Being & Becoming: Tools from a video research project in Muslim Identity

Being and Becoming: Tools from a Video Research Project in Mulsim Identity
KS3 Resources

This KS3 lesson is designed to be a good introduction to the 'Being, Belonging and Becoming' theme of identity.

Downloads & Documents

The following resources can be downloaded for use in lessons and lesson planning:


About this lesson

Firstly, pupils will consider their own identity through the 'me' activity. It is hoped that this will provoke thoughts around personal identity that stretch beyond descriptions of appearance to think about family, community, and religion. After this, the lesson will encourage pupils to think about the identities they share as a group. To support this lesson, section 1 of the DVD is used to develop thoughts of Britishness as being one type of identity. Moving through the scheme of work, this introductory lesson should provide a good basis to build thoughts and ideas around the “Being, Belonging and Becoming” theme.

KS4 Resources

This KS4 lesson is designed to be a good introduction to the 'Being, Belonging and Becoming' theme of identity.


About this lesson

Firstly, pupils will consider their own identity through the 'me' activity. It is hoped that this will provoke thoughts around personal identity that stretch beyond descriptions of appearance to think about family, community, and religion. After this, the lesson will encourage pupils to think about the identities they share as a group. To support this lesson, section 1 of the DVD is used to develop thoughts of Britishness as being one type of identity. Moving through the scheme of work, this introductory lesson should provide a good basis to build thoughts and ideas around the 'Being, Belonging and Becoming' theme.

Electronic Resources

Commonwealth Secretariat

The commonwealth is a voluntary association of 54 countries that support each other and work together towards shared goals in democracy and development. The commonwealth is active in a number of areas including development, democracy, debt management and trade.


Equality and Human Rights Commission

This organisation promotes and monitors human rights; and protects, enforces and promotes equality across the nine "protected" grounds - age, disability, gender, race, religion and belief, pregnancy and maternity, marriage and civil partnership, sexual orientation and gender reassignment. Their aim is to create a fairer Britain.


CCTA Government Information Services

Topics are organised into two formats - resource guides and dossiers. Some of the topics are: children and young people, education, globalisation, migration, trade and gender etc.


Black Information Link

Blink: black information link is a website that serves the black community in the UK. It provides a wide range of issues affecting black communities in the UK.


Campaign Against Racism and Fascism (CARF)

Until 2003, CARF was Britain's only independent anti-racist magazine, documenting resistance against racism - from black and refugee organisations, monitoring groups, anti-deportation campaigns, football fans, and much more. It provides other links from organisations that work with CARF


Institute of Race Relations

The institute of race relations is at the cutting edge of the research and analysis that inform the struggle for racial justice in Britain, Europe and internationally. It seeks to reflect the experience of those who suffer racial oppression and draws its perspectives from the most vulnerable in society.



This is a website about race, racism and life - as seen through the eyes of the Britkids. It is set up as an interactive game in which you meet with nine kids and explore Britchester, their home town.


Black and Asian History website

It provides a gateway to websites on black and Asian history across the British Isles.


Home Office

This is a website about the lead government department for policies on immigration, passports, counter-terrorism, policing, drugs and crime.


The 1990 Trust

The 1990 trust is a leading uk human rights and race equality organisation. Established as a charity 20 years ago, the trust has been actively involved in promoting a range of race equality issues affecting Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (Bame) communities.


The Runnymede Trust

The website promotes a successful multi-ethnic Britain in the spirit of civic friendship, shared identity and a common sense of belonging, founded in 1968.


Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion (CASE)

The centre for analysis of social exclusion (case) is a multi-disciplinary research centre based at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), within the Suntory And Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines (Sticerd). Their focus is on exploration of different dimensions of social disadvantage, particularly from longitudinal and neighbourhood perspectives, and examination of the impact of public policy.


Joseph Rowntree Foundation

Their aim is a lasting change for people and places in poverty, communities where everyone can thrive and live in a more equal society.



Mundi is the leading organisation promoting global education in nottingham/shire. Living in an increasingly globalised world requires, more than ever, a critical understanding of the interdependent nature of people’s lives and a sense of ethical responsibility for building a fair and sustainable society.


Save the Children

An international children's charity based in the uk which supports both emergency and long-term relief and development projects.


Learning: British Library

From debates about our rights and responsibilities to tips on running a successful campaign, you can explore this interactive citizenship resource.



A website of ‘show racism the red card’, the campaign that uses top footballers to educate against racism. You can find many ideas on how to combat racism.

