberals have turned to the just war tradition in the past decade, ‘Muslim jurists have not focused on a jus ad bellum style of inquiry’, exploring instead issues of guilt.90 There is the fundamental dilemma of sacredness: some issues become non-contingent under certain conditions, but the inviolability of others (such as God’s existence or the importance of self-determination) have endured over centuries. There is a problem of authority: Can anyone be understood to speak authoritatively for new Muslim intellectuals across the political spectrum, for leftists or for liberals, given that there are such diverse positions? (And how useful are labels and who decides?) There is the related challenge of accommodating multi-vector conversations. Muslim cosmopolitans are in conversation with interlocutors such as Tariq Ramadan and Yusuf al-Qardawi, and both are in conversation with liberals

and leftists, within and outside of the West. There are however multiple challenges to fruitful engagement. Thinkers often ‘speak past’ each other in order to engage their own constituencies. Also, while there may be common cause in anti-authoritarianism, scholars from all positions disagree on the appropriate character of the state and political life. There is a problem of artificiality: To what extent do the terms of an encounter set up artificial boundaries between Muslim cosmopolitan thought, more conservative Muslim thought, and leftist and liberal thought that may not be there in practice? There is a problem of exclusion: What role does contemporary leftist thought play in critiques of liberalism, from which some ‘Muslim cosmopolitans’ and cosmopolitans-who-happen-to-seem-Muslim draw and have found common cause? (Tariq Ali’s involvement with the New Left Review is a case in point.) And finally there is the problem of power: Given US global hegemony and ongoing authoritarianism, particularly in the MENA, what do intellectual encounters actually change materially on the ground? The 9/11 wars have already significantly raised the public profile in the West of reformist critiques that for decades have been aimed at politics in the Muslim-majority world. This is not without its politics. Western policy circles are to a certain extent aware of these ongoing debates and have tried to capitalize on them. Western policy-makers have been keen to promote some voices over others as part of a political strategy for attracting Muslim ‘moderates’ to their side in the struggle against transnational jihad. In the UK, the FCO took an interest in the fatwa against terrorism issued by Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri.91 Khaled Abou El Fadl’s appointment by former US President George W. Bush to the US Commission on Religious Freedom attracted some criticism from those opposed to US intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan under the auspices of the War on Terror. However, despite their destructive capacity, the 9/11 wars have also generated nascent opportunities for mutual and humble political enquiry within both Western liberal and Islamic traditions, through ‘acts of empathetic conceptual imagination’.92 This is, Macintyre argued, a matter of striving, of beginning a process, rather than a way of securing perfect translatability. The process itself does not designate compatibility or reconcilability as an outcome. There are normative, political and ontological aspects of liberal secular and Islamic traditions, even in their multiplicity, which may be undecidable, in Derridean terms (the sense that something cannot fit comfortably into either pole of a binary opposition). This is not a reason for despair; to quote feminist theorist Barbara Johnson, ‘there is politics precisely because there is undecidability’.93 It is within this undecidability, as well as the contingency of the balance of power in global politics, that the realm of novel political possibility lies. Euben notes that there are four possible outcomes from an encounter between Islamic and Western liberal political thought: conflict, congruence, revision of the certainties held on both sides, or ‘the encounter may transform the very categories and concerns of the inquiry itself’.94 It is in this fourth outcome that the real possibilities for emancipatory politics lie. Euben argues that the emancipatory potential of this kind of critical engagement between political traditions ‘requires the ability to see bi-focally: to simultaneously engage the content and function of Islamism on the one hand’ and also to achieve ‘critical purchase on one’s own’ tradition, so as to ‘register how the very search for “compatibility with liberal democracy” can miss the democratic valences of religio-political commitments that defy such categories and concerns’.95 Both traditions, in their multiplicity, have their weaknesses and have much to learn from one another. This proposed turn to Islamic scholarly inquiry begs the question of the potential contribution of

Christian scholarly debates. While Christian scholarly inquiry into warfare is centuries old, international relations and its war studies cognates have proceeded largely in parallel as secular social sciences from the 1960s onwards. In recent years scholars from a variety of disciplines have taken an interest in thinking about politics through Christian political theologies, and there has been some progress made on issues related to war, violence and terror.96 This conversation has involved some surprising bedfellows, such as Slavoj Žižek and the Radical Orthodoxy theologians. Scholars working in this vein take seriously the injunction that ‘theology and social science are parts of a single intellectual universe. To refuse to relate them is to admit intellectual bankruptcy; it is to admit an inability to confront the totality of human experience’.97 Still, there are several reasons to proceed carefully. The Western Christian heritage also conditions the secular sacreds of liberal global engagement. For example, several scholars have highlighted the ways in which the post–Second World War human rights regime builds on the ethical imperatives of the Christian heritage but for secular times and for secular people. Amnesty International founder Peter Benenson said one aspiration of the organization was ‘to give him who feels cut off from God a sense of belonging to something greater than himself’.98 As Benenson’s quote nicely highlights, this conditioning register, this cultural echo of the Christian heritage in the West, is habitual, aesthetic and emotional, as well as juridico-political. This heritage conditions the categories we unconsciously act by and, critically, the categories through which our political leaders act in the West. This culturally Christian heritage is so embedded in the unconscious liberal secular habitus that it is difficult – though not impossible – for those within it to think outside its categories. Additionally, liberalism’s Christian inheritance is a double-edged sword. Grayson argues that the cultural echo of the Biblical account of Judith has conditioned how Western liberals have justified assassination and targeted killing during the 9/11 wars, including the killing of Osama bin Laden and drone strikes.99 Evans argues that liberal war is indebted to a ‘humanistic reworking of the story of the Fall – one in which life, always assumed to be perpetually guilty of its own (un) making, must continually seek its own recovery from the ashes of its own potential demise’.100 Evans pushes this further, arguing that the liberal framework problematically offers up some kind of redemption through what he calls ‘the divine economy of life itself’. He invokes Kant, but many theologians of the New Testament would disagree with Evans’ suggestion that the essence of the Christian message is the Fall, and emphasize the narrative of redemption found in the resurrection of Christ. This narrative of redemption – not sin – seems to me to be the overriding culturally Christian echo in the liberal war framework. Humanitarian intervention is based on the premise that Others – and the liberal Self – can be resurrected or redeemed through war. This is not to dismiss the very valuable contribution of Christian scholarly debates, but merely to notice some potential ambiguities or pitfalls, given the culturally Christian resonance of liberalism. I agree with Mavelli that there is possibility within the ‘unstable mix’ of Christianity and secularity in the liberal secular habitus. Christian pacifist theologians such as Stanley Hauerwas have also been engaged in sustained critique of liberal, interventionist wars, but have received far less attention from IR scholars.101 While those working within Christian theological traditions may disagree about what that tradition entails or points to politically, these traditions do seem to offer a language and a set of concerns about war for which liberalism has yet to provide a satisfying answer.102 These concerns include dilemmas of sacrifice and suffering and the roles of mercy and forgiveness in war and peace. In

An Awareness of What is Missing, Habermas suggests that secular reason has nothing to say in the face of death; it has also failed ‘to awaken in its secular adherents a sense of solidarity and commitment to the ethical transformation directed toward the whole of the human situation’.103 These considerations are deeply problematic for liberal humanitarian intervention in which soldiers are asked to die on behalf of strangers in order to make possible political transformation. Christian, Islamic and other religious traditions have much to say about these kinds of life-or-death ethical matters. And yet, Euben’s point about critical purchase is an important one. This is the intellectual and political possibility offered up by the 9/11 wars. As Brighton suggests, the life-and-death pressure of war ‘offers a space of possibility’ for critique, perhaps over and above that offered by nonviolent encounter.104 If Western liberalism is so deeply indebted to its Christian heritage, to what extent can scholars redeploying this heritage really gain the necessary imaginative distance? Similarly, Agamben explicitly bypasses the West’s historical encounter with Christianity and revives the old Roman juridical concept homo sacer to interogate the exception to modern sovereign politics.105 However, I would suggest that to encounter the religio-political sacreds of ‘the enemy’ in a process of critique of one’s own dearly held sacreds has far more radical political and intellectual possibilities than Agamben’s method. Additionally, for International Relations scholars engaged in a critique of liberal ways of war and peace, Islamic-influenced political thought may provide a novel set of intellectual resources for rethinking the dilemmas of war waged in the name of liberal ideals.106 As is suggested by Knott’s argument about boundary-making and the sacred, what constitutes the good life has become a contentious sacred (and securitized) boundary during the 9/11 wars. This boundary has been the cause of great bloodshed. However, a humble and mutual revisiting of sacreds, including liberalism’s secular sacreds, might be one step towards desacralizing and desecuritizing this boundary. The use by jihadists of religion as a war idiom has opened up this space. This irony is poignant, but it need not determine the future.

Introduction 1. See Bruce Lincoln, Holy Terrors: Thinking About Religion after September 11 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003). Ian Markham and Ibrahim M. Abu-Rabi’ (eds), 11 September: Religious perspectives on the causes and consequences (Oxford: Oneworld, 2002). 2. I borrow this phrase from Jason Burke, to denote the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as global counterterrorism initiatives under the rubric of the War on Terror. Jason Burke, The 9/11 Wars (London: Allen Lane, 2011). 3. A national controversy erupted in August 2010 in the USA concerning plans to build a 15-storey Islamic community center (which would include a prayer space) on the site of the abandoned Burlington Coat Factory Building, two blocks north of the site of the former World Trade Centre. Right-wing opponents of the project dubbed the community centre a ‘victory mosque’, while other criticized developers for not consulting with 9/11 families. Park 51 opened quietly in September 2011 with a photo exhibition of children from immigrant backgrounds in New York City. See Justin Elliot, ‘How did the “ground zero mosque” fear mongering begin’, salon.com, 16 August 2010, http://www.salon.com /2010/08/16/ground_zero_mosque_origins/singleton/, last accessed 20 October 2011. 4. See Bruce Lincoln, Religion, Empire and Torture: the case of Achaemenian Peria with a postscript on Abu Ghraib (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007), postscript. 5. G. Adams, ‘Chaplains as liaisons with religious leaders’, Peaceworks 56 (Washington DC: United States Institute for Peace, 2006), 1–56. Capt. P. McLaughlin, ‘The chaplain’s evolving role in peace and humanitarian relief operations’, Peaceworks 46 (Washington DC: United States Institute for Peace, 2002), 1–42. 6. Patricia Owens, ‘Torture, Sex and Military Orientalism’, Third World Quarterly 31, no. 7 (2010), 1147–1162. 7. Patrick Porter, Military Orientalism: Eastern War through Western Eyes (London: Hurst & Company, 2009). Tarak Barkawi, ‘Orientalism, “Small Wars” and Big Consequences in Korea and Iraq’, Arena, no. 29/30 (2008), 59–80. Owens, ‘Torture, Sex’. Keith Stanski, ‘“So These Folks Are Aggressive”: An Orientalist Reading of “Afghan Warlords”’, Security Dialogue 40, no. 73 (2009), 173–194. Jackie Assayag, ‘East and West. Orientalism, War and the Colonial Present’, etnográfica 11, no. 1 (2007), 253–269. Maryam Khalid, ‘Gender, Orientalism and representations of the “Other” in the War on Terror’, Global Change, Peace & Security 23, no. 1 (2011), 15–29. Tarak Barkawi and Keith Stanski, Orientalism and War (London: Hurst & Company, 2013. 8. See Richard King, Orientalism and Religion: Postcolonial Theory, India and the Mystic East (London: Routledge: 1999), Chapter 8. 9. Charles Taylor, A Secular Age (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2007).

10. Tarak Barkawi, Globalization and War (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2005), Chapter 4. 11. Peter van der Veer, ‘Introduction’ in Conversion to Modernities: the Globalization of Christianity, (ed.) Peter van der Veer (London: Routledge, 1996). 12. See Stephen Bullivant and Lois Lee, ‘Interdisciplinary Studies of Non-religion and Secularity: The State of the Union’, Journal of Contemporary Religion 27, no. 1 (2012), 19–27. A substantial bibliography can be found at http://nsrn.net/bibliography/bibliography-author/. 13. William E. Connolly, Why I Am Not a Secularist (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1999). Talal Asad, Genealogies of Religion: Disciplines and Reasons of Power in Christianity and Islam (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993). Talal Asad, Formations of the Secular: Christianity, Islam and Modernity (Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press, 2003). José Casanova, Religions in the Modern World (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994). José Casanova, ‘Secularization Revisited: A Reply to Talal Asad’, in Powers of the Secular Modern: Talal Asad and His Interlocutors, (ed.) David Scott and Charles Hirschkind (Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press, 2006). 14. Nikkie Keddie, ‘Secularism and its discontents’, Daedalus 132, no. 3 (2003), 14–30. Timothy Samuel Shah and Daniel Philpott, ‘The Fall and Rise of Religion in International Relations History and Theory’, (ed.) Jack Snyder (New York: Columbia University Press, 2011), 44. 15. Elizabeth Shakman Hurd, ‘The Political Authority of Secularism in International Relations,’ European Journal of International Relations 10, no. 2 (2004), 235–62. William T. Cavanaugh, The Myth of Religious Violence: Secular Ideology and the Roots of Modern Conflict (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009) See Judith Butler, ‘Sexual Politics, Torture and Secular Time’, The British Journal of Sociology 59, no. 1 (2008), 1–23. Asad, Formations of the Secular. James A. Beckford, ‘Secularism and Coercive Freedoms,’ The British Journal of Sociology 59, no. 1 (2008), 39–43. 16. Fred Halliday, Islam and the Myth of Confrontation: Religion and Politics in the Middle East, revised (ed.) (London: I.B. Tauris and Co., 2003). John Esposito, The Islamic Threat: Myth or Reality? (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999). 17. Cavanaugh discusses the application of the Western myth of religious violence to the Iraq war in The Myth of Religious Violence, Chapter 4. Mustapha Kamal Pasha, ‘Globalization, Islam and Resistance’, in Globalization and the Politics of Resistance, (ed.) Barry K. Gills (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2000). Jihadist resistance to ‘hyperliberalism’ comes in cultural form, Pasha argues, ‘because global neoliberalism increasingly takes on the appearance of cultural homogenization’. 18. Barkawi, Globalization and War. Barkawi, forthcoming. 19. On the ontology of war as fighting see Shane Brighton and Tarak Barkawi, ‘Powers of War: Fighting, Knowledge and Critique’, International Political Sociology 5 (2011), 126–143. 20. I am grateful to Fabio Petito for drawing Schmitt’s argument to my attention. 21. Gabriella Slomp, ‘Carl Schmitt’s five arguments against the idea of just war’, Cambridge Review of International Affairs 19, no. 3 (2006), 435–477 (446). 22. Pinar Bilgin, ‘The Securityness of Secularism? The Case of Turkey’, Security Dialogue 39, no. 6 (2008), 593–614 (606, 609). 23. Luca Mavelli, ‘Security and secularization in International Relations,’ European Journal of International Relations 18, no. 1 (2012), 177–199 (182). 24. Ron E. Hassner, ‘Debating the Role of Religion in War,’ International Security 35, no. 1 (2010), 201–205. See Michael C. Horowitz, ‘Long time going: Religion and the duration of crusading,’ International Security 34, no. 2 (2009), 162–193. 25. John B. Thompson, ‘Editor’s Introduction’ to Pierre Bourdieu, Language and Symbolic Power (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1991).

26. Pierre Bourdieu, The Logic of Practice (Palo Alto: Stanford University Press, 1990), 52. 27. Taylor, A Secular Age. 28. Charles Hirschkind, ‘Rethinking secularism: is there a secular body?’, The Immanent Frame, http://blogs.ssrc.org/tif/2010/11/15/secular-body/, last accessed 16 December 2010. 29. Fred Dallmayr, ‘Rethinking Secularism (with Raimon Panikkar)’, The Review of Politics 61, no. 4 (1999),. 715–735. Reprinted with permission at http://sacred-sovereign.uchicago.edu /fd-secularism.html. 30. Shah and Philpott, ‘The Fall and Rise of Religion’, 24–59. 31. Ira Katznelson and Gareth Stedman Jones (eds), Religion and the Political Imagination (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010). Monika Wohlrab-Sahr, ‘Multiple secularities and their normativity as an empirical subject’, Immanent Frame, 13 December 2011, http://blogs.ssrc.org/tif/2011/12/13 /multiple-secularities-and-their-normativity-as-an-empirical-subject/, last accessed 15 August 2012. Humeira Iqtidar, Secularising Islamists? Jamaat-e-Islami and Jamaat-ud-Dawa in Pakistan (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011). Esra Ozyurek, Nostalgia for the Modern: State Secularism and Everyday Politics in Turkey (Chapel Hill: Duke University Press, 2006). 32. Elizabeth Shakman Hurd, The Politics of Secularism in International Relations (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2008). Linnell E. Cady and Elizabeth Shakman Hurd (eds), Comparative Secularisms in a Global Age (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010). Michael Warner, Jonathan VanAntwerpen and Craig Calhoun (eds), Varieties of Secularism in a Secular Age (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2010). Craig Calhoun, Mark Juergensmeyer and Jonathan VanAntwerpen, Rethinking Secularism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011). Erin K. Wilson, After Secularism: rethinking religion in global politics (New York: Palgrave, 2011). Ahmet T. Kuru, Secularism and State Policies towards Religion: the United States, France and Turkey (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009). Daniel Philpott, ‘The Challenge of September 11 to Secularism in International Relations,’ World Politics 55, no. 1 (2002), 66–95. 33. Luca Mavelli, Europe’s Encounter with Islam: the Secular and the Postsecular (Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 2012). 34. Lois Lee has defined nonreligion as ‘something which is defined primarily by the way it differs from religion’, which includes ‘a range of perspectives and experiences, including the atheistic, agnostic, religiously indifferent or areligious, as well as some other forms or aspects of secularism, humanism and, indeed, religion itself’. (By ‘secularism’ Lee means secularity rather than the political tradition of secularism as I use it.) To this Johannes Quack has helpfully added the observation that nonreligion is a relational concept with fuzzy boundaries, and proposes a ‘heuristic approach of how to assess possible relations and responses’ between religion and nonreligion. Quack includes humanism, naturalism, rationalism and some forms of New Age spirituality in his rubric. For Kim Knott, the secular is constituted by both the religious and the nonreligious, and this is also how I understand it. Lois Lee, ‘Glossary’, Virtual Conference: Non-Religion and Secularity Research Network (2011): 1–4. Johannes Quack, ‘What is non-religion? Towards a relational approach’ (draft, 2 August 2012). Kim Knott, ‘Theoretical and methodological resources for breaking open the secular and exploring the boundary between religion and nonreligion’, Historia Religionum 2 (2010), 115–133. 35. Knott, ‘Breaking open the secular’. 36. Phil Zuckerman, ‘Atheism – contemporary rates and patterns’, in Cambridge Companion to Contemporary Atheism, (ed.) Michael Martin (Cambridge: University of Cambridge Press, 2007), 18. This statistic is high because it also includes non-theist traditions such as Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism.

