Research on UK government counter-terrorism measures has claimed that Muslims are treated as a ‘suspect community’. However, there is limited research exploring the divisive effects that membership of a ‘suspect community’ has on relations within Muslim communities. Drawing from interviews with British Muslims living in Leeds or Bradford, I address this gap by explicating how co-option of Muslim community members to counter extremism fractures relations within Muslim communities. I reveal how community members internalize fears of state targeting which precipitates internal disciplinary measures. I contribute the category of ‘internal suspect body’ which is materialized through two intersecting conditions within preventative counter-terrorism: the suspected extremist for Muslims to look out for and suspected informer who might report fellow Muslims. I argue that the suspect community operates through a network of relations by which terrors of counter-terrorism are reproduced within Muslim communities with divisive effects.
- suspect body
- suspect community