KS3 Resources

BNP Nick Griffin on BBC Question Time Part 1
A seven-part video taken from the BBC. A panel of political commentators interview Nick Griffin on a number of BNP policies, making him look ridiculous in the process. Publisher: BBC.

Don't Let The Man Get You Down by Fatboy Slim Publisher – Skint Records/ Fatboy Slim
The music video is in the style of a black and white public service announcement. It starts off with the title 'A film by Neighborhood Watch (The End is Near)' then it switches to a white man named Don, and it states that 'Don like s to fish' and 'Don is a racist'. Throughout the video, it shows Don living a day in his life showing hatred, disdain, and distrust of non-whites. A figure in black, thought to be the figure on the 'This is a Neighborhood Watch Community' sign, is seen stalking Don in the background during the scenes in the parking lot, water fountain and Mexican restaurant scenes. After shooing some dark-skinned kids off of his boat, he furiously marches across the street and gets hit by a car, dropping his prized fishing trophy. As an Asian man sees him and calls 911. It can also be argued that the Asian man hangs up when he realizes it is Don, as there is no subtitles of the Asian man talking to the 911 services, white lettering states 'Look both ways before crossing the street', 'And don't be a racist', and 'or else'.

Polish people in the UK 1/7
Part of the White season about ethnicity in Britain. About a million Eastern European workers have come to work here since the EU opened up: one of the biggest migrations to Britain in decades. Some people in Peterborough claim that their city is being 'swamped'. But others say these migrant workers are boosting our economy and supporting our flailing pensions system. In fact, many Polish cities now want their workers back, particularly to build the stadium for Euro 2012. Tim Samuels investigates. Publisher – BBC.

Survey: Most patriotic Brits are Muslims
An article in the Sun newspaper revealing the results of a survey on patriotism in Great Britain. Publisher: The Sun.

Muslim Women and UK Life
The last programme from British Satellite News in a series on interesting and innovative Islamic projects in Britain. Gives information about the lifestyle of female Muslims and the similarities and differences to other UK women. Publisher: British Satelite News.

Sabotage - Letter to the BNP
A song from the 18 year old award winning political rapper/lyricist Sabotage. Addresses many of the BNP ideologies and the hypocrisy that is associated with them. Publisher: Sunit Music.

Russell Brand - Naziboy 1 of 3
A Channel 4 documentary where Russell Brand interviews the then head of BNP Youth Marc Collett. Russell challenges the BNP’s prejudices in a very humorous manner. Publisher: Channel 4.

Roll Deep – Racist People (Official)
A song denouncing racism by the Urban Music Awards-winning London-based grime music collective Roll Deep. Publishers: Roll Deep Recordings.

Inside Out East Midlands: Des Coleman meets the BNP
BBC East Midlands Today's Des Coleman sets out to question the British National Party's membership rules and policies for the series of BBC Inside Out. At the time of filming, the BNP was being taken to court by the Equality and Human Rights Commission. The EHRC claims that the party breaches the Race Relations Act because it only allows white Britons, or "indigenous Caucasians", to become members. Des goes on the trail of the BNP candidates in the East Midlands to find out why he's barred from membership. He also wants to question the party's policies on the voluntary repatriation "of immigrants and their descendants". Footage is also available on BBC iPlayer as well as on YouTube.                                                                   

Over 1 million Eastern Europeans in UK
A BBC news report indicating that the number of Polish immigrants entering the UK is on the decline. Publisher: BBC.

Effect of Open Borders immigration on UK (14Apr11)
A BBC report about the effects of immigration. It identifies the negative effects of high levels of immigration. It also raises some interesting points about the lack of government support for immigration. Publisher: BBC.

Does Britain benefit from immigration? Part 1 of 2
A BBC2 debate about the benefits and disadvantages of UK immigration. Publisher: BBC.

UK Immigration & Race Relations: Where Are We Headed (Short Documentary)
A documentary looking into relations between different ethnic groups in Britain. Features interviews with White, Black and Asian people and details how the current political climate breeds racism. Publisher: Unknown (Produced by Johanna Kippo and presented by Ankita Dwivedi).

Amir Khan: Fighting stereotypes
A CNN documentary about being a British Muslim and what that means. Amir discusses the misconceptions about Islam and the positive impact that it has on his life. Publisher: CNN.

Prince Naseem's Guide to Islam
A documentary addressing the misconceptions about Islam presented by former UK boxer Prince Naseem Hamed. Publisher: Channel 4.