37. Stacey Gutkowski, ‘The British secular habitus and the War on Terror’, Journal of Contemporary Religion 27, no. 1 (2012), 87–103. On productive power I use Barnett and Duvall’s conception: ‘the socially diffuse production of subjectivity in systems of meaning and signification’, Michael Barnett and Raymond Duvall (eds), Power in Global Governance (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005), 3. 38. Mona Kanwal Sheikh. ‘How Does Religion Matter? Causal Effects of Religion in International Relations’, in International Studies Association Annual Convention (New York, 2009). 39. Dipesh Chakrabarty, Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2000). Omar Khalidi, ‘Hinduising India: secularism in practice’, Third World Quarterly 29, no. 8 (2008), 1545–1562 (1551–3). Stuart A. Cohen, ‘From Integration to Segregation: the role of religion in the IDF’, Armed Forces & Society 25, no. 3 (1999), 387–405. 40. Raymond Williams, Marxism and Literature (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1977). 41. William E. Connolly, Why I Am Not a Secularist (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1999), 27. Saba Mahmood, Politics of Piety: the Islamic Revival and the Feminist Subject (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2004). Charles Hirschkind, The Ethical Soundscape: cassette sermons and Islamic counterpublics (New York: Columbia University Press, 2006). 42. Roland Bleiker and Emma Hutchinson, ‘Fear no more: emotion and world politics’, International Studies 34 (2008), 115–135. Emma Hutchinson, ‘Trauma and the politics of emotions: constituting identity, security and community after the Bali bombing’, International Relations 24, no. 1 (2010), 65–86. Bryn Hughes, ‘Becoming emotional about international policing: exploring the relationship between emotions and policing’, International Peacekeeping 16, no. 2 (2009), 199–214. Andrew Ross, ‘Coming in from the cold: constructivism and emotions’, European Journal of International Relations 12, no. 2 (2006), 197–222. Neta Crawford, ‘The Passion of World Politics: Propositions on Emotion and Emotional Relationships’, International Security 24, no. 4 (2000), 116–156. 43. Ryan S. Ritter and Jesse Lee Preston, ‘Gross gods and icky atheism: disgust responses to rejected religious beliefs’, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 47, no. 6 (2011), 1225–30. C.T. Burris and R. Petrican, ‘Hearts Strangely Warmed (and Cooled): Emotional Experience in Religious and Atheistic Individuals’, International Journal for the Psychology of Religion 21, no. 3 (2011), 183–197. 44. Talal Asad, ‘Thinking About the Secular Body, Pain, and Liberal Politics’, Cultural Anthropology 26, no. 4 (2011), 657–675. Hirschkind, ‘Rethinking secularism: is there a secular body?’. 45. Taylor, A Secular Age, 437. 46. Katznelson and Stedman Jones, Religion and the Political Imagination, 8 47. Wilfred Cantwell Smith, Meaning and End of Religion: a new approach to the religious traditions of mankind (New York: New American Library, 1962). Russell T. McCutcheon, Manufacturing Religion: the Discourse on Sui Generis Religion and the Politics of Nostalgia (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997). Timothy Fitzgerald (ed.) Religion and the Secular: Historical and Colonial Formations (London and Oakville: Equinox, 2007). Mark C. Taylor (ed.) Critical Terms for Religious Studies (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1998). Derek R. Peterson and Darren R. Walhof, ‘Rethinking Religion’, in The Invention of Religion: Rethinking Belief in Politics and History, (ed.) Derek R. Peterson and Darren R. Walhof (New Brunswick, New Jersey and London: Rutgers University Press, 2002). Heike Bock, Jörg Feuchter and Michi Knecht, Religion and Its Other: Secular and Sacral Concepts and Practices in Interaction (Frankfurt/New York: Campus Verlag, 2008). 48. Ninian Smart, Dimensions of the Sacred: An Anatomy of the World’s Beliefs (London: Harper Collins, 1996).

49. See Michael C. Williams, Culture and Security: symbolic power and the politics of international security (New York Routledge, 2006); Anna Leander, ‘The Power to Construct International Security: On the Significance of Private Military Companies’, Millennium – Journal of International Studies 33, no. 3 (2005), 803–825. Frédéric Merand, ‘Pierre Bourdieu and the Birth of European Defense’, Security Studies 19, no. 2 (2010), 342–374. 50. Richard Jenkins, Pierre Bourdieu, 2nd (ed.) (New York: Routledge, 2002), 36 51. James A. Beckford, Social Theory and Religion (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), 27, 58. 52. Terry F. Godlove Jr., ‘Saving belief: on the new materialism in religious studies’, in Radical Interpretation in Religion, (ed.) Nancy K. Frankenberry (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), 16. Godlove describes radical interpretation as ‘mixing and matching considerations of holism, natural history, rationality of value, together with all we know of our inter-locutor’s capacities and education, together with our knowledge of the causal, non-rational forces we suspect are in play – group pressure, raging hormones, wishful thinking, and cognitive predispositions.’ 53. Pierre Bourdieu, Outline of a Theory of Practice, translated by Richard Nice (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1977), 36. 54. Consuelo Cruz, ‘Identity and Persuasion: how nations remember their pasts and make their futures’, World Politics 52, no. 3 (2000), 275–312 (278). 55. Clifford Geertz, ‘Common Sense as a Cultural System’, Antioch Review 33, no. 1 (1975), 5–26. 56. Thompson, ‘Editor’s Introduction’. 57. Pierre Bourdieu, Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgment of Taste, translated by Richard Nice (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1984) 471, 477. 58. Bourdieu, The Logic of Practice, 55. 59. John S. Duffield, World Power Forsaken: Political culture, international institutions and German security after unification (Palo Alto: Stanford University Press, 1998), 23. 60. Such mechanical difficulties may be due to Bourdieu’s objective to collapse the subject/object distinction. See Anthony King, ‘Thinking with Bourdieu against Bourdieu: a “practical” critique of the habitus’, Sociological Theory 18, no. 3 (2000), 417–433 (426). 61. See Eric K. Stein, Bengt Sundelius and Paul t’Hart (eds), Beyond Groupthink: Political Group Dynamics and Foreign Policy-Making (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1997). 62. Joelien Pretorius, ‘The Security Imaginary: Explaining military isomorphism’, Security Dialogue 39, no. 9 (2008), 99–120. See Himadeep Muppidi, ‘Postcoloniality and the Production of International Insecurity: The Persistent Puzzle of US-Indian Relations’. in Cultures of Insecurity: States, Communities and the Production of Danger, (ed.) Mark Laffey Jutta Weldes, Hugh Gusterson and Raymond Duvall (Minneapolis and London: University of Minnesota Press, 1999), 124. 63. Pretorius, ‘The Security Imaginary’, 106. 64. Cornelius Castoriadis, The Imaginary Institution of Society, translated by Kathleen Blamey (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1987). Charles Taylor, Modern Social Imaginaries (Duke University Press, 2004). 65. Mary Douglas, Purity and Danger: An Analysis of Conceptions of Pollution and Taboo (London and New York: Routledge, 1966); Risk and Blame: Essays in Cultural Theory (London: Routledge, 1992). 66. Charles Taylor, Modern Social Imaginaries, 23 67. Hurd, Politics of Secularism. 68. Iver Neumann and Vincent Pouliot, ‘Untimely Russia: Hysteresis in Russian-Western relations over the past millennium’, Security Studies 20, no. 1 (2011), 105–137. 69. Bourdieu, The Logic of Practice, 62.

70. Samuel Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations: And the Re-Making of World Order (New York: Simon and Schuster Ltd., 1997). 71. Cavanaugh, Myth of religious violence. 72. Phillips presents a theoretical counter-argument but empirical evidence undermines his thesis. Andrew Phillips, War, Religion and Empire: the Transformation of International Orders (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011), chapter 10. 73. Kees van der Pijl, The Foreign Encounter in Myth and Religion: modes of foreign relations and political economy, volume II (London: Pluto Press, 2010), 209. 74. Jason Burke, Al Qaeda: The True Story of Radical Islam (London: I.B. Tauris, 2006). 75. Fawaz A. Gerges, The Far Enemy: Why Jihad Went Global (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005). 76. See Patrick Porter, ‘Last charge of the knights? Iraq, Afghanistan and the special relationship’, International Affairs 82, no. 2 (2010), 355–75 (363–9). 77. Douglas V. Duff, Sword for Hire: The Saga of a Modern-Free Companion (London: John Murray, 1934), 172–3. 78. The Pew Forum for Religion and Public Life in 2010 released a figure of 2,869,000 Mulims in the UK, or 4.6 per cent of the total population. British Muslims are, in absolute terms, the third largest Muslim population in Europe, after Germany and France. Clive Field, ‘How Many Muslims?’, British Religion in Numbers: an online resource, http://www.brin.ac.uk/news/2010/how-many-muslims/, last accessed 13 September 2012. 79. Pascal Siegers, ‘A Multiple Group Latent Class Analysis of Religious Orientations in Europe’, in CrossCultural Analysis: Methods and Applications, (ed.) Eldad Davidov, Peter Schmidt and Jaak Billiet (New York: Routledge, 2010), 385–414. Siobhan McAndrew, ‘Religious Faith and Contemporary Attitudes’, in British Social Attitudes: The 26th Report, (ed.) Alison Park, John Curtis, Katarina Thomson, Miranda Phillips, Elizabeth Clery, and Sarah Butt (London: Sage, 2010), 88–113. 80. Barry A. Kosmin and Ariela Keysar with Ryan Cragun and Juhem Navarro-Rivera, American Nones: profile of the no religion population, a report based on the American Religious Identification Survey 2008 (Hartford, CT: Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society and Culture, 2009) i. 81. David Voas and Abby Day, ‘Secularity in Great Britain’, in Secularism and Secularity: Contemporary International Perspectives, (ed.) Barry A. Kosmin and Ariela Keysa (Hartford, CT: Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society and Culture, 2007), 95–110 (100). 82. Baroness Warsi, Transcript of 2011 University of Leicester Sir Sigmund Sternberg lecture, 20 January 2011, http://www2.le.ac.uk/offices/press/media-centre/baroness-warsi-speech/sayeeda-warsi-delivers2011-university-of-leicester-sir-sigmund-sternberg-lecture-1, last accessed 7 March 2011. 83. Angelique Chrisafis, ‘France’s burqa ban: women are “effectively under house arrest”’, The Guardian, 19 September 2011. 84. On 24 August 2012, Anders Behring Breivik was convicted of the 22 July 2011 attacks, in which a car bomb exploded in the executive government quarter of Oslo shortly before Breivik opened fire on participants at a summer camp of the youth wing for the ruling Labour Party, killing 69 participants. In total 77 people died in what was the deadliest attack on Norwegian soil since the Second World War. 85. David Voas, ‘The rise and fall of fuzzy fidelity in Europe’, European Sociological Review 25, no. 2 (2009), 155–68. 86. David Wulff, ‘Prototypes of Faith: an international project on assessing life perspectives’, Nonreligion and Secularity: new empirical perspectives, 11 December 2009, Wolfson College, Oxford, UK. Wulff is a psychologist of religion and his empirical conclusions are derived from his development of a 101

question ‘Faith Q Sort’ assessment tool. 87. Elizabeth Shakman Hurd, ‘Secularism and International Relations Theory’, in Religion and International Relations Theory, (ed.) Jack Snyder (New York: Columbia University Press, 2009). 88. See Scott Thomas, ‘Book Review: Elizabeth Shakman Hurd, The Politics of Secularism in International Relations’, Perspectives in Politics, 7, no. 1 (2009), 225–227. 89. Grace Davie, ‘Religion in Europe in the 21st century: the factors to take into account’, European Journal of Sociology, 47, no. 2 (2006), 271–296 (289). 90. Chris Hables Gray, Postmodern War: new politics of conflict (New York Routledge, 1997)109. 91. UK government source, interview with author, 2008. 92. I am grateful to Charles Jones for this wording. 93. Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook (Washington, DC: November 2009). 94. David Herbert, Religion and Civil Society: Re-Thinking Public Religion in the Contemporary World (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2003), 175. 95. Luca Mavelli uses the phrase ‘unstable mix’ to describe Europe. Mavelli, Europe’s Encounter. 96. Brighton and Barkawi, ‘Powers of War’, 136. 97. Porter, ‘Last charge of the knights?’, 364–7. 98. Knott, ‘Breaking open the secular

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Creole bodies in colonial Spanish America, 1600–1650’, American Historical Review 104, no. 1 (1999), 33–68. Sandberg, ‘Beyond Encounters’, 8. See Gananath Obeyesekere, The Apotheosis of Captain Cook: European Mythmaking in the Pacific (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1992), 16–18. Don Higginbotham, ‘The Military Institutions of Colonial America: the rhetoric and the reality’, in Tools of War: Instruments, Ideas and Institutions of Warfare, 1445–1871, (ed.) John A. Lynn (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1990). See Patricia Lopes Don, ‘Franciscans, Indian Sorcerors and the Inquisition in New Spain, 1536–1543’, Journal of World History 17, no. 1 (2006), 27–48. Stephen Toulmin, Cosmopolis: the hidden agenda of modernity (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1990), 134. Russell Bourne, Gods of War, Gods of Peace: how the meeting of native and colonial religions shaped early America (New York: Houghton Miflin Harcourt, 2002). Michael Mann, ‘“Torch Bearers on the Path to Progress”: Britain’s ideology of a “moral and material progress” in India, an introductory essay’ in Colonialism as Civilizing Mission: Cultural Ideology in British India, (ed.) Harald Fischer-Tiné and Michael Mann (London: Anthem Press, 2004), 8. Antony Anghie, ‘The Evolution of International Law: colonial and post-colonial realities’, Third World Quarterly 27, no. 5 (2006), 739–53 (744). Douglas M. Peers, Between Mars and Mammon: Colonial Armies and the Garrison State in 19th century India (London: I.B. Tauris, 1995), 280. Keith Surridge, ‘The Ambiguous Amir: Britain, Afghanistan and the 1897 Northwest Frontier Uprising’, The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 36, no. 3 (2008), 417–434 (422). Andrew Porter, ‘Religion and Empire: British Expansion in the Long Nineteenth Century’, The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History XX, no. 3 (1992), 270–390 (386). Thomas Metcalf, Ideologies of the Raj, Vol. 3: 4, The New Cambridge History of India (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994), 187–8; Derek R. Peterson and Darren R. Walhof, ‘Rethinking Religion’, in The Invention of Religion: Rethinking Belief in Politics and History, (ed.) Derek R. Peterson and Dareen R. Walhof (New Brunswick, New Jersey and London: Rutgers University Press, 2002), 1. Francis Robinson, ‘The British Empire and the Muslim World’, in The Oxford History of the British Empire: the Twentieth Century, (ed.) Judith Margaret Brown et al. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001), 398–420 (406–7); Metcalf, Ideologies of the Raj, 89. Uday Singh Mehta, Liberalism and Empire: A Study in Nineteenth Century British Liberal Thought (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1999), 15; Jennifer Pitts, A Turn to Empire: the Rise of Imperial Liberalism in Britain and France (Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2005). Robinson, ‘The British Empire and the Muslim World’, 406–7. Gwilym Beckerlegge, Followers of ‘Mohammed, Kalee and Dada Nanuk’: The Presence of Islam and South Asian Religions in Victorian Britain, Religion in Victorian Britain, Vol. 5: Culture and Empire, (ed.) John Wolffe (Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press in Association with the Open University, 1997), 225. Rozina Visram, Ayahs, Lascars and Princes: Indians in Britain, 1700–1947 (London: Pluto Press, 1986). Beckerlegge, Followers of ‘Mohammed, Kalee and Dada Nanuk’, 247. Surridge, ‘The Ambiguous Amir’. Albert Hourani, Islam in European Thought (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991), 17.

