Scottish Pakistani Muslims' perceptions of the Armed Forces

Asifa Hussain, Mohammed Ishaq

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper focuses on how Pakistani Muslims living in Scotland perceive the
British Armed Services as a career. Later work will extend to other ethnoreligious
groups. The analysis draws on a survey of 300 people, whom we
interviewed personally, in three languages: English, Punjabi and Urdu, using
semi-structured, open-ended in-depth style interviews. Given the rise to
prominence of the twin issues of racism and ethnic minority recruitment in
the Armed Services in recent times, this topic is highly relevant. The MoD
has made clear its intention to recruit more ethnic minorities into the Armed
Forces. Within the 'Asian' category of minorities, the MoD has been
particularly keen to enlist the recruitment of those of Indian sub-continent
origin. However, since minorities from this part of the world represent three
main religions, Hinduism, Islam and Sikhism, it is not enough to simply
survey a mixed sample of Indian sub-continent people. It has to be accepted
that there may well be differing perceptions of the Services among different
religious groupings.
Although racism is an important issue in the discussion of ethnic minority
recruitment, it has to be emphasised that it does not form the central theme of
this paper. Reference is only be made to the issue as and when it is deemed
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-50
Number of pages24
JournalScottish Affairs
Issue number38
Publication statusPublished - 2002


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