Open Access

Popper’s Paradox of Tolerance: An Examination of Segregated Muslim Neighbourhoods in Modern Britain

   | Oct 22, 2021
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Islam and Islamism. The Challenge for Modern Liberal Democracies. Issue Editors: Raphael Lataster, Rumy Hasan


The twenty first century has witnessed a heightened interest in Muslim settlers in western democracies. In Britain, following the suicide bombings of 9/11 and particularly in the aftermath of the 7th July 2005 bombings in London, much of this focus has been on the threat of terror attacks emanating from radicalised Muslims. It is clearly the case that the same focus also applies to other west European countries which have witnessed similar attacks. The question arises as to the kind of milieu in which domestic jihadist perpetrators have been raised and live. In most cases—though not all—an upbringing in segregated Muslim neighbourhoods is a recurring theme. These can be deemed ‘closed communities’, yet they are situated in open societies underpinned by a secular, liberal democratic polity. This paper provides reasons and evidence for the epithet of closed communities with respect to Muslims in Britain and explores how these—in many significant respects—differ from mainstream, liberal, secular society. The tensions that inevitably arise are considered together with their implications. The inspiration for this paper stems from Karl Popper’s The Open Society and its Enemies.

Publication timeframe:
3 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Theology and Religion, General Topics and Biblical Reception