54. See David B. Edwards, ‘Mad Mullahs and Englishmen: Discourse in the Colonial Encounter’, Society for the Comparative Study of Society and History 31, no. 4 (1989), 649–70. 55. Winston S. Churchill, ‘The Story of the Malakind Field Force – an Episode of Frontier War’, in Frontiers and Wars, (ed.) Winston S. Churchill (London: Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1962), 20. 56. Edward Keith-Roach, Pasha of Jerusalem: Memoirs of a District Commissioner under the British Mandate, (ed.) Paul Eedle (London: Radcliffe Press, 1994), 122–3. 57. Stacey Gutkowski, Religious Violence, Secularism and the British Security Imaginary, 2001–2009. PhD dissertation, University of Cambridge, 2010, chapter 2. 58. Ibid. 59. Ibid., 221. 60. Katherine Pratt Ewing, Arguing Sainthood: Modernity, Psychoanalysis, and Islam (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1997), 45–46. See Gregory C. Kozlowski, Muslim Endowments and Society in British India (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985), 153; Anil Seal, ‘Imperialism and Nationalism in India’, in Locality, Province and Nation: Essays on Indian Politics, 1870–1940, (ed.) G. Johnson, Anil Seal and J. Gallagher (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1973), 6–15; David Gilmartin, ‘Democracy, Nationalism and the Public: A Speculation on Colonial Muslim Politics’, South Asia 14 (June 1991), 123–140 (123–5). 61. Nile Green, Islam and the Army in Colonial India: sepoy religion in the service of empire (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009). See also Justin Jones, ‘Book Review: Nile Green, Islam and the Army in Colonial India’, Journal of Islamic Studies 21, no. 3 (2010), 461–464. 62. Tarak Barkawi, ‘Army, Ethnicity and Society in British Imperial Context’ (draft), 56–7. 63. Sir George Fletcher MacMunn, The Armies of India, quoted in Nicholas Dirks, Castes of Mind (New Haven: Princeton University Press, 2001), 177. 64. HM Government, ‘Preventing Violent Extremism: A Strategy for Delivery’, May 2008, 4. 65. Barkawi, ‘Army, Ethnicity and Society’, 64. 66. IWM 96/17/1, Lt. Col. John Peddie, The Steady Drummer (unpublished memoir), chap. VIII, pp. 13–14. Cited in Barkawi, ‘Army, Ethnicity and Society’, 57. 67. Snape, Religion and the Redcoat, 231. 68. Ibid, 218–219. 69. Ibid. 70. See John William Kaye, A History of the Sepoy War in India 1857–1858, Vol. I (London: W.H. Allen & Co., 1864), 553–59; J.A.B. Palmer, The Mutiny Outbreak at Meerut (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1966). 71. Snape, Religion and the Redcoat, 184–5. 72. Alfred Lyall to father, 11 July 1857. Alfred Lyall, Papers of Alfred Lyall, British Library, MSS Eur F132/2 and F132/3. Cited in Alex Padamsee, Representations of Indian Muslims in British Colonial Discourse (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005), 91. 73. Beckerlegge, Followers of ‘Mohammed’, 244–5 74. Jacob Landau, The Politics of Pan-Islam: Ideology and Organisation (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1990), 40–44, 60, 69. 75. Padamsee has argued that by 1859 the British realized that their earlier belief in a Muslim conspiracy to restore the Mughal Empire was false, and yet narratives of Muslim fanaticism and revolt persisted into the twentieth century. Padamsee, Representations, 50–1. 76. Phillips, War, Religion and Empire, 269. 77. Ibid., 264.

78. Michael Freeman, ‘The Problem of Secularism in Human Rights Theory’, Human Rights Quarterly 26, no. 2 (2004), 375–400 (382). 79. Abdullahi A. An-Na’im, ‘Problems of Universal Cultural Legitimacy for Human Rights’, in Human Rights in Africa: Cross-cultural perspectives, (ed.) Abdullahi A. An-Na’im and Francis M. Deng (Washington DC: Brookings Institution Press, 1990), 349–50. 80. Phillips, War, Religion and Empire, 269.

Chapter 2. Developing Secular Habits in War: the Northern Irish Troubles 1. Malaya (1948—60), Korea (1950—1953), Mau Mau uprising (1952—60), Cyprus (1955—9), Suez (1956), Dhofar Rebellion (1962—75), Aden (1963—67), Northern Ireland (1968—98), Falklands (1982), First Gulf War (1990—92), Bosnia and Herzegovina (1994—5), Iraq (1998), Sierra Leone (2000—02), Kosovo (1999, then deployed with KFOR), Afghanistan (2002—present), Iraq (2003—2011) and Libya (2011). 2. John Hickey, Religion and the Northern Ireland Problem (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan 1984), 119. 3. Claire Mitchell, Religion, Identity and Politics in Northern Ireland: Boundaries of Belonging and Belief (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2006), 1. On Vatican interest, see CJ 4/525 between December 1972 and April 1973; also CJ 4 525, 25 Nov 1974 telegram from British representative to the Vatican to the Northern Ireland Office, urging them not to neglect the Vatican. On concerned clergy from the US and also the Irish Republic see CJ 4/525 circa May and June 1973. 4. Joseph Ruane and Jennifer Todd, ‘Communal Conflict and Emancipation: the Case of Northern Ireland’, in Critical Security Studies and World Politics, (ed.) Ken Booth (Boulder and London: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2005). 5. Mitchell, Boundaries of Belonging and Belief, 1–2. 6. J. C. Carothers, The Psychology of Mau Mau (Nairobi: Government Printer, 1955), 15, 9; General Sir George Erskine (Commander-in-Chief) and Sir Evelyn Baring, Governor, on January 18, 1955. Cited in SGM Herbert A. Friedman (Ret.) ‘Psyop of the Mau-Mau Uprising’, http://www.psywar.org /maumau.php, last accessed 10 June 2009. 7. See Michael Sells, ‘Crosses of blood: sacred space, religion and violence in Bosnia-Hercegovina’, Sociology of Religion 69, no. 3 (2003), 309–331. 8. This was not the case in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, but ‘emerge[d particularly] after American techniques came to light – black detention centres, enhanced interrogation techniques, etc.’ A senior foreign intelligence officer (former), interview with the author, November 2010. On counterinsurgency, Malaya, Aden, Cyprus, India and Palestine were the main British points of reference. 9. A senior officer in the British Army, currently serving, correspondence with author, September 2008; also Major General (Ret.) Tim Cross, British Army, interview with author, July 2008 and a senior intelligence officer (former) interview with the author, November 2010. 10. Mary J. Hickman, Lyn Thomas, Sara Silvestri, Henri Nicols, ‘Suspect Communities’? counter-terrorism policy, the press and the impact on Irish and Muslim communities in Britain (London: London Metropolitan University, 2011), 5. 11. David Benest, ‘Aden to Northern Ireland: 1966–76’, in Big and Small Wars: the British Army and the lessons of war in the 20th century, (ed.) Hew Strachan (Abingdon: Routledge, 2006), 128. 12. The government of the United Kingdom is often referred to as ‘Westminster’ to distinguish it from the devolved Parliament of Northern Ireland (Stormont). The latter went through various iterations and suspensions from 1972 until the Belfast Agreement of 1998 established the current Northern Ireland

Assembly. 13. There are several secondary sources on the churches during this period: Gerald McElroy, The Catholic Church and the Northern Ireland Crisis, 1968–86 (Dublin: Gill and Macmillan, 1991). Daithi O’Corrain, Rendering to God and Caesar: The Irish Churches and the Two States in Ireland, 1949–73 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2008). Duncan Morrow, ‘Church and Religion in the Ulster Crisis,’ in Facets of the Conflict in Northern Ireland, (ed.) Seamus Dunn (Basingstoke: St Martin’s Press, 1995). Dominic Murray, ‘Culture, Religion and Violence in Northern Ireland’, in Facets of the Conflict in Northern Ireland, (ed.) Seamus Dunn (Basingstoke: St Martin’s Press, 1995). Two memoirs from church leaders were also particularly helpful in constructing a timescale of events: Norman W. Taggart, Conflict, Controversy and Cooperation: The Irish Council of Churches and ‘the Troubles’ 1968–1972 (Dublin: Columba Press, 2004) and Eric Gallagher and Stanley Worrall, Christians in Ulster, 1968–1972 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1982). 14. Clifford Longley, ‘Opinion Poll Gives Churches Little Comfort’, The Times, 14 October 1974. 15. Paul A. Welsby, History of the Church of England (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1984). 16. Callum G. Brown, Religion and Society in Twentieth-Century Britain (Harlow: Longman, 2006), 225–6, 236–8. 17. Richard Rose, Governing without Consensus: An Irish Perspective (London: Faber & Faber Ltd, 1971), 248. 18. Mitchell, Boundaries of Belonging and Belief, 24. 19. Michael Clarke, ‘Rethinking Security and Power’, in Progressive Foreign Policy, (ed.) David Held and David Mepham (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2007), 18. 20. Former senior official, Northern Ireland Office, interview with author, 13 November 2007. 21. Respectively, Ian Gilmour, Conservative MP for Chesham and Amersham, Statement to the House of Commons, 4 June 1974, Parliamentary Debates, Commons, vol. 874, col. 1175; Steve Bruce, Paisley: Religion and Politics in Northern Ireland (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007). CJ/4/3, minutes of meeting between Home Secretary Reginald Maudling and four church leaders at the Home Office, 21 October 1970. Kevin McNamara, Labour MP for Hull North, Statement to the House of Commons, 5 February 1971, Parliamentary Debates, Commons, vol. 811, col. 1266. Angus Maude, Conservative MP for Stratford-on-Avon, Statement to the House of Commons, 4 June 1974, Parliamentary Debates, Commons, vol. 874, col. 1139. James Callaghan, Labour Home Secretary (former), Statement to the House of Commons, 13 October 1969, Parliamentary Debates, Commons, vol. 788, col. 59 22. Sir David Renton, Conservative MP for Huntingdonshire, Statement to the House of Commons, 13 October 1969, Parliamentary Debates, Commons, vol. 788, col. 145 23. Personal papers of Cardinal Conway, ‘Churches Meeting with Mr Whitelaw Prior to White Paper, Memo from Secretary to Cardinal,’ (2 May 1973). 24. Public Records Office, United Kingdom, Northern Ireland Office, ‘S/S Meeting with Representatives of N.I. Churches,’ (21 October 1970). 25. John E. Maginnis, Ulster Unionist MP for Armagh, Statement to the House of Commons, 15 February 1971, Parliamentary Debates, Commons, vol. 811, col. 1285. 26. This changed during the Hunger Strikes, when Bobby Sands and other hunger strikers explicitly articulated their identities through the terms of Christian sacrifice, with Sands drawing parallels between himself and Jesus Christ. See McElroy, The Catholic Church. 27. Clifford Longley, ‘Odd Men out in All Christendom’, The Times, 21 February 1972. 28. Clifford Longley, ‘Secular Myths and Realities’, Anglo-Irish Encounter Conference, (St John’s College Oxford: 1997).

29. Mark Hughes, Labour MP for Durham, Statement to the House of Commons, Parliamentary Debates, Commons, 4 June 1974, vol. 874, col. 1115. 30. Fionnuala McKenna (14 December 2009) ‘Extracts from the Government of Ireland Act, 23 December 1920’ CAIN, http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/issues/politics/docs/goi231220.htm#8, last accessed 22 December 2009. 31. Shirley Adawy Peart, English Images of the Irish, 1570–1620 (Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press, 2002); Joseph Ruane and Jennifer Todd, ‘Communal Conflict and Emancipation: the Case of Northern Ireland’, 239. 32. Linda Colley, Britons: Forging the Nation, 1707–1837 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1992); see Hugh McLeod, ‘Protestantism and British National Identity, 1815–1945’, in Nation and Religion: Perspectives on Europe and Asia, (ed.) Peter van der Veer and Hartmut Lehmann (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press), 46–8. 33. Rev. R.V.A. Lynas, former convenor of the Government Committee, General Board of the Presbyterian Church, Ireland, interview with author, September 2007. 34. Eric Gallagher and Stanley Worrall, Christians in Ulster, 1968–1972 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1982), 192. 35. On reactions to Ian Paisley’s speeches see the following: HA/32/2/11, CAB/9B/300/2–3, CAB/9B /312/3, CAB/9J/90/10 (Public Records Office Northern Ireland), CJ/4/489, PREM/15/1699 (Public Records Office, London). James Callaghan, A House Divided: The Dilemma of Northern Ireland (London: Collins, St James’s Place, 1973), 86. 36. Raymond Fletcher, Labour MP for Ilkeston, Statement to the House of Commons, 22 September 1971, Parliamentary Debates, Commons, vol. 823, col. 69. 37. Eric S. Heffer, Labour MP for Liverpool Walton, Statement to the House of Commons, 13 October 1969, Parliamentary Debates, Commons, vol. 788, col. 139–40. This debate followed the publication of the Hunt Report, calling for the reform of the police force in Northern Ireland, the Royal Ulster Constabulary. 38. A former senior official, Northern Ireland Office, interview with author, 13 November 2007. 39. Op. Cit. 40. An exception is DEFE/25/273 where the origins of the Conflict are discussed. 41. Max Arthur, Northern Ireland: Soldiers Talking (London: Sidgwick and Jackson, 1987). 42. A former officer in the British Army, correspondence with author, 17 November 2007. 43. Michael Dewar, The British Army in Northern Ireland. 2nd (ed.) (London: Arms and Armour, 1996), 10. 44. BBC News, ‘The IRA campaigns in Britain’, 4 March 2001, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news /1201738.stm, last accessed 15 June 2006. The first bombing, at the Aldershot barracks in Surrey, in retribution for Bloody Sunday, was carried out by the Official IRA. Subsequent attacks were carried out by the Provisional IRA. 45. See CJ/4/3, newspaper clipping, 28 Sept 1970, Irish Times, ‘Troops “over-reaction policy” against rioters condemned’, which quotes a Fr. Murphy about reaching out to the British Army and asking them to facilitate a meeting between themselves and community representatives from the Falls and Shankill roads. 46. See CJ/4/525, 3 January 1973 letter from Sir Harry Tuzo, General Officer Commanding, Northern Ireland to Secretary of State for Northern Ireland William Whitelaw regarding Tuzo’s meeting with Father Desmond Wilson. Tuzo wrote, ‘We had a long and extremely friendly discussion in which it emerged that the reduction in Army activity is recognized and, on the whole, appreciated.’ (Cardinal

47.

48. 49. 50. 51. 52.

53.

54.

55. 56.

57. 58. 59. 60.

61. 62. 63.

Conway’s account of correspondence with Sir Harry Tuzo can be found in Cardinal Conway personal papers, Armagh, 24/7). McElroy, The Catholic Church, Chapter 4. Also, in December 1972 Cardinal Conway received a piece of hate mail saying that the Roman Catholic Church has blessed the IRA and that is why Secretary of State Whitelaw will not trust him. Whitelaw replied to the Cardinal that this likely came from a disaffected, middle-grade civil servant in Stormont. CJ/4/525, 4 December 1974, memo from Bourn to England. CJ/4/525, 23 October 1974, letter from Crawley to Northern Ireland Office regarding meeting with Cardinal Conway. CJ/4/525, memo from April 1974 meeting and CCDC statement referencing Tom Conaty and Fr. Padraig Murphy. Martin Dillon, God and the Gun: the Church and Irish Terrorism (London: Orion, 1997), 266. Rod Thornton, ‘Getting It Wrong: The Crucial Mistakes Made in the Early Stages of the British Army’s Deployment to Northern Ireland (August 1969 to March 1972)’, Journal of Strategic Studies 30, no. 1 (2007), 73–107 (86–7). See CJ/4/525, minutes of major 29 August 1974 meeting between the Catholic hierarchy and Merlyn Rees. On the shooting of Catholic priest Hugh Mullan in Belfast see Norman W. Taggart, Conflict, Controversy and Cooperation: The Irish Council of Churches and ‘The Troubles’ 1968–1972 (Dublin: Columba Press, 2004), 51. CJ/4/444, telegram 24 Nov 1972 from Douglas-Home to Crawley about what to say at the Vatican, CJ/4/444, memo of 22 Nov 1972 meeting Lord Windlesham and others at Stormont. Derek Brown, ‘Priests accuse Ulster troops of brutality’, The Guardian, 21 November 1972. The following clippings are also contained in CJ/4/444: ‘Ulster Priests death charges denied by Army’ (Daily Telegraph), ‘Army Counters Priests Attack’ (unknown paper), ‘65 priests accuse Army of shooting innocent victims’ and ‘Army spokesmen deny accusations’ (unknown paper); ‘Priest details shooting by troops in civilian garb’ (Irish News). Plain-clothes soldiers were also accused of shooting unarmed civilians, a charge the Army denied. Dillon, God and the Gun. Hassner has noted, ‘Soldiers offend the religious community when they disregard the required gestures of approach, such as ritual ablution, the removal of shoes and the discarding of weapons. Once inside the mosque, soldiers can trigger indignation in an endless variety of ways, including acting or talking inappropriately, handling items considered sacrosanct, consuming foods prohibited by Islam, smoking, sitting or even posing irreverently for the media’. Hassner, ‘Fighting Insurgency on Sacred Ground’, Washington Quarterly 29, no. 2 (2006), 149–166 (153). See CAB/4/1483, 8 October 1969, Prevention of Incitement to Religious Hatred Bill; DCR/1/11, 1969–70, Prevention of Incitement to Religious Hatred Bill. See CJ/4/23, CJ/4/215, CJ/4/81 and CJ/4/814 on parades legislation and policing practice. Barry McCaffrey, ‘Who started IRA’s first real engagement of the Troubles?’ Irish News, 25 June 2010. Text of a Communiqué issued on 29 August 1969 at the conclusion of the visit of the Secretary of State for the Home Department to Northern Ireland, http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/issues/politics/docs/bni290869.htm, last accessed 5 July 2007. Callaghan, A House Divided, 157. Benedict Anderson, Imagined communities: reflections on the origins and spread of nationalism (London: Verso, 2006). Major General (Ret.) Tim Cross, British Army, interview with author, July 2008.

