Ahmadi Muslims and asylum: strategic representations
Marzia Balzani (New York University, Abu Dhabi)
Paper short abstract:
Paper long abstract:
Ahmadi asylum seekers form a minority as Muslims within the UK; as Ahmadis they also form a minority within the Muslim minority. Ahmadi's seeking asylum have to contend, in addition, with being represented as undesirable migrants in public debate. I consider various representations and self-representations of Ahmadi asylum seekers as they progress through the bureaucratic processes of claiming asylum. The changing role of the Mosque as well as the tactics employed by solicitors are evaluated as strategic manipulations of a system which serves to negate the individuality of particular asylum seekers further marginalising them as they are denied control over their own stories and experiences. Ahmadi individuals are considered with reference to international refugee and human rights legislation, national immigration policies and the provisions made for those seeking asylum. Data comes primarily from fieldwork and material gathered in the preparation of expert reports commissioned by solicitors for Ahmadi asylum seekers.