Andrew’s white cross, Hussain’s red blood: Being Scottish Shia in Brexit’s no-man’s-land

Morteza Hashemi


Brexit was a project shaped at the fringes of official politics. Unusually, however, it maintained its fringe-like qualities, including its lack of clarity and ambivalence, even as it took center stage in the political affairs of the country for more than three years. In such a transitional period, powerless segments of society, including vulnerable nonwhite communities, face a much larger and more multifaceted crisis than other sectors of the population. The question of border controls and forms of identification for migrants and those of hyphenated nationality is an alarming sign of a homeland turning into a hostile environment. By relying on data gathered in a three-year-long ethnographic study of the Shia Muslim communities in Scotland, I elaborate on how Scottish citizens marked by their religious culture and darker skin are handling the uncertainty created by Brexit.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1086/709781