64. PREM/16/968, CJ/4/525, CJ/4/860, CJ/4/1107, CJ/4/1108, CJ/4/3, HO/221/358, FCO/87/409. 65. See HO/221/358, Public Records Office, UK, Home Office, 10 February 1970, memo from Professor F.H. Newark from Queen’s University Belfast. ‘It is desirable that we should have evidence from someone who can represent the non-articulate Roman Catholic Irish element which represents about 1/3 of the Northern Ireland population. The national leader of that element is, of course, Cardinal Conway’. 66. CREL/4, CREL/5, CREL/6, DCR/1; HO/325/47 on the Community Relations Commission from a Westminster perspective. 67. Brown, Religion and society. 68. Arthur Osman, ‘Coventry priest raised IRA unit from parishioners, Crown said’, The Times, 9 October 1973. Harold McDonald, ‘Three more IRA Priests in Claudy link’, The Guardian, http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2002/dec/22/northernireland?INTCMP=ILCNETTXT3487, last accessed 15 June 2011. Owen Bowcott, ‘Claudy bombings: Father Chesney the “Provo Priest”’, The Guardian, 24 August 2010. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/aug/24/claudy-bombing-profile-father-chesney, last accessed 15 June 2011. 69. See on efforts by Bishop Edward Daly in 1974 see Gallagher and Worrall, Christians in Ulster, 95. 70. CJ/4/1108. 30 June 1970, note for the record, Home Secretary’s meeting with representatives of the Protestant churches. 71. Rev. Norman W. Taggart, Methodist minister, former head of the Irish Council of Churches, interview with author, September 2007. 72. Pierre Bourdieu, Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgment of Taste, translated by Richard Nice (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1984), 476. 73. CJ/4/1108, 20 October 1970, briefing note ahead of Home Secretary’s meeting with the four church leaders on 21 October 1970. 74. Personal notes from Ronnie Burroughs during his time as the UK Representative in Northern Ireland and Quintin Hogg, MP found among the personal correspondence of Cardinal Conway, indicate particularly good interpersonal relations. See respectively Cardinal Conway’s personal papers, Armagh, unnumbered file ‘Disturbances in Northern Ireland, United Kingdom Office, 1969-’, especially 20 December 1970. Cardinal Conway’s personal papers, Armagh, 24/3–1, July 1970-November 1972. 75. CJ/4/525, 25 November 1974, note from J.N. Allan to a Mr. Huckle. See also Cardinal Conway’s personal papers, Armagh, 24/2–1/1, 27 August 1974, Cardinal Conway memorandum of his meeting with R. Moyle, Minister of State for Education, on the matter of shared schools. 76. CJ/4/1108, 10 July 1970, internal Northern Ireland Office memo describing the Cardinal’s offer. 77. Public Records Office, United Kingdom, Northern Ireland Office, CJ/4/525, 4 December 1974, memo between officials Bourn and England. 78. CJ/4/525, 4 December 1974, memo between officials Bourn and England. 79. CJ/4/1108, minutes of 24 January 1975 meeting between the church leaders and the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Merlyn Rees. 80. On their own initiative a group of Protestant clergymen (not the leaders Westminster had been dealing with) had met with PIRA leaders in Feakle, Co. Clare on 10 December 1974 in an attempt to negotiate a Christmas ceasefire. They had proposed a settlement and the PIRA had responded with a list of conditions, which they entrusted the clergymen to convey to the Westminster government, which they did. The PIRA observed an initial ceasefire from 22 December 1974–2 January 1975, and then renewed this ceasefire until 17 January 1975. During this period the Westminster government carried out its own negotiations with the PIRA leaders, prompted by but separate from the Feakle process. 81. See CJ/4/860, 4 November 1974 11 February 1975, ‘Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA)

ceasefire, 1975: Political Aspects and Background Papers IRA/Ceasefire’. FCO/87/409. 82. Op. cit. 83. Benest, ‘Aden to Northern Ireland, 1966–1976’, 137.

Chapter 3. The British Secular Habitus up to and Including the 9/11 Wars 1. Former Researcher at the Defence Academy, interview with the author, November 2010. 2. Major General (Ret.) Tim Cross, British Army, interview with author, July 2008. 3. Arthur Snell, former Assistant Director for Counter-terrorism, Foreign & Commonwealth Office (2008–10) and Deputy Head of the Provincial Reconstruction Team, Helmand Province (2010), interview with the author, January 2011. 4. See Irving L. Janis, Groupthink: Psychological Studies of Policy Decisions and Fiascoes. 2nd (ed.) (Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin, 1982). 5. In June 2012 MI5 issued a warning that unrest caused by the Arab Spring has changed this, but this has not registered widely in the British imaginary. Nick Hopkins, ‘MI5 warns al-Qaida regaining UK toehold after Arab Spring’, The Guardian, 25 June 2012. 6. Ira Katznelson and Gareth Stedman Jones, (eds), Religion and the Political Imagination (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), 1–17. 7. Raymond Williams, Marxism and Literature (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1977). 8. Susan Budd, Varieties of Unbelief: Atheists and Agnostics in English Society 1850–1960 (London: Heinemann, 1977). 9. There was also Christian immigration from the Caribbean and Africa. 10. Hugh McLeod, ‘Protestantism and British National Identity, 1815–1945’, in Nation and Religion: Perspectives on Europe and Asia, (ed.) Peter van der Veer and Hartmut Lehmann (eds) (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1999), 56. 11. See Gerald Parsons, (ed.), Religion in Victorian Britain (Manchester: Manchester University Press in Association with the Open University, 1997). 12. Adrian Hastings, History of English Christianity, 1920–2000, 3rd (ed.) (London: SCM Press, 2001), 3. 13. Gwilym Beckerlegge, Followers of ‘Mohammed, Kalee and Dada Nanuk’: The Presence of Islam and South Asian Religions in Victorian Britain, Religion in Victorian Britain, Vol. 5: Culture and Empire, (ed.) John Wolffe (Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press in Association with the Open University, 1997), 222. 14. McLeod, ‘Protestantism’, 65. This followed the Bradlaugh affair in 1880, when Braudlaugh, a confirmed atheist and founder of the National Secular Society, refused to take the parliamentary Oath of Allegiance, which included a reference to God. After much public controversy he was allowed to take up his seat in 1886. 15. McLeod, ‘Protestantism’, 60. 16. Hastings, History of English Christianity, 121. 17. Ibid., 103–129. 18. On the 1872 ‘secular solution’ in education see Jonathan Parry, ‘The disciplining of religious conscience in nineteenth-century British politics’ in Religion and the Political Imagination, (ed.) Ira Katznelson and Gareth Stedman Jones (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), 227. 19. S.J.D. Green, Religion in the Age of Decline: Organisation and Experience in Industrial Yorkshire, 1870–1920 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996). 20. Callum G. Brown, Religion and Society in Twentieth-Century Britain (Harlow: Longman, 2006), 144.

21. Hastings, History of English Christianity, 121. 22. Anthony D. Smith, Chosen Peoples: Sacred Sources of National Identity (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003). Adrian Hastings, The Construction of Nationhood: Ethnicity, Religion and Nationalism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997) and Liah Greenfeld, Nationalism: Five Roads to Modernity (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1992). 23. McLeod, ‘Protestantism’, 44, 61. 24. Ibid., 44. 25. David Thomson, England in the Twentieth Century, 1914–1979, 2nd (ed.) (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1981), 255. 26. Paul Welsby, History of the Church of England, 1945–1980 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1984), 98. 27. Gerald Parsons, The Growth of Religious Diversity: Britain from 1945 (London: Routledge/Open University, 1993). 28. Robin Gill, C. Kirk Hadaway, and Penny Long Marler, ‘Is Religious Belief Declining in Britain?’, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 37, no. 3 (1998), 507–516 (508). 29. They noted that part of the latter change was the percentage of ‘don’t knows’ shrinking from 11 per cent to 5 per cent. Gill, Hadaway, and Marler, ‘Belief Declining’, 508–9. 30. David Voas and Alisdair Crockett, ‘Religion in Britain: Neither Believing nor Belonging’, Sociology 39, no. 11 (2005): 11–28. 31. Ibid., 28. 32. Grace Davie, Religion in Britain since 1945: Believing without Belonging (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 1994). 33. See Linda Woodhead and Paul Heelas, The Spiritual Revolution: why religion is giving way to spirituality (Oxford: Blackwell, 2005). 34. See David Voas and Abby Day, ‘Recognizing Secular Christians: toward an unexcluded middle in the literature on religion’, The Association of Religion Data Archives (2010), http://www.thearda.com /rrh/papers/guidingpapers/voas.asp, last accessed 1 May 2011; Ingrid Storm, ‘Halfway to Heaven: Four Types of Fuzzy Fidelity in Europe’, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 48, no. 4 (2009), 702–718. 35. David Voas and Abby Day, ‘Secularity in Great Britain’, in Secularism and Secularity: Contemporary International Perspectives, (ed.) B.A. Kosmin and A. Keysar (Hartford, CT: Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society and Culture, 2007), 108. 36. Voas and Day, ‘Secularity in Great Britain’, 204. 37. Francis Beckett, ‘Holier Than Thou: How Can Faith Schools Teach Tolerance and Understanding of Others’ Beliefs When They Usually Discriminate against Them?’, The Guardian, 13 November 2001. 38. Callum G. Brown, The Death of Christian Britain: Understanding Secularisation 1800–2000 (London and New York: Routledge, 2001). 39. Staff writers (14 November 2005) ‘BBC Poll Shows Changes in Faith and Secularism across the UK’, Ekklesia, http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/content/news_syndication/article_051114faith.shtml, last accessed 9 August 2009. 40. Voas and Day, ‘Secularity in Great Britain’, 96. 41. Robert A. Orsi, Between Heaven and Earth: the Religious Worlds People Make and the Scholars who study them (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2005), 186. 42. The speakers quoted are Lord Bassam of Brighton, representing the government, and Lord Judd respectively. Baroness Byford, regarding Lord Harrison’s contribution, noted that ‘a lot of his views are

43. 44. 45. 46.

47. 48. 49.

50.

51.

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65. 66. 67.

based on his family experience – and I suspect that most of us who are speaking will find that as well’. Baroness Byford, Statement to the House of Lords, 19 April 2007, vol. 691, col. 345. Op. cit. The speakers are Baroness Massey of Darwen, Baroness Murphy and Baroness Whitaker respectively. Senior foreign intelligence officer (former), interview with the author, November 2010. Op. cit. See Stephen Benedict Dyson, ‘Personality and Foreign Policy: Tony Blair’s Iraq Decisions’, Foreign Policy Analysis 2 (2006), 289–306; M. Bevir and D. O’Brien, ‘From Idealism to Communitarianism: The Inheritance and Legacy of John Macmurray’, History of Political Thought 24, no. 2 (2003), 305–29. BBC, ‘Part 3’, The Blair Years (2 December 2007) (unofficial transcript). Nick Cohen, ‘Without Prejudice: Damn Them All: If Blame Is to Be Cast, Then the World’s Religions Must Take the Major Share’, The Observer, 7 October 2001. The following article ‘names names’ of Christian MPs within the context of the decision to go to war in Iraq: Ekklesia, http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/content/news_syndication/article_2003_mps_iraq.shtml, last accessed 8 February 2009. See Ruth Gledhill and Tony Halin, ‘Scientists Are Alarmed by Ruth Kelly’s Strict Beliefs’, The Times, 22 December 2004, http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article404996.ece, last accessed 16 March 2009. A civil society representative interview with author, May 2008. Stephen Timms, MP, Financial Secretary to the Treasury and Labour Party Vice-Chair for Faith Groups, interview with author, 23 July 2008. An anonymous MP, interview with author, October 2008. Imam Asim Hafiz, Muslim Chaplain to HM Armed Forces, interview with author, July 2008. Three chaplains, conversation with the author, Commando Training Centre Royal Marines, May 2010. Imam Asim Hafiz, Muslim Chaplain to HM Armed Forces, interview with author, July 2008. Ministry of Defence, A British Soldier’s Values and Standards (London: Ministry of Defence, 2008). BBC (13 October 2006) ‘Gen Sir Richard Dannatt: Key quotes’, BBC News Online, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/6046888.stm, last accessed 20 December 2009. Don Carrick, Military Ethics Education Network, correspondence with the author, May 2011. See Michael Freeden, Liberalism Divided: a study in British political thought, 1914–1939 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1986). Michael Freeden, Ideologies and Political Theory: A Conceptual Approach (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996), 173. Freeden, Ideologies, 173–205. Voas, ‘The rise and fall of fuzzy fidelity’. The term ‘none’ is used by some scholars to refer to those who, when asked on a survey for their religious affiliation, tick ‘no religious affiliation’. Commission on Muslims and Islamophobia, ‘Islamophobia: Issues, Challenges and Action’, 29; H.M. Government, ‘Summary Report: Understanding Muslim Ethnic Communities’, (Department of Communities and Local Government, April 2009). Ehsan Masood, British Muslims: Media Guide (London: British Council, 2006). Commission on Muslims and Islamophobia, ‘Islamophobia: Issues, Challenges and Action’. Richard Berthoud, Tariq Modood, et al., Ethnic Minorities in Britain: Diversity and Disadvantage (the Fourth National Survey of Ethnic Minorities) (London: Policy Studies Institute, 1997). See Claire

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Mitchell, ‘Is Northern Ireland Abnormal? An Extension of the Sociological Debate on Religion in Modern Britain’, Sociology 38, no. 2 (2004), 237–54. Richard Reddie, Black Muslims in Britain: Why Are a Growing Number of Young Black Men Converting to Islam? (Oxford: Lion Hudson Plc, 2009); Nicole Rodriguez Toulis, Pentecostalism and the Mediation of Jamaican Ethnicity and Gender in England (Oxford: Berg, 1997). Though the possibility has been mooted, a 5th National Survey of Ethnic Minorities has not yet been produced. The three previous surveys were published in 1996, 1974 and 1982 respectively. Berthoud, et al., Ethnic Minorities, 305. Ibid., 300. Ibid., 299–301. Ibid., 308. Sophie Gilliat-Ray, Muslims in Britain: an introduction (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), 117. The statistics are taken from the Labour Force Survey (UK). BBC News, ‘Britons back Christian society’, 14 November 2005, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk /4434096.stm, last accessed 15 August 2012. The full findings of the survey are available at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/bsp/hi/pdfs/14_11_05_bbc_faith.pdf Orsi, Between Heaven and Earth, 198. An anonymous MP, interview with author, October 2008. See Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain, ‘Manifesto of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain’ and ‘Members’, http://www.ex-muslim.org.uk/, last accessed 7 January 2010. Jonathan Parry, The Politics of Patriotism: English liberalism, national identity and Europe, 1830–1886 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), Chapter 2. Parry, ‘Religious conscience’. See the Race Relations Act 1976, The Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000, and the Race Relations Act 1976 (Amendment) Regulations 2003. The 1976 legislation defined other groups as: Africans, Caribbeans, Gypsies, Indians, Irish, Pakistanis and Travellers. Michael Freeden, Ideologies. Hirschkind, ‘Rethinking secularism: is there a secular body?’ Parry, ‘The disciplining of the religious conscience’, 214. Grace Davie, ‘Religion in Europe in the 21st century: the factors to take into account’, European Journal of Sociology 47, no. 2 (2006), 271–296 (289).

Chapter 4. War in Afghanistan: From Secular Hysteresis to a Culturalist Approach, 2001–2010 1. A senior foreign intelligence officer (former), interview with the author, November 2010. 2. Hew Strachan (ed), Big and Small Wars: the British army and the lessons of war in the twentieth century (London: Routledge: 2006). 3. HM Government, Report of the Official Account of the Bombings in London on 7 July 2005, May 2006. 4. Lord Carlile of Berriew, QC, ‘Report on the Operation in 2002 and 2003 of the Terrorism Act 2000’, section 118, 23. 5. Theo Farrell, ‘Improving in War: Military Adaptation and the British in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, 2006–9’, Journal of Strategic Studies 33, no. 4 (2010), 567–594 (578). 6. Farrell, ‘Improving in War’, 583. A new British COIN doctrine was published in 2009: Army Code

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24. Susan L. Carruthers, The Media at War: communication and Conflict in the twentieth century (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2000), 8. 25. Audit Bureau of Circulations, ‘National daily newspaper circulation’, http://www.guardian.co.uk/media /page/2007/oct/02/1, last accessed 26 July 2011. 26. Carl Schmitt, The Concept of the Political, translated by George Schwab (New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 1976 [1929]). 27. D.M. Jones and M.L.R Smith, ‘Greetings from the Cybercaliphate: Some Notes on Homeland Insecurity’, International Affairs 81, no. 5 (October 2005), 925–950. 28. Mustapha Kemal Pasha, ‘Globalization, Islam and Resistance’, in Globalization and the Politics of Resistanc, (ed.) Barry K. Gills (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2000), 245. 29. UK Defence Academy, Joint Doctrine and Concepts Centre, Strategic Trends (Shrivenham: UK Defence Academy, March 2003), 1–9; HM Government, ‘Delivering Security in a Changing World: Defence White Paper’, 5. 30. C.J. Dick, ‘The Future of Conflict: Looking out to 2020’, (Shrivenham: The UK Defence Academy, April 2003), 475. 31. Joanna Waley-Cohen, ‘Religion, War and Empire-building in Eighteenth Century China’, The International History Review 20, no. 22 (1998), 336–52 (338). 32. HM Government, ‘Report of the Official Account of the Bombings in London on 7th July 2005’, (London: The Stationary Office, May 2006), annex C; Selbourne, ‘The war is not about terror, it’s about Islam’. 33. Madeleine Bunting, ‘Comment & Analysis: Intolerant Liberalism: the west’s arrogant assumption of its superiority is as dangerous as any other form of fundamentalism’, The Guardian, 8 October 2001; Robert Wright, ‘Comment & Analysis: a word in the Taliban’s ear: This could be Bush’s chance to shape international anti-terrorist norms far into a frightening future’, The Guardian, 14 September 2001. 34. Denis MacShane, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Statement to the House of Commons, 23 October 2002, Parliamentary Debates, Commons (Westminster Hall), vol. 391, col. 90WH. This misinformed thesis has also had traction in the academy. Andrew Phillips, War, Religion and Empire: the Transformation of International Orders (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011), Chapter 10. 35. David Winnick, MP for Walsall North, Statement to the House of Commons, 12 December 2001, col. 847. 36. David Chandler, ‘War(s) without end: Grounding the discourse of “Global War”’, Security Dialogue 40, no. 4 (2009), 243–262 (260). 37. Edward Said, Orientalism (London: Penguin Press, 1978). 38. Corinne Fowler, Chasing Tales: Travel writing, journalism and the history of British ideas about Afghanistan (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2007). 39. Andrew Lycett, ‘How Kipling created the Afghan myth’, Sunday Times, 30 September 2001. Fowler, Chasing Tales, 37–60. 40. Fowler, Chasing Tales, 27, 178. 41. Ross Benson, Daily Mail, 1 October 2002, cited on Fowler, Chasing Tales, 69–70. 42. Fowler, Chasing Tales, 26. 43. Senzil Nawid, ‘The State, the Clergy and British imperial policy in Afghanistan during the 19th and early 20th centuries’, International Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 29, no. 4 (1997), 581–605 (581–8). 44. Keith Stanski, ‘“So These Folks Are Aggressive:” An Orientalist Reading of “Afghan Warlords”’,

Security Dialogue 40, no. 73 (2009), 173–194. 45. Frank Webster, ‘Information warfare in an Age of Globalization’, in War and the Media: Reporting Conflict 24/7, (ed.) Daya Kishnan Thussu and Des Freedman (London: Sage, 2003), 60. 46. The plan was terminated after the East Africa embassy bombings, after which the USA put increasing pressure on the Taliban to hand over bin Laden and to address its approach to human rights. Ahmed Rashid, Taliban: the story of Afghan warlords (London: Pan, 2001), 145–6, 163–79. 47. UN High Commission for Refugees, 6 May 2001, www.un.org.pk/unhcr/Afstatsstat.htm, last accessed 24 November 2004, cited in Fowler, Chasing Tales, 74. 48. Michael J. Shapiro, Violent Cartographies: Mapping Cultures of War (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1997). 49. Ewen MacAskill, Ian Traynor and John Gittings, ‘Attack on America: Russia and China lead the way as world coalition against terrorism takes shape: Diplomacy – Muslim nations among those backing Bush’, The Guardian, 14 September 2001. 50. Ananda Abysekara, The Politics of Postsecular Religion: Mourning Secular Futures (New York: Columbia University Press, 2008), 43, 45. 51. Royal Institute of International Affairs, ‘Living with the Megapower: Implications of the War on Terrorism: A Report on the Series of Consultations Held at Chatham House, July 2002-July 2003’ (London, 2003), 14. 52. A senior official in the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, correspondence with author, August 2011. 53. Op. cit. 54. Former Researcher at the Defence Academy, interview with the author, November 2010. 55. See Kenneth Payne, ‘Winning the Battle of Ideas: Propaganda, Ideology and Terror’, Studies in Conflict and Terrorism 39 (2009), 102–128. 56. Strachan, Big and Small Wars. 57. Ahmed Rashid, ‘The Taliban: Exporting Extremism’, Foreign Affairs 78, no. 6 (November-December 1999), 22–35 (25–6). 58. Rashid, Taliban, 90–1. 59. Chris Johnson and Jolyon Leslie, Afghanistan: the Mirage of Peace, 2nd (ed) (London: Zed Books, 2008), 83. 60. Rashid, Taliban, 87–8. 61. Ibid., 86–7. 62. Ibid., 90. The Pashtunwali is the unwritten set of laws and ethics of the Pashtun tribes. 63. Ibid., 93. 64. Antonio Guistozzi, Koran, Kalashnikov and Laptop: the Neo-Taliban Insurgency in Afghanistan (New York: Columbia University Press, 2008), 12, 236. 65. Jason Burke, Al Qaeda: The True Story of Radical Islam (London: I.B. Tauris, 2004), 164. 66. Rashid, Taliban, 139–40. 67. Johnson and Leslie, Mirage of Peace, 80. 68. Rashid, Taliban, 140. 69. Gregory, Colonial Present, 44. 70. Patrick Porter, Military Orientalism: Eastern War through Western Eyes (London: Hurst & Company, 2009), 156. 71. Ibid., 163. 72. Graeme Smith, ‘More Taliban fighters agree on suicide bombings’, Toronto Globe and Mail, 5 April 2008.

73. Porter, Military Orientalism, 168. 74. Ahmed Rashid, Descent into Chaos:the world’s most unstable region and the threat to global security (London: Penguin, 2009), 366. 75. Ibid., 367. 76. Sean Maloney, ‘Conceptualizing the War in Afghanistan: Perceptions from the Front, 2001–2006’, Small Wars and Insurgencies 18, no. 1 (2007), 27–44. Mark Sappenfield, ‘Taliban leaves tribal roots for al Qaeda tactics’, Christian Science Monitor, 1 August 2007. 77. Rashid, Descent into Chaos, 367. 78. Ibid., 361. 79. Rashid, Taliban, 130. 80. Johnson and Leslie, Mirage of Peace, 65. 81. William Maley, ‘Afghanistan in 2010’, Asian Survey 51, no.1 (January/February 2011), 85–96, 90. 82. Rod Nordland, ‘Gunmen Kill Medical Aid Workers in Afghanistan,’ New York Times, 7 August 2010. 83. Matthew P. Dearing, ‘Like Red Tulips at Springtime: Understanding the absence of female martyrs in Afghanistan’, Studies in Conflict and Terrorism 33, no. 12 (2010), 1079–1103. 84. Ijaz Khan, ‘Pashtuns in the Crossfire: Pashtun politics in the shadow of “war against terror”’, Pakistan Security Research Unit, Brief Number 19, 5 September 2007. 85. Nasreen Ghufran, ‘Pushtun Ethnonationalism and the Taliban Insurgency in the Northwest Frontier Province of Pakistan’, Asian Survey 49, no. 6 (2009), 1092–1114 (1113). 86. William Lind, ‘Understanding fourth-generation warfare’, Military Review 84, no. 13 (2005). 87. David Price, ‘Lessons from Second World War anthropology’, Anthropology Today 18, no. 3 (2002), 14–20. 88. Ministry of Defence, ‘Specialist unit to advise commanders in Helmand on cultural issues launched’, 1 April 2010, http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/DefenceNews/DefencePolicyAndBusiness /SpecialistUnitToAdviseCommandersInHelmandOfCulturalIssuesLaunched.htm, last accessed 9 November 2011. 89. James Peacock et al., AAA Commission on the Engagement of Anthropology with the US Security and Intelligence Communities: Final Report, American Anthropological Society, November 2007. I borrow the phrasing from Porter, Military Orientalism, 192. 90. See Mike Hill, ‘“Terrorists are human beings”: mapping the US Army’s “Human Terrain Systems” Program’, Differences: a Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies 20, no. 2 and 3 (2009), 250–278. 91. Bernard Cohen, Colonialism and its Forms of Knowledge: the British in India (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996), Chapter 1. 92. Operational Experience Group report, 30 September 2008: Maj Gen J D Page OBE, page A-1, quoted on Ministry of Defence, The Significance of Culture to the Military, Joint Doctrine Note 1/09, January 2009. 5–1. 93. Theo Farrell, ‘Appraising Moshtarak: the campaign in Nad-e-Ali district, Helmand’, RUSI Briefing Note (June 2010). Anthony King, ‘Understanding the Helmand campaign: British military operations in Afghanistan’, International Affairs 86, no. 2 (2010), 311–332. Theo Farrell, ‘Improving in War: Military Adaptation and the British in Helmand Province Afghanistan, 2006–2009’, Journal of Strategic Studies 33, no. 4 (2010), 567–594. Stuart Gordon, ‘The United Kingdom’s stabilization model and Afghanistan: its impact on humanitarian actors’, Disasters 34, no. 3 (2010), 368–387; Patrick Little, ‘Lessons unlearned: a former officer’s perspective on the British army at war’, RUSI Journal 154, no. 3 (June 2009), 10–16. Peter Dahl Thruelsen, ‘Counterinsurgency and a comprehensive approach: Helmand Province, Afghanistan’, Small Wars Journal 4, no. 9 (2008). Frank Ledwidge, Losing Small Wars:

British military failure in Iraq and Afghanistan (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2012). 94. Robert Egnell, ‘Lessons from Helmand, Afghanistan: what now for British Counterinsurgency?’ International Affairs 87, no. 2 (2011), 297–315. 95. Egnell, ‘Lessons from Helmand, Afghanisan’; see Farrell, ‘Appraising Moshtarak’. 96. Ministry of Defence, The Significance of Culture, 1–3. 97. Ibid., 1–4. 98. Op. cit. 99. Op. cit. 100. Ministry of Defence, ‘Partnering Indigenous Forces’, 3–11–3–16. 101. Directorate of Educational and Training Services (Army), Cultural Awareness of the Army: Respect for Others, 14 October 2008, 13. 102. Theo Farrell, interview with official, Ministry of Defence, London 29 January 2010, cited in Farrell, ‘Improving in War’, 591. 103. Defence News, ‘Specialist Unit to Advise Commanders in Helmand of Cultural Issues Launched’, 1 April 2010, http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/DefenceNews/DefencePolicyAndBusiness /SpecialistUnitToAdviseCommandersInHelmandOfCulturalIssuesLaunched.htm, last accessed 14 July 2011. 104. The ‘Cultural Appreciation booklets’ were developed by the Defence Intelligence Service Human Factors and Human Georgraphical Intelligence Analysis Branches but are not publicly available. See also Ministry of Defence, ‘The Significance of Culture’, vi. 105. Elearnity, ‘Cultural awareness training for military service personnel’, http://www.elearnity.com /EKCLoad.htm?load=ByKey/DWIN74QH6C, last accessed 14 July 2011. 106. In an MoD guide to Red Teaming it is described as ‘the art of applying independent structured critical thinking and culturally sensitized alternative thinking from a variety of perspectives, to challenge assumptions and fully explore alternative outcomes, in order to reduce risk and increase opportunities’. Ministry of Defence, Development Concepts and Doctrine Centre, DCDC Guidance Note: A Guide to Red Teaming, February 2010. http://www.mod.uk/NR/rdonlyres/B0558FA0–6AA7–4226A24C-2B7F3CCA9A7B/0/RedTeamingGuiderevised12Feb10Webversion.pdf, last accessed 14 July 2011. 107. MoD, Red Teaming, C-6 108. Interview with British military intelligence officer, August 2008, cited in Ledwidge, Losing Small Wars, Chapter 9, footnote 15. 109. Defence Management Journal, Talking their language, Issue 35 (Spring 2006), http://www.defencemanagement.com/article.asp?id=241& content_name=Education%20and%20Training&article=6454, last accessed 14 July 2011. 110. Defence News, ‘IN PICTURES: 4th Mechanized Brigade prepares for “holding phase” of Op Moshtarak’, 10 February 2010, http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/DefenceNews /TrainingAndAdventure/InPictures4thMechanizedBrigadePreparesForholdingPhaseOfOpMoshtarak.htm, last accessed 14 July 2011. 111. Defence News, ‘Marines and Gurkhas study Afghan cultural mores’, 13 January 2010. http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/DefenceNews/Training AndAdventure/MarinesAndGurkhasStudyPashtoAndAfghanCulturalMores.htm, last accessed 14 July 2011. Defence News, ‘4th Mechanized Brigade’. 112. Defence News, ‘Former Afghan refugee returns to Helmand with UK Stabilisation Unit’, 4 October 2010, http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/DefenceNews/PeopleInDefence

/FormerAfghanRefugeeReturnsToHelmandWithUksStabilisationUnit.htm, last accessed 14 July 2011. 113. Defence News, ‘Female Team Prepares to Engage Afghanistan’s Women’, 6 April 2011, http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/DefenceNews/TrainingAndAdventure /FemaleTeamPreparesToEngageWithAfghanistansWomen.htm, last accessed 14 July 2011. Defence News, ‘Female Teams Help Win Confidence of Afghan Women’, 29 June 2011, http://www.mod.uk /DefenceInternet/DefenceNews/PeopleInDefence/FemaleTeamsHelpWinConfidenceOfAfghanWomen.htm, last accessed 14 July 2011. 114. Ministry of Defence, ‘Partnering Indigenous Forces: A Discussion Paper by DCDC’, 14 May 2010, 3–9, http://www.mod.uk/NR/rdonlyres/9283C622-D679–48D8-B43E-6F65B226F80F /0/PARTNERINGINDIGENOUSFORCESdoc.pdf, last accessed 14 July 2011. 115. John Akehurst, We Won a War – The Campaign in Oman 1965–1975 (Michael Russell: Salisbury, 1982), 8. Quoted on Ministry of Defence, ‘Partnering Indigenous Forces’, 3–9. 116. Ministry of Defence, The Significance of Culture. 3–1. 117. Ibid., 4–3. 118. Ibid., 1–3. 119. Ibid., 1–5. 120. Ministry of Defence, Development Concept and Doctrines Centre, Partnering Indigenous Forces, 3–11, http://www.mod.uk/NR/rdonlyres/9283C622-D679–48D8-B43E-6F65B226F80F /0/PARTNERINGINDIGENOUSFORCESdoc.pdf, last accessed 15 July 2011. 121. General James L. Jones and Ambassador Thomas R. Picking, Afghanistan Study Group Report: Revitalising our Efforts, Rethinking our Strategies (Washington, DC: 2008), 29. Porter, Military Orientalism, 156. 122. Porter, Military Orientalism, 146. 123. Mustapha Kamal Pasha, ‘Globalization’, 242–3. 124. Johnson and Leslie, Mirage of Peace, 71. 125. Ibid., 66–9. 126. Ibid., 58. 127. Porter, Military Orientalism, 145. On British adaptation in Helmand during this period see Farrell, ‘Improving in War’. 128. Porter, Military Orientalism, 154–7. 129. Thomas Hegghammer, ‘The Rise of Muslim Foreign Fighters: Islam and the Globalization of Jihad’, International Security 35, no. 3 (2011), 53–94. 130. Ibid., 60. 131. Ibid., 89. 132. Ahmed Rashid, Descent into Chaos, 361 133. Olivier Roy, Holy Ignorance (London: Hurst & Company, 2011), 6. 134. Ibid., 2. 135. Ibid., 1.

Chapter 5. War in Iraq: Muqtada Al-Sadr and the Question of Secular Democracy, 2003–2004 1. Glen Rangwala, ‘Deputizing in War: British Policies and Predicaments in Iraq, 2003–7’, International Journal of Contemporary Iraqi Studies (2007), 293–309. Rangwala, ‘Counter-Insurgency Amid Fragmentation: The British in Southern Iraq’, Journal of Strategic Studies 32, no. 3 (2009), 495–513.

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Eric Herring and Glen Rangwala, Iraq in Fragments (London: Hurst & Company, 2006). Michael Knights and Ed Williams, The Calm before the Storm: The British Experience in Southern Iraq, (Washington D.C.: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy 2007). Hilary Synnott, ‘State-Building in Southern Iraq’, Survival: Global Politics and Strategy 47, no. 2 (2005), 35–56. Synnott, Bad Days in Basra: My Turbulent Time as Britain’s Man in Southern Iraq (London and New York: I.B. Tauris, 2008). Rory Stewart, Occupational Hazards: My Time Governing in Iraq (London: Picador, 2007). Mark Etherington, Revolt on the Tigris: The Al-Sadr Uprising and the Governing of Iraq (London: Hurst and Company, 2005). Patrick Cockburn, Muqtada Al-Sadr and the Fall of Iraq (London: Faber and Faber, 2008). Ron E. Hassner, ‘Fighting Insurgency on Sacred Ground,’ Washington Quarterly 29, no. 2 (2006), 149–66. Juan Cole, ‘The United States and Shi’ite Religious Factions in Post-Ba’athist Iraq’, Middle East Journal 57, no. 4 (2003), 543–66. Faleh A. Jabar, ‘The Worldly Roots of Religiosity in Post-Saddam Iraq’, Middle East Report 227, Summer (2003), 12–18. Jabar, The Shi’ite Movement in Iraq (London: Saqi, 2003). Andreas Wimmer, ‘Democracy and Ethno-Religious Conflict in Iraq’, Survival 45, no. 4 (2003), 111–34. Graham E. Fuller, ‘Islamist Politics in Iraq after Saddam Hussein’, Special Report 108 (Washington D.C.: United States Institute of Peace, 2003). Ed Webb, ‘After Saddam, a Secular Iraq? The Sources and Prospects for the Iraqi Religio-Political Order,’ in Proceedings of the International Studies Association Annual Convention (New York 2009). David Smock, ‘Religious Politics in Iraq’, Peace Briefing (Washington D.C.: United States Institute of Peace, 2003). Smock, ‘The Role of Religion in Iraqi Politics’, Peace Briefing (Washington D.C.: United States Institute of Peace, 2003). Laurence Louer, Transnational Shi‘a Politics: Religious and Political Networks in the Gulf (New York: Columbia University Press, 2008). Synnott, ‘State-Building’, 40–1. Rangwala, ‘Deputizing in War’, 295. Knights and Williams, ‘The Calm before the Storm’, 1. Op. cit. Foreign Office official, interview with the author, 2008. Al-Fadhila (Islamic Virtue Party) follows Ayatollah Muhammad Ya‘qubi, a student of Muqtada al-Sadr’s father, but is not affiliated with Muqtada al-Sadr’s movement. ‘Abu Salam’ is Sheikh Khazl Jaloob Falih al-Saidi, an al-Fadhila insider. On the fragmentation of the Iraqi state, see Herring and Rangwala, Iraq in Fragments. Foreign Office official, interview with the author, 2008. Op. cit. Knights and Williams, ‘The Calm before the Storm’, 9–10. Foreign Office official, interview with author, 2008. Smock, ‘Religious Politics in Iraq’. Experts at a May 2003 symposium at the US Institute of Peace concluded that al-Sadr was ‘not likely to remain a significant political force’ because he ‘did not seem highly ideological’ and ‘sees clerics in an advisory role, not as Iraq’s future political leaders’. Smock, ‘Religious Politics in Iraq’. Muqtada al-Sadr is part of the al-Sadr clerical family, which was at the forefront of the Shi‘a religiopolitical revival that began in the 1950s. The al-Dawa al-Islamiya political party was founded by the Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Baqir al-Sadr, great uncle to Muqtada al-Sadr, in opposition to the Ba’athist regime. Relations between al-Dawa and the Ba’athists reached a nadir in the aftermath of the Iranian Revolution, when al-Dawa membership was made a capital offense and Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Baqir al-Sadr was executed in 1982. At this point, al-Dawa split. One branch, the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI, now called the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, ISCI) was formed in exile in Iran under the leadership of Mohammed-Baqir al-Hakim in 1982. SCIRI was closely aligned with the new theocratic government, which helped to form its military wing, the

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Badr Brigades. The Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Baqir al-Sadr remained in Iraq but was executed by the regime in 1982. His cousin was the Grand Ayatollah Muhammad Muhammad Sadiq al-Sadr, a highly popular and activist cleric. He, in turn, was the father of Muqtada al-Sadr and was assassinated in 1999, seen as a threat by the regime for providing services to and invigorating the rural poor. Unlike his father, Muqtada had no formal clerical training, and he has attempted to rectify this over time. A hawza is a centre for religious training, or seminary, for Shi‘a clerics. The term also refers to the small group of senior Grand Ayatollahs affiliated with the seminary. There are two hawza, in Najaf, Iraq and Qom, Iran. Cockburn, Muqtada Al-Sadr, 19–21. Ibid., 178–80. Foreign Office official, interview with author, 2008. Op. cit. Op. cit. British officials felt that US moves against the Sadrists in April and August 2004 compromised British efforts in the south, making their soldiers and civilians a target. Rangwala, ‘Counter-insurgency’. Foreign Office official, interview with author, 2008. Rangwala, ‘Deputizing in War’, 298. Ibid., 297–8. Foreign Office official, interview with author, 2008. While the attacks had been shocking, the British saw the emergence of the Sadrists and other Islamist opposition to the Coalition as a trend or process. Foreign Office official, interview with author, December 2008. Foreign Office official, interview with author, December 2008. There is some evidence that the tribes were strong enough to take on the militias and in some cases did. Foreign Office official, interview with author, December 2008. Rangwala, ‘Deputizing in War’, 296. Mark Etherington, Provincial Governor of Wasit with the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq (former), interview with author, July 2008. UK government source, interview with author, 2008. Iraq Inquiry, Transcript of Private Hearing of SIS2, released 14 July 2011, http://www.iraqinquiry.org.uk /media/52537/sis2–2010-declassified.pdf, last accessed 17 July 2012. Synnott, ‘State-Building in Southern Iraq’. In-country staff reported anecdotally that emails between civilian outposts and central command in Baghdad and in Whitehall, including situation reports, were often lost or disrupted. Secure email channels were not provided, with staff relying on personal email accounts like Hotmail. While the Americans saw the British distaste for disarming the Sadrists in 2004 as unnecessary hesitation, the British felt that caution was appropriate, given the wider political objectives at stake. Rangwala, ‘Deputizing in War’, 298. Gareth Stansfield, ‘Submission to the Iraq Inquiry: What were the causes and consequences of Iraq’s descent into violence after the initial invasion?’, 10 November 2009, http://www.iraqinquiry.org.uk /media/37048/stansfield-submission.pdf, last accessed 5 August 2012. See particularly the testimony of former head of MI5, Eliza Manningham-Buller, on this point. Iraq Inquiry, Transcript of Baroness Eliza Manningham-Buller, 20 July 2010, http://www.iraqinquiry.org.uk /media/48331/20100720am-manningham-buller.pdf, last accessed 5 August 2012. Major General (Ret.) Tim Cross, British Army, interview with author, July 2008.

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UK government source, interview with the author, 2008. Op. cit. Etherington, interview with the author. Op. cit. Stewart, Occupational Hazards: My Time Governing in Iraq, 148–52. Foreign Office official, interview with author, 2008. I am grateful to Henry Hogger for emphasizing to me that fluctuations in Iranian activity in this period contributed to a sense of unpredictability in local politics. Correspondence with the author, August 2012. Iraq Inquiry, Transcript of Private Hearing of SIS6, released 14 July 2011, http://www.iraqinquiry.org.uk /media/52546/sis6–2010-declassified.pdf, last accessed 18 July 2012. Etherington, interview with the author. Op. cit. Lt. General Sir Graeme Lamb, British Army and Deputy Commanding General of the Multinational Force-Iraq, Engaging with Religion for Building Peace: the Experience in Iraq and Afghanistan conference (November 2007), Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. Interview with Henry Hogger, Governorate Coordinator for Basra with the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq (Sept 2003-June 2004), December 2008. Iraq Inquiry, Transcript of Private Hearing of SIS2, released 14 July 2011, http://www.iraqinquiry.org.uk /media/52537/sis2–2010-declassified.pdf, last accessed 17 July 2012. Iraq Inquiry, Transcript of Private Hearing of SIS6, released 14 July 2011, http://www.iraqinquiry.org.uk /media/52546/sis6–2010-declassified.pdf, last accessed 18 July 2012. Iraq Inquiry, Transcript of Private Hearing of SIS3, released 14 July 2011, http://www.iraqinquiry.org.uk /media/52540/sis3–2010-declassified.pdf, last accessed 17 July 2012. Imam Asim Hafiz, Muslim Chaplain to HM Armed Forces, interview with author, July 2008. Anonymous private, British Army, interview with author, May 2008. Imam Asim Hafiz, Muslim Chaplain to HM Armed Forces, interview with author, July 2008. Hilary Synnott, the Coalition Provisional Authority’s Regional Coordinator for the four southern provinces (30 July 2008 – 31 January 2004), correspondence with author, August 2008. A British Arab professional, correspondence with the author, January 2010. Alexander Evans, ‘Understanding Madrasahs’, Foreign Affairs 85, no. 1 (January/February 2006), 9–16. Iraq Inquiry, Transcript of Private Hearing of SIS3, released 14 July 2011, http://www.iraqinquiry.org.uk /media/52540/sis3–2010-declassified.pdf, last accessed 17 July 2012. Canon Andrew White, Baghdad, interview with author, June 2008. Henry Hogger, Governorate Coordinator for Basra with the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq (September 2003-June 2004), interview with author, December 2008. UK government source, interview with author, 2008. Clare Short, MP, Secretary of State for the Department for International Development (former), correspondence with author, August 2008. Synnott, ‘State-Building in Southern Iraq’. The French did, but as they were a competitor in the region, there was little information-sharing. Cole, ‘The United States and Shi’ite Religious Factions in Post-Ba’athist Iraq’, 543–4. An Iraqi observer, interview with author, August 2008. George Joffé, ‘Iraq and its environment before March 2003’, Testimony to the Iraq Inquiry Committee, 5 November 2009, http://www.iraqinquiry.org.uk/articles/environment.aspx, last accessed 5 August

2012. 69. FCO official, interview with the author, 2008. An Iraqi observer, interview with author, August 2008. Nongovernmental observer, interview with the author, May 2008. UK government source, interview with the author, 2008. 70. Williams, ‘The Calm Before the Storm’, 11. 71. Andrew Garfield, Succeeding in Phase IV: British Perspectives on the US Effort to Stabilize and Reconstruct Iraq, (Philadelphia: Foreign Policy Research Institute, 2006), 61. Cole, ‘The United States and Shi’ite Religious Factions in Post-Ba’athist Iraq’, 543. Cited in Knights and Williams, ‘The Calm before the Storm’, 11. 72. Faleh A. Jabar, The Shi’ite Movement in Iraq (London: Saqi), 33. 73. Etherington, interview with the author. 74. I am grateful to Glen Rangwala for these insights. 75. Stewart, Occupational Hazard. Mark Etherington, Revolt on the Tigris: the Al-Sadr Uprising and the Governing of Iraq (London: Hurst and Company, 2005). 76. Imam Asim Hafiz, Muslim Chaplain to HM Armed Forces, interview with author, July 2008. A senior officer in the British Army, currently serving, correspondence with author October 2008. 77. Major General (Ret.) Tim Cross, British Army, interview with author, July 2008. 78. Stacey Gutkowski and George Wilkes. ‘Changing chaplaincy: a contribution to debate over the roles of US and British military chaplains in Afghanistan’, Religion, State and Society 39, no. 1 (2011), 111–124. 79. Stewart, Occupational Hazards, 84. This is Stewart’s entry for 17 October 2003. 80. Former researcher at the Defence Academy, interview with the author, November 2010. 81. Op. cit. 82. Defence Intelligence Analysis Staff, Basra: post-Saddam governance, 11 March 2003, http://www.iraqinquiry.org.uk/media/52027/2003–03–11-DIS-report-Basra-post-Saddamgovernance.pdf, last accessed 20 July 2012, 6. 83. Ibid., 10. 84. Ibid., 15. 85. Paul Wolfowitz, ‘Interview with National Public Radio’ (19 February 2003, http://www.washingtonfile.net/2003/Feb/Feb21/EUR509.htm, last accessed 20 December 2009. Cited in Cole, ‘The United States and Shi’ite Religious Factions in Post-Ba’athist Iraq’, 543. 86. Ahmed Hashim, Insurgency and Counter-Insurgency in Iraq (London: Hurst and Company, 2006). 87. Gareth Stansfield, ‘Submission to the Iraq Inquiry: What were the causes and consequences of Iraq’s descent into violence after the initial invasion?’, 10 November 2009, http://www.iraqinquiry.org.uk /media/37048/stansfield-submission.pdf, last accessed 5 August 2012. 5 88. Stewart, Occupational Hazards, 111. 89. I am grateful to Henry Hogger for this point. 90. UK government source, interview with author, 2008. 91. Op. cit. 92. UK government source, interview with the author, 2008. 93. Etherington, interview with the author. 94. UK government source, interview with the author, 2008. 95. Garfield, ‘Succeeding’, 61. Cole, ‘The United States and Shi’ite Religious Factions in Post-Ba’athist Iraq’, 543. 96. Foreign Office official, interview with the author, 2008.

97. Henry Hogger, interview with author, December 2008. 98. Pierre Bourdieu, Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgment of Taste, translated by Richard Nice (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1984), 471 and 477. 99. Laurence Louer, Transnational Shi‘a Politics: Religious and Political Networks in the Gulf (New York: Columbia University Press, 2008), 73. 100. Op. cit. 101. Major General (Ret.) Tim Cross, British Army, interview with author, July 2008. 102. The hawza refers to the seminary for Shi’a Islamic studies in Najaf and the senior Grand Ayatollahs who teach there. 103. Charles Tripp, A History of Iraq, 3rd (ed.) (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007), 281. 104. The Slugletts have argued that ‘[a] simplistic image of Iraqi society has emerged, largely under the influence of Middle Eastern “experts” of the US defence establishment of “Arab Sunnis” supporting the “Sunni” regime of Saddam Hussein and the allegedly “somewhat less Arab” Shi’is (a sort of Iranian fifth column) bitterly opposed to it…’ This view persisted through 2003. Marion Farouk-Sluglett and Peter Sluglett, ‘The Historiography of Modern Iraq’, The American Historical Review 96, no. 5 (1991), 1412–3. 105. I am grateful to Glen Rangwala for these insights about the fragmentation and the emergence of local identities. 106. Foreign Office official, interview with author, 2008. 107. See Ewen MacAskill, ‘US postwar strategy a mess, Blair told’, The Guardian, 14 March 2006, http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2006/mar/14/uk.topstories31, last accessed 15 March 2009. See also Foreign Affairs Committee 2003–2004 report, ‘Foreign Policy Aspects of the War Against Terrorism: Response of the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs’, Cmd 6340, 8–9, 12. 108. A hussainiyah is a kind of religious gathering place for lectures, events and remembrance ceremonies. 109. Cockburn, Muqtada al-Sadr, 19–21. 110. Etherington, interview with the author. 111. Fuller, ‘Islamist Politics in Iraq after Saddam Hussein’. 112. Etherington, interview with the author. 113. Hashim, Insurgency and Counter-Insurgency in Iraq, 76, 85, 116. 114. Ibid., 115. Edward Wong, ‘Uprising Has Increased the Influence of Sunni Clerics’, New York Times, 31 May 2001. 115. Cole, ‘The United States and Shi’ite Religious Factions in Post-Ba’athist Iraq’. Stewart, Occupational Hazards. Bartle Bull, ‘Iraq’s Rebel Democrats,’ Prospect, May 19, 2005. 116. Foreign Office official, interview with author, 2008. 117. Op. cit. Etherington, interview with the author. 118. Foreign Office official, interview with author, 2008. 119. Hogger, interview with the author. 120. Op. cit. 121. UK government source, interview with author, 2008. 122. Op. cit. 123. Hogger, interview with the author. 124. Roxanne L. Euben, ‘Making the world safe for compatibility’, Political Theory 38, no. 3 (2010), 424–441, 431. She quotes respectively Bruce Lawrence, Defenders of God (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1989), 8 and Nazih N. M. Ayubi, ‘The Political Revival of Islam: The Case of Egypt’, International Journal of Middle East Studies 12 (1980): 486.

125. McCutcheon, Manufacturing Religion. 126. On the Sadrist political economy, see Charles Tripp, ‘What lurks in the shadows?’, The Times Higher, 18 October 2002, 17. Charles Tripp, ‘After Saddam’, Survival 44, no. 4 (Winter 2002–2003), 23–7, and Toby Dodge, ‘What accounts for the evolution of international policy towards Iraq, 1990– 2003?’, Iraq Inquiry, http://www.iraqinquiry.org.uk/articles/evolution. aspx, last accessed 15 July 2012. 127. Synnott, ‘State-Building in Southern Iraq’, 40–1. 128. Rangwala, ‘Deputizing in War’, 295. Rangwala has argued that this administrative reference, influenced in part by Britain’s self-identity as a ‘trans-Atlantic bridge’, contributed to the fragmentation of the Iraqi state. 129. Op. cit., citing Synnott, ‘State-Building in Southern Iraq’. Rangwala notes that ‘[t]he British had unintentionally taken steps that resulted in the four southern governates acting as a separate political unit, with power bases being built around regional, not national interests’ (297). 130. Richard Norton-Taylor, ‘Iraq: Bush’s Last Throw: British Policy: Fears of Shi’a Backlash against Hardline Tactics’, The Guardian, 12 January 2007. 131. Rangwala, ‘Deputizing in War’, 298. 132. Andrew North, ‘Saddam drains life from Arab marshes: Scientists fear Iraq’s historic wetlands face destruction in 10 to 20 years, says Andrew North’, The Independent, 17 May 1994. 133. Peter Beaumont, ‘Basra: A Harsh and Conservative City’, The Observer, 1 June 2008. 134. UK government source, interview with the author, 2008. 135. Op. cit. 136. Iraq Inquiry, Transcript of Private Hearing of SIS2, released 14 July 2011, http://www.iraqinquiry.org.uk/media/52537/sis2–2010-declassified.pdf, last accessed 17 July 2012. 137. Iraq Inquiry, Transcript of Private Hearing of SIS3, released 14 July 2011, http://www.iraqinquiry.org.uk/media/52540/sis3–2010-declassified.pdf, last accessed 17 July 2012. 138. This intelligence officer noted that was their working assumption, but that it was not necessarily an accurate one. Iraq Inquiry, Transcript of Private Hearing of SIS1, released 14 July 2011, http://www.iraqinquiry.org.uk/media/52540/sis3–2010-declassified.pdf, last accessed 17 July 2012. 139. Katerina Delacoura, ‘US democracy promotion in the Arab Middle East since 11 September 2001: a critique’, International Affairs 81, no. 5 (2005), 963–979. 140. Lt. General Sir Graeme Lamb, ‘Engaging with Religion for Building Peace’. 141. Op. cit. 142. Member of Iraqi civil society in London, interview with author, August 2008. 143. Etherington, interview with the author. 144. Foreign Office official, interview with author, 2008. 145. Etherington, interview with the author. 146. Foreign Office official, interview with author, December 2008 147. Stewart, Occupational Hazards: My Time Governing in Iraq, 148–152 Stewart cited this entry as 24 October 2003. 148. Select Committee on Foreign Affairs Minutes of Evidence, Witness Dr Gary Samore, Questions 140–145, 11 February 2003. 149. David Heathcoat-Amery, MP (Con), Select Committee on Foreign Affairs Minutes of Evidence, Witness Mr Yahia Said, Research Fellow of the Centre for the Study of Global Governance, London School of Economics, Question 285, 29 March 2006. 150. Hansard, 5 June 2003, col. 305–7. 151. Iraq Inquiry, Testimony of Ann Clywd, MP, Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to Iraq, 2003–9,

http://www.iraqinquiry.org.uk/media/45149/20100203pmclwyd-final.pdf, 37–40. 152. Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Saddam Hussein: Crimes and Human Rights Abuses, A Report on the Human Costs of Saddam’s Policies by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (London: FCO, November 2002) http://news.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/spl/hi/middle_east /02/uk_human_rights_dossier_on_iraq/pdf/iraq_human_rights.pdf, last accessed 11 July 2012 153. For example, Iraq Inquiry, Testimony of Jeremy Greenstock, United Kingdom Special Representative for Iraq (former), 37 November 2009, http://www.iraqinquiry.org.uk/media/40456/20091127amfinal.pdf, last accessed 5 August 2012. 154. Memorandum from Edward Chaplin, HM Ambassador to Baghdad, to Neil Crompton, Head of Iraq Policy Unit, FCO, 3 February 2005, http://www.iraqinquiry.org.uk/media/52489/chaplin-cromptonminute-new-constitution-2005–02–03.pdf 155. Noah Feldman served as senior constitutional advisor to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq (April 2003-July 2003), and as a pro bono advisor to members of the drafting committee for the Transitional Administrative Law (November 2003-March 2004). Noah Feldman and Roman Martinez, ‘Constitutional Politics and Text in the New Iraq: an experiment in Islamic Democracy’, Fordham Law Review 75, no. 883 (2006), 886–920 (919). 156. Op. cit. 157. Ibid., 917. 158. Ibid., 916. 159. Dexter Filkins and James Glanz, ‘Shiites and Kurds Halt Charter Talks with Sunnis’, New York Times, 27 August 2005. 160. Feldman and Martinez, ‘Constitutional Politics’, 919. 161. Intisaar A. Rabb, ‘We the jurists: Islamic constitutionalism in Iraq’, Journal of Constitutional Law 38, no. 3 (2008), 527–79. 162. Euben, ‘Making the world safe for compatibility’ for an overview and critique of these debates. 163. See the homepage for the Office of International Religion in the US Department of State: http://www.state.gov/g/drl/irf/, last accessed 3 May 2011. 164. Samuli Schielke, ‘Being a Nonbeliever in a Time of Islamic Revival: Trajectories of Doubt and Certainty in Contemporary Egypt’, International Journal of Middle East Studies 44, no. 2 (2012): 301–320 (306). 165. Schielke, ‘Being a nonbeliever’, 308. 166. Robinson has argued that for al-Banna and Mawdudi the real threat came from the secularization of the indigenous culture that had been made possible by British imperial rule, rather than from the British or the West as such. Robinson, ‘The British Empire and the Muslim World’ in The Oxford History of the British Empire: The Twentieth Century, (ed.) Judith Margaret Brown et al. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001). 167. Paul Salem, ‘The rise of secularism in the Arab world’, Middle East Policy 4, no. 3 (1996), 147–60. Nikkie Keddie, ‘Secularism and its discontents’, Daedalus 132, no. 3 (2003): 14–30. 168. Al Jazeera English, ‘ICC threatens Mali Islamists with War Crimes’, 2 July 2012, http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2012/07/20127119538255768.html, last accessed 20 July 2012. 169. British Embassy in Baghdad, ‘FCO hosts Iraq Human Rights Forum in London’, 20 December 2009, http://ukiniraq.fco.gov.uk/en/news/?view=PressR&id=21470194, last accessed 15 July 2012. 170. See Amélie Barras, ‘Transnational understandings of secularisms and their impact on the right to religious freedom – exploring religious symbols cases at the UN and ECHR’, Journal of Human Rights 11, no. 2 (2012), 263–79.

171. House of Lords (Hansard), Christians in the Middle East: motion to take note, 9 December 2011, col. 923–990. 172. UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Human Rights and Democracy: the 2011 Foreign & Commonwealth Office Report (London: FCO, April 2012) Cm 8339, 263–4. 173. Lord Howell of Guildford, Minister of State, Foreign & Commonwealth Office, 9 December 2011, col. 985 174. William Hague, MP, House of Commons, Volume 1, The role of the FCO in UK government, 27 April 2011, EV 74. FCO Human Rights and Democracy report. 175. Mustapha Kamal Pasha, ‘Islam, nihilism and liberal secularity’, Journal of International Relations and Development 15, no. 2 (2012), 272–89 (279). 176. Charles Taylor, A Secular Age (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2007), 38. 177. Pasha, ‘Islam, nihilism’, 279. 178. Op. cit. 179. Talal Asad, ‘Thinking about the secular body’, Cultural Anthropology 26, No. 4 (2011), 657–675 (671). 180. Op. cit. 181. Pasha, ‘Islam, nihilism’, 275. 182. Asad, ‘Thinking about the secular body’, 671.

Chapter 6. War at Home: Pastoral Power and Secular Regimes of Security in Britain, 2005–2010 1. See Harry Goulbourne, Race Relations in Britain since 1945 (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 1998). Kylie Baxter, ‘From Migrants to Citizens: Muslims in Britain 1950s-1990s’, Immigrants and Minorities 24, no. 2 (2006), 164–192. Tariq Modood, Multicultural Politics: Racism, Ethnicity and Muslims in Britain (Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh Press, 2005). Christian Joppke, ‘Limits of Integration Policy: Britain and Her Muslims’, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 35 no. 3 (2009), 453–72. 2. Kenan Malik, From Fatwa to Jihad: The Rushdie Affair and Its Legacy (London: Atlantic Books, 2009). 3. Brighton has called the British Asian identity category that persisted during the 1970s and 1980s ‘homogenizing’ and ‘politically irrelevant’. Shane Brighton, ‘British Muslims, Multiculturalism and UK Foreign Policy: “Integration” and “Cohesion” in and Beyond the State’, International Affairs 83, no. 1 (2007), 1–17 (7). 4. The Fourth National Survey of Ethnic Minorities indicated that people of Pakistani and Bangladeshi descent – the majority of whom are Muslim – had incomes far below the average and had higher levels of unemployment in their local authority wards (17–19 per cent versus 9 per cent in white-majority wards and 11–14 per cent in African Asian, Chinese, Indian and Caribbean areas). Tariq Modood, Ethnic Minorities in Britain: Diversity and Disadvantage (the Fourth National Survey of Ethnic Minorities) (London: Policy Studies Institute, 1997). Further statistics on Muslim social and economic disadvantage can be found in Commission on Islamophobia, ‘Islamophobia’: A Challenge for Us All’ and Commission on British Muslims and Islamophobia, ‘Islamophobia: Issues, Challenges and Actions’ (Stoke on Trent, UK and Sterling USA: Commission on British Muslims and Islamophobia with the Uniting Britain Trust, 2004). 5. Callum G. Brown, Religion and Society in Twentieth-Century Britain (Harlow: Longman, 2006), 295; See Tahir Abbas, (ed.), Muslim Britain: Communities under Pressure (London: Zed Books, 2005). 6. The British Muslim Council dates efforts to establish a representative body back to 1934, to the Jamiat al-Muslimeen. Efforts continued sporadically from the 1960s onwards: 1962 (The Federation of the

7. 8. 9. 10.

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22. 23.

Students Islamic Societies in the UK and Eire and the UK Islamic Mission), 1968 (the Doctors Islamic Society and the Muslim Educational Trust), 1970 (the Union of Muslim Organizations), 1971 (the Jamiat Ulema Britain) and 1988 (the UK Action Committee on Islamic Affairs and the Khoja Shia Ithna-Asheri). The Muslim Parliament grew out of the Muslim Institute for Research and Planning. Muslim Council of Britain (undated) ‘The Muslim Council of Britain – its history, structure and workings’, http://www.mcb.org.uk/downloads/MCB_acheivments.pdf, last accessed 26 February 2009. Rajeev Syal, ‘Obey the Law, Ministers Tell British Muslim Extremists’, Sunday Times, 5 January 1992. See Marie Colvin and Dipesh Gadher, ‘Britain’s Islamic Army’, Sunday Times, 17 January 1999. A senior official in the Department for Communities and Local Government, interview with author, July 2008. Jones and Smith delivered a scathing, polemical critique of New Labour multicultural polices, declaring such tolerance responsible for the 7/7 London attacks. They called multicultural policies ‘the incoherent politics of homeland insecurity’, which they traced back to an overly tolerant response by the Conservative government to the Rushdie Affair. D.M. Jones and M.L.R. Smith, ‘Greetings from the Cybercaliphate: Some Notes on Homeland Insecurity’, International Affairs 81, no. 5 (October 2005), 925–950, 944–5. BBC (4 March 2001) ‘The IRA campaigns in England’, BBC News Online, http://news.bbc.co.uk /1/hi/uk/1201738.stm, last accessed 26 August 2009. Warrington 1993 – three killed; Bishopsgate, London 1993 – killed one, injured 44, £350 million of damage (BBC coverage noted there was a heightened sense of fear among the population regarding IRA capabilities); Canary Wharf, 1996 – two killed, £85 million damages; Manchester 1996–200 injured, none killed, massive damage to city centre infrastructure. Civil society representative, formerly of the Quilliam Foundation, interview with author, August 2008. Elizabeth Poole, Reporting Islam: Media Representations of British Muslims (London and New York: I.B. Tauris), 84. Op. cit. Bhikhu Parekh, ‘The Rushdie Affair and the British Press’, in The Salman Rushdie Controversy in Interreligious Perspective, (ed.) Dan Cohn-Sherbok (Lewiston: Edwin Mellen, 1990), 79. Barrie Gunter and Rachel Viney, Seeing Is Believing: Religion and Television in the 1990s (London: John Libbey, 1994). Robert Lewis Shayon and Nash Cox, Television and the Information Superhighway: A Search for a Middle Way (Philadelphia: Waymark Press, 1994). Vivek Chaudhary and Dave Hill, ‘Between Prophet and Dictator: How British Muslims See Their Future after Saddam’s War’, The Guardian, 3 May 1991. A senior Department of Communities and Local Government official, interview with author, July 2008. BBC News (28 May 2001) ‘Long History of Race Rioting’, BBC News Online, http://news.bbc.co.uk /2/hi/uk_news/1355718.stm, last accessed 20 December 2009. Khalida Khan, Preventing Violent Extremism and PREVENT: A Response from the Muslim Community (London: An Nisa Society, 2009), 9. T.J. Winter, British Muslim Identity: Past, Problems Prospects (London: The Muslim Academic Trust, 2003), 1–2. See Jessie Jacobsen, Islam in Transition: Religion and Identity among British Pakistani Youth (London: Routledge, 1998). Sophie Gilliat-Ray, Muslims in Britain: an introduction (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), 117. See Jonathan Birt, ‘Good Imam, Bad Imam: Civic Religion and National Integration in Britain Post 9–11’, Muslim World 96, no. 4 (2006), 687–795.

24. Advisor, The Interfaith Network for the UK, interview with author, November 2008. See also Birt, ‘Good Imam, Bad Imam’, 691. 25. General Synod of the Church of England, Faith in the City: A Call for Action by Church and Nation, the Report of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Commission on Urban Priority Areas (London: Church House Publishing, 1985), http://www.cofe.anglican.org/info/papers/faithinthecity.pdf, last accessed 5 April 2009. 26. A senior official, Cohesion and Faiths Division, Department for Communities and Local Government, interview with author, July 2008. 27. David Martin, ‘The Churches: Pink Bishops and the Iron Lady’, in The Thatcher Effect: A Decade of Change, (ed.) Dennis Kavanagh and Anthony Seldon (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989). 28. Philip Lewis, Islamic Britain: Religion, Politics and Identity among British Muslims (London and New York: I.B. Tauris, 2002). 29. Lexis-Nexis results of a search for ‘Islam’ and ‘British Muslims’: Between 1 January 1995 and 10 September 2001, there were 106 results, largely focused on latent threats, recruitment of British Muslims to causes outside of Britain, particularly in Yemen. From 11 Set 2001–6 July 2005, unsurprisingly there is a jump in results: 270. The period 7 July 2005–28 August 2008 produced 528 results. (Search carried out by the author, 28 August 2008). 30. A senior official in the Department for Communities and Local Government, interview with author, July 2008. 31. Andrew Brown, Unitarian and Free Christian minister and police chaplain in Cambridge and member of staff at the Woolf Institute, interview with author, May 2008. 32. Ted Cantle, Community Cohesion: A Report of the Independent Review Team (London: Home Office, 2001). 33. Ibid., 16. 34. Office for National Statistics, ‘Census Questions, Forms and Definitions’, HM Government https://www.census.ac.uk/guides/Qf.aspx, last accessed 24 November 2009. 35. Raymond Williams, Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society (London: Fontana/Croom Helm., 1976). 66. 36. Anastassia Tsoukala, ‘Boundary-Creating Processes and the Social Construction of Threat’, Alternatives 33 (2008), 137–52 (147). 37. A senior foreign intelligence officer (former), interview with the author, November 2010. 38. Cantle, ‘Community Cohesion: A Report of the Independent Review Team’. 39. Advisor, The Interfaith Network for the UK, interview with author, November 2008. 40. Hanne Stinson, Chief Executive (former), British Humanist Association, August 2008, interview with the author. 41. A senior official, Cohesion and Faiths Division, Department for Communities and Local Government, interview with author, July 2008. Prior to 2001, the Racial Equality unit in the Home Office was the main point contact with the Muslim community. Faith communities, including the churches, had contact with the Home Office through the Inner Cities Religious Council and the section on voluntary sector affairs. 42. Advisor, The Interfaith Network for the UK, interview with author, November 2008. 43. HM Government, ‘Face to Face and Side by Side: A Framework for Partnership in Our Multi Faith Society’, 2008. 44. A retired senior intelligence officer, interview with author, May 2008. 45. Bernard Cohen, Colonialism and its Forms of Knowledge: the British in India (Princeton: Princeton

University Press, 1996), Chapter 1. 46. These working groups each considered one of seven key themes identified by the government: young people, education, Muslim women, local and regional initiatives, imams and mosques, security (including Islamophobia, ‘protecting Muslims from extremism’ and community confidence in policing), and extremism and radicalization. 47. Shaukat Warraich and Ifath Nawaz, ‘“Preventing Extremism Together” Working Groups, August – October 2005’ (London: Home Office, 2005), http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/communities /pdf/152164.pdf, last accessed 6 August 2009. 48. A senior foreign intelligence officer (former), interview with the author, November 2010. 49. James A. Beckford et al., Review of the Evidence Base on Faith Communities (London: Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, April 2006). 50. HM Government, ‘Working Together: Cooperation between Government and Faith Communities’, (Home Office Faith Communities Unit, February 2004). 51. See the following coverage of the British Humanist Association reaction to the strategy: British Humanist Association (21 July 2008) ‘BHA responds to government’s interfaith strategy’, http://www.epolitix.com/stakeholderwebsites/press-releases/press-release-details/newsarticle /bha-responds-to-governments-interfaith-strategy///sites/british-humanist-association/, last accessed 7 August 2009. 52. A senior Department of Communities and Local Government official, interview with author, July 2008. 53. Tufyal Choudhury, ‘The Role of Muslim Identity Politics in Radicalisation (a Study in Progress)’, (Department of Communities and Local Government, April 2007). Paul Anderson, ‘Contextualising Islam in Britain: Exploratory Perspectives’ (University of Cambridge with the Universities of Westminster and Exeter: Centre of Islamic Studies, Cambridge, October 2009). As of October 2009 the Prevent Unit in the Department of Communities and Local Government had commissioned 12 pieces of research and RICU had commissioned ten. Sam Thompson, Preventing Extremism Division, Department of Communities and Local Government, correspondence with author in response to Freedom of Information request, 28 October 2009. 54. A senior official in the Department for Communities and Local Government, interview with author, July 2008. 55. A civil society representative, interview with author, May 2008. 56. Mustapha Choudhary, Secretary of the Reading Muslim Council, 18 June 2003, ‘Government and the Muslim population at the grassroots’, Religion and Secularism Network Conference at CRASSH, University of Cambridge. 57. Jacqui Smith, MP, 17 January 2007, ‘Our Shared Values – a Shared Responsibility’, speech at the First International Conference on Radicalization and Political Violence, London. 58. An anonymous MP, interview with author, October 2008. 59. Op. cit. 60. Stephen Timms, MP, Financial Secretary to the Treasury and Labour Party Vice Chair for Faith Groups, interview with author, 23 July 2008. 61. Ed Husain, The Islamist: Why I Joined Radical Islam in Britain, What I Saw and Why I Left (London: Penguin Global, 2007. Stephen Timms, MP, Financial Secretary to the Treasury and Labour Party Vice-Chair for Faith Groups, interview with author, 23 July 2008. 62. Stephen Timms, MP, Financial Secretary to the Treasury and Labour Party Vice-Chair for Faith Groups, interview with author, 23 July 2008. 63. A retired senior Intelligence Officer, interview with author, May 2008.

64. A Foreign Office official, interview with author, August 2008. 65. Andrew Brown, Unitarian and Free Christian minister and police chaplain in Cambridge and member of staff at the Woolf Institute, interview with author, May 2008. 66. A civil society representative, interview with author, May 2008. 67. George Jones, ‘Multicultural Britain is not working, says Tory chief’, Daily Telegraph, 3 August 2005. 68. House of Commons, Minutes of Evidence Taken before Home Affairs Committee on the Government’s Counter-terrorism Proposals, Wednesday, 7 November 2007, to be published as HC-43I, Evidence heard in Public Questions 244–362, Uncorrected Transcript of Oral Evidence. 69. John Bercow and Charles Clarke, 2 November 2005, Parliamentary Debates, Commons, vol. 438 (2005–6), col. 857. 70. ICM Research on behalf of the BBC (4–6 November 2005) ‘Faith Survey’, http://news.bbc.co.uk /1/shared/bs/hi/dfs/14_11_05_bbc_faith.pdf, last accessed 26 August 2009. 73 per cent said the London bombings had made no difference either way to their opinions of Islam. 71. Francis Davis, Elizabeth Paulhus, and Andrew Bradstock, ‘Moral but No Compass: Government, Church and the Future of Welfare, Commissioned by the Rt Rev Stephen Lowe, Bishop for Urban Life and Faith, Who Officially Received the Report on Behalf of the Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England’ (Von Hugel Institute, University of Cambridge, 2008), http://www.cofe.anglican.org /news/prvonhugel.html, last accessed 20 December 2009. 72. United Kingdom House of Commons, Report of the Official Account of the Bombings in London on 7th July 2005 (London: the Stationary Office, 2006); Alan Travis, ‘MI5 Report Challenges Views on Terrorism in Britain’, The Guardian, 20 August 2008. 73. Olaf Corry, ‘Securitisation and “Riskification”: Second-order security and the politics of climate change’, Millennium – Journal of International Studies 40, no. 2 (2012), 235–258 (249). 74. Ibid., 248. 75. Ibid., 245. 76. Ibid., 247. 77. Ibid., 256. 78. Claudia Aradau and Rens van Munster, ‘Governing Terrorism through Risk: Taking Precautions, (Un)Knowing the Future’, European Journal of International Relations 13, no. 1 (2007), 89–115; Didier Bigo, ‘Security and Immigration: Toward a Critique of the Governmentality of Unease’, Alternatives 27 (2002), 63–92; Mark Salter, ‘Imagining Numbers: Risk, Quantification, and Aviation Security’, Security Dialogue 39 nos. 2–3 (2008), 243–266; Stefan Elbe, ‘Risking Lives: AIDS, Security and Three Concepts of Risk’, Security Dialogue 39, no. 23 (2008), 177–98. 79. Thomas Biebricher, ‘Faith-based initiatives and pastoral power’, Economy and Society 40, no. 3 (2011), 399–420. 80. Michel Foucault, Security, Territory and Population: Lectures at the Collège De France, 1977–1978, translated into English by Graham Burchell (New York and Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), 171. Ben Golder, ‘Foucault and the Genealogy of Pastoral Power’, Radical Philosophy Review 10, no. 2 (2007), 157–76. 81. Foucault has argued that the doctrine of raison d’état and ‘the doctrine of the police’ are the most explicit modern inheritance of the pastorate. Michel Foucault, ‘Omnes Et Singulatim: Towards a Criticism of Political Reason’ (paper presented at the Tanner lectures on human values, Stanford University, 10 and 16 October 1979). 82. Foucault, Security, Territory and Population, 137. 83. Op. cit.

84. I am grateful to Lois Lee for help in formulating this point. 85. Ojakangas emphasizes the first feature of the pastorate, the governance of the individual. Biebricher emphasizes and first and third, and I emphasize the third and second respectively. Foucault’s account of the pastorate is vague and seems to support to all these interpretations. Biebricher, ‘Faith-based initiatives and pastoral power’; Mika Ojakangas, ‘Michel Foucault and the enigmatic origins of bio-politics and governmentality’, History of the Human Sciences 25, no. 1 (2012), 1–14. 86. In contrast, using the riots following the 2005 Danish cartoon crisis as an example, Ron Hassner has suggested that the notion of ‘moral threat’ offers an explanation for deadly clashes between liberal Muslim regimes and Islamist movements. Hassner and I make similar points and both draw on Douglas, though in different ways. However, the cases I explore here are instances of long-term, unquantifiable risk which may or may not eventually be borne out by actual violence, rather than the imminent threat of rioting Hassner discusses. Ron E. Hassner, ‘Blasphemy and Violence’, International Studies Quarterly 55, no. 1 (2011), 23−45. 87. Mary Douglas, Risk and Blame: Essays in Cultural Theory (London: Routledge, 1992), 46. 88. Karen Lund Petersen, ‘Terrorism: When Risk Meets Security’, Alternatives 33 (2008), 173–90 (177). 89. Stacey Gutkowski, ‘Secularism and the Politics of Risk: Britain’s Prevent Agenda, 2005–2009’, International Relations 25, no. 3 (2011), 346–62. 90. Tony Blair and Khalid Mahmood, Statements to the House of Commons, 14 September 2001, Parliamentary Debates, Commons, vol. 372, col. 612. 91. Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Response to Freedom of Information request by the author, September 2009. 92. Uday Singh Mehta, Liberalism and Empire: A Study in Nineteenth Century British Liberal Thought (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999), 11. 93. Florian Olsen ‘“Those about to die salute you”: Sacrifice, the war in Iraq and the crisis of American imperial society’, Geopolitics 16, no. 2 (2011), 410–437 (414). 94. Mark Leonard and Conrad Smewing, Public Diplomacy and the Middle East (London: Foreign Policy Centre, 2003), 3. 95. Jeremy Henzell-Thomas, Executive Director of the Book Foundation, Former Chair of the Forum Against Islamophobia and Racism, interview with author, 6 October 2009. See Christian Joppke, ‘The Retreat of Multiculturalism in the Liberal State: Theory and Policy’, The British Journal of Sociology 55, no. 2 (2004), 237–57. 96. See Tony Blair, ‘A Global Alliance for Global Values (First Delivered as a Speech, 27 March 2006),’ (London: Foreign Policy Centre, 2006). 97. A senior official, Cohesion and Faiths Division, Department for Communities and Local Government, interview with author, July 2008. 98. See Harald Høffding, The Philosophy of Religion (London: Macmillan, 1906) for an argument that the essential element of religion is its conservation of value. 99. A senior official, Cohesion and Faiths Division, Department for Communities and Local Government, interview with the author, July 2008. 100. Williams said about community, ‘it seems never to be used unfavourably, and never to be given any positive opposing or distinguishing term’. Williams, Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society, 66. 101. Lord Bassam of Brighton, Statement to the House of Lords, 1 May 2008, Parliamentary Debates, Lords, vol. 701 (2007–8), col. 402. 102. Robert A. Orsi, Between Heaven and Earth: the Religious Worlds People Make and the Scholars who

study them (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2005), 188. 103. Ibid., 186. 104. Immanuel Kant, Religion within the Limits of Reason Alone, translated by Theodore M. Greene and Hoyt H. Hudson. 2nd (ed.) (La Salle, Illinois: Open Court Publishing Company, 1960 (1793)). 105. Lord Bassam of Brighton, Statement to the House of Lords, 1 May 2008, Parliamentary Debates, Lords, vol. 701 (2007–8), col. 402. 106. Mahmood Mamdani, Good Muslim, Bad Muslim: America, the Cold War and the Roots of Terror (New York: Pantheon, 2004). 107. Lord Haskel, Statement to the House of Lords, 1 May 2008, Parliamentary Debates, Lords, vol. 701 (2007–8), col. 370. 108. Lord Roberts of Llandudno, Statement to the House of Lords, 19 April 2007, Parliamentary Debates, Lords, vol. 691 (2006–7), col. 361. 109. Tony Blair, Prime Minister, 21 March 2006, ‘Not a clash between civilizations but a clash about civilisation’, speech to the Foreign Policy Centre, London. 110. HM Government, ‘Countering International Terrorism: The United Kingdom’s Strategy,’ (London: Cmd. 6888, July 2006), 1. 111. Government, ‘The National Security Strategy of the United Kingdom: Security in an Interdependent World’, 10. 112. The extent to which the analyst can access religious experience from the point of the view of the believer is contested within the literature, between those adhering to positions of ‘radical interpretation’ and arguing that without belief the object of study disappears, and those who hold that ritual is the appropriate – and only available – object of analysis. On this debate, see Nancy K. Frankenberry, (ed.), Radical Interpretation in Religion (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002). 113. Jonathan Z. Smith, ‘Religion, Religions, Religious’ in Critical Terms for Religious Studies, (ed.) Mark C. Taylor (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998), 27. Richard S. Cohen, ‘Why Study Indian Buddhism?’ in The Invention of Religion: Rethinking Belief in Politics and History, (ed.) Derek R. Peterson and Darren R. Walhof (New Brunswick, NJ and London: Rutgers University Press, 2002). See Terry F. Godlove, Jr, ‘Saving belief: on the new materialism in religious studies’, in Radical Interpretation in Religion, (ed.) Nancy K. Frankenberry (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), 23. 114. Civil society representative, formerly of the Quilliam Foundation, interview with author, August 2008. 115. Alan Travis, ‘Whitehall Draws up New Rules on Language of Terror’, The Guardian, 4 February 2008, http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2008/feb/04/uk.terrorism, last accessed 19 December 2009. 116. Defence Academy (September 2005), ‘Countering Terrorist Ideologies Discussion Papers September 2005’, http://www.da.mod.uk/colleges/arag/document-listings/special/csrc_mpf-2005–10–17, last accessed 1 September 2009; Hugo Slim, ‘Violent Beliefs’, RUSI Journal 150, No 2 (2005). 117. HM Government, ‘International Priorities for a Changing World: The U.K.’S International Priorities’, (London: Foreign and Commonwealth Office, March 2006), 4. David Held and David Mepham, Progressive Foreign Policy (Cambridge, Polity Press: Centre for the Study of Global Governance at LSE and Institute for Public Policy Research, 2007), 232. 118. Carne Ross, Independent Diplomat: Dispatches from an Unaccountable Elite (London: Hurst & Company, 2007), 123–4. 119. Arun Kundnani, ‘Multiculturalism and its Discontents: Left, Right and Liberal’, European Journal of Cultural Studies 15, no. 2 (2012), 155–166 (163). 120. . Ibid., 160.

121. Ibid., 155. 122. Jef Huysmans and Anastassia Tsoukala, ‘Introduction: The social construction and control of danger in counter-terrorism’, Alternatives 33 (2008), 133–7 (133). 123. See Javaid Rehman, ‘Islam, “War on Terror”, and the future of Muslim minorities in the United Kingdom: dilemmas of multiculturalism’, Human Rights Quarterly 20, no. 4 (2007), 831–878. 124. United Kingdom Home Office, Countering International Terrorism: The United Kingdom’s strategy (London: Stationary Office, 2006). 125. United Kingdom Department of Communities and Local Government, Preventing Violent Extremism – Winning hearts and minds (London: the Stationary Office, 2007). 126. The Preventing Violent Extremism Pathfinder fund was established the previous October. 127. For example in December 2007 the Global Opportunities Fund Engaging with the Islamic World programme (Britain’s strategy for dealing with moderate Islam separate from security concerns) was amalgamated into the FCO’s broader counterterrorism strategy. Foreign and Commonwealth Office, correspondence with author in response to Freedom of Information Request, September 2009. 128. RICU reports to the Home Secretary, the Foreign Secretary and the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. (TheyWorkForYou.com (11 December 2007), http://www.theyworkforyou.com /wrans/?id=2007–12–11e.172384.h&s=RICU#g172384.r0, last accessed 17 December 2009). In July 2008, the Research, Information and Communications Unit was made up of 30 people, from the Preventing Violent Extremism Unit in the Department for Communities and Local Government, the Home Office, the Foreign Office, the Cabinet Office, the MoD, and the GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters – the centre for signals intelligence activities). There had been a great deal of turnover in the relevant units in the Home Office and CLG working on these issues. However, it seems a few core, well-informed staff stayed on. (A senior official in the Department of Communities and Local Government, interview with author, July 2008. A Freedom of Information request by David Stringer from the Associated Press in October 2008 indicated that RICU had at the time 31 full-time staff and one part-time member of staff and had been allocated an administrative budget of £959,305 and £3,660,000 (total £4,619,305) for the 2008/9 financial year. WhatDoTheyKnow.com (22 December 2008), http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/research_information_and_communi, last accessed 18 December 2009. 129. Robert Mason, Deputy Head, Preventing Extremism Division, Department of Communities and Local Government, correspondence with author in response to Freedom of Information request, 6 October 2009. Based on comparison of division organizational charts, November 2007 and August 2009. As of August 2009 the balance of staffing was devoted to delivery. 130. The Act came into force in February 2009. The Act permitted post-charge questioning, longer prison sentences, powers to seize the assets of convicted terrorists, various provisions regarding police investigation and the introduction of a register of convicted terrorists. The text of the Act can be found at: Office of Public Sector Information, ‘Counter-Terrorism Act 2008’, http://www.opsi.gov.uk /acts/acts2008/ukpga_20080028_en_1, last accessed 7 August 2009. An explanation of the provisions of the act and what debated measures were abandoned can be found at: Dominic Casciani (14 October 2008), ‘Terror bill: what’s left’, BBC News Online, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7207659.stm, last accessed 7 August 2009. 131. Vikram Dodd, ‘Anti-Terror Code “Would Alienate Most Muslims”’, The Guardian, 17 February 2009, http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/feb/17/counterterrorism-strategy-muslims, last accessed 18 December 2009. 132. Khalida Khan (April 2009) ‘An-Nisa’s Society’s initial Response to CONTEST 2’s Prevent Strategy’,

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Specific documents within above series cited: Public Records Office, United Kingdom, Home Office, 221/358, 10 February 1970, memo from Professor F.H. Newark from Queen’s University Belfast. Public Records Office, United Kingdom, Northern Ireland Office, CJ/4/1108, 30 June

1970, note for the record, Home Secretary’s meeting with representatives of the Protestant churches. Public Records Office, United Kingdom, Northern Ireland Office, CJ/4/1108, 20 October 1970, briefing note ahead of Home Secretary’s meeting with the four church leaders on 21 Oct 1970. Public Records Office, United Kingdom, Northern Ireland Office, CJ/4/525, 25 November 1974, note from J.N. Allan to a Mr. Huckle. Public Records Office, United Kingdom, Northern Ireland Office, CJ/4/525, 4 December 1974, memo between officials Bourn and England. Public Records Office, United Kingdom, Northern Ireland Office, CJ/4/860, 4 November 1974–11 February 1975, “Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA) ceasefire, 1975: Political Aspects and Background Papers IRA/Ceasefire”.

Archival sources, Public Records Office Northern Ireland (PRONI) PRONI, Department of Home Affairs, HA 32/2/11 PRONI, Department of Home Affairs, HA 32/2/4 PRONI, Department of Home Affairs, HA 32/2/39 PRONI, Cabinet Office, CAB 9B/300/2–3 PRONI, Cabinet Office, CAB 9B/312/3 PRONI, Cabinet Office, CAB 9J/90/10 PRONI, Cabinet Office, CAB/9J/60/4 PRONI, Community Relations Commission, CREL 4–6 PRONI, Department of Community Relations, DCR 1

Archival sources, church records Annual Reports of the Government Committee, General Board, Presbyterian Church, 1970–1976, Presbyterian Historical Society of Ireland, Belfast.

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Interviews and Correspondence with Author Advisor. The Interfaith Network for the UK. Interview with author, November 2008. Anonymous MP. Interview with author, October 2008. Anonymous MP. Interview with author, October 2009. Anonymous private, British Army. Interview with author, May 2008. A British Arab professional. Correspondence with the author, January 2010. Brown, Andrew. Unitarian and Free Christian minister and police chaplain in Cambridge and member of staff at the Woolf Institute. Interview with author, May 2008.

Carrick, Don. Military Ethics Education Network. Correspondence with the author, May 2011 Three chaplains. Commando Training Centre Royal Marines. Conversation with the author, May 2010. A civil society representative. Interview with author, May 2008. Civil society representative, formerly of the Quilliam Foundation. Interview with author, August 2008. Cross, Major General (Ret.) Tim. British Army. Interview with author, July 2008. Etherington, Mark. Provincial Governor of Wasit with the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq (former). Interview with author, July 2008. Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Response to Freedom of Information request by the author, September 2009. Foreign Office official. Interview with the author, 2008. Hafiz, Imam Asim. Muslim Chaplain to HM Armed Forces. Interview with author, July 2008. Henzell-Thomas, Jeremy. Executive Director of the Book Foundation, Former Chair of the Forum Against Islamophobia and Racism. Interview with author, 6 October 2009. Hogger, Henry. Governorate Coordinator for Basra with the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq (Sept 2003-June 2004). Interview with author, December 2008. An Iraqi observer. Interview with author, August 2008. Lynas, Rev. R.V.A. Former convenor of the Government Committee, General Board of the Presbyterian Church, Ireland. Interview with author, September 2007. Mason, Robert. Deputy Head, Preventing Extremism Division, Department of Communities and Local Government. Correspondence with author in response to Freedom of Information request, 6 October 2009. Member of Iraqi civil society in London. nterview with author, August 2008. An officer (former) in the British Army. Correspondence with author, 17 November 2007. A religious education teacher, secondary level. Correspondence with the author, October 2009. A researcher (former) at the Defence Academy. Interview with the author, November 2010. A senior foreign intelligence officer (former). Interview with the author, November 2010. A senior intelligence officer (retired). Interview with author, May 2008. A senior officer in the British Army, currently serving. Correspondence with author, September 2008. A senior official. Cohesion and Faiths Division, Department for Communities and Local Government. Interview with author, July 2008. A senior official. Department of Communities and Local Government. Interview with author, July 2008. A senior official. Foreign & Commonwealth Office. Correspondence with author, August 2011. A senior official (former). Northern Ireland Office. Interview with author, 13 November 2007. Short, MP. Clare. Secretary of State for the Department for International Development (former). Correspondence with author, August 2008. Snell, Arthur. Assistant Director for Counter-terrorism, Foreign & Commonwealth Office (2008–10) and Deputy Head of the Provincial Reconstruction Team, Helmand Province (2010). Interview with author, January 2011. Stinson, Hanne. Chief Executive (former), British Humanist Association. Interview with author, August 2008. Synnott, Hilary. The Coalition Provisional Authority’s Regional Coordinator for the four southern provinces (30 July 2008 – 31 January 2004). Correspondence with author, August 2008. Taggart, Rev. Norman W. Methodist minister, former head of the Irish Council of Churches. Interview with author, September 2007. Thompson, Sam. Preventing Extremism Division, Department of Communities and Local Government.

Correspondence with author in response to Freedom of Information request, 28 October 2009. Timms, MP Stephen. Financial Secretary to the Treasury and Labour Party Vice-Chair for Faith Groups. Interview with author, 23 July 2008. UK government source. Interview with author, 2008.

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