Lowkey‪ - 'We Don't Want Them' [Produced by THE LAST SKEPTIK]
A song by UK rapper Lowkey explaining the irony of BNP policies and how white-working class Brits are conned into voting for the BNP. A song that has hard hitting and brilliant lyrics which convey anger and emotion at the rise of racism in the UK. Publisher: Love Music Hate Racism.

‪The Black Eyed Peas‪ - Where Is The Love?
In this anti-war pacifist anthem, The Black Eyed Peas lament various worldwide problems. Many issues are discussed, which include but are not limited to terrorism, U.S. government hypocrisy, racism, pollution, war, intolerance, and greed. Publisher: Interscope/ A&M Records/ UMG Recordings Inc.

Take the Stage
An Adidas advert for the London 2012 Olympics featuring British athletes of all races. Publisher: Adidas.

Polish exodus from UK?
A CNN discussion about the effects of the UK economy on migration from Poland. Publisher: CNN.

European Journal | UK - Poles Leaving
Victoria Railway Station in London is seeing increasing numbers of Poles with their bags packed - ready to return home. Over a million Poles have moved to Britain and Ireland in recent years. While many have enjoyed high wages, the global economic crisis means increasing numbers are now out of a job. Publisher: Deutsche Welle English.

America: A tribute to heroes
A documentary which was aired following 9/11. The documentary features Will Smith and Muhammad Ali. They denounce the events of 9/11 and state that they do not reflect the message of Islam and highlight the difference between Muslim Extremism and Islam. Publisher: Line By Line Productions.

Immigration to UK, don't worry about the numbers (01Oct11)
A documentary that argues that immigration to the UK has no impact on UK employment or wages. It is also argued that immigration cannot be capped and that the government should provide better support to communities that are faced with high levels of immigration. Publisher: Sky News.

Undercover - Hate on the Doorstep
Part 1 of 3. Bullied, attacked and racially-abused more than fifty times in eight weeks. That's the experience of two British Asian reporters posing as a couple and living undercover on a housing estate in Britain during summer 2009. In a shocking insight into race hate and anti-social behaviour in our neighbourhoods, Tamanna Rahman was pelted with glass and stones and threatened with a brick during an attempted mugging by an 11-year-old boy. Her "husband," Amil Khan, was punched in the head. Yet the head of the government's equality watchdog has said that having a neighbour of a different ethnic background is not an issue any more. Panorama investigates the truth about racism and anti-social behaviour in Britain today. Also found on: Publisher: BBC.

Does Islam need better PR? : The Big Questions

A debate about the perception of Islam against the truth behind the religion. part 1 of 2. Publisher: BBC.

Do We Misunderstand Islam – The Big Questions
A debate about the perception of Islam against the truth behind the religion. part 1 of 3. Many interesting points raised regarding biased media coverage of Islam and the tendency to judge ordinary Muslims as terrorists. The claim is made that Muslims are the current media scapegoat. Publisher: BBC.

Four Lions
A film described as “Jihad satire”. The film makes light of the issue of terrorist bombers and would have to be planned into a scheme of work very well for it to have a positive impact. A very funny film that looks at some of the issues faced by British Muslims. Could be controversial., but if used it the right way it could inspire an intellectual debate about the themes of identity and assimilation amongst other things. Publisher: Optimum releasing.

This is England, This is England ’86 and This is England ‘88
A film followed by two T.V series (soon to be a third – This is England ’90). The film covers issues surrounding times of economic recession and how this can lead people to blame ethnic minorities. The film also looks at British youth identity and the idea of multiculturalism. Many aspects of the film could be considered to be racist and are a reflection of society in the 1980’s. The film raises lots of questions about racism and could be used as a discussion point about accepting others. There are also many parallels with today’s society (war, immigration, economic downturn, unemployment etc). Publisher: Optimum releasing.

Kool G Rap & DJ Polo - Erase Racism
An old-skool rap song promoting multi-culturalism, unity and acceptence of others. Features a reference to many different cultures and very clear lyrics. Publisher: Cold Chillin’/ Universal Bros. Records.

I have a dream – Logic
A song paying homage to a number of historical figures such as Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela to name a few. The song also highlights the artist’s vision of an ideal world which would involve peace, respect for others etc. This artist often collaborates with another artist in this list (Lowkey) and writes very politically charged songs. Publisher: Hitman Productions.

Love Music Hate Racism – YouTube channel
27 videos uploaded by the Love Music Hate Racism campaign featuring a selection of original songs, covers and interviews by prominent celebrities and artists from the UK. Publisher – Love Music Hate Racism

An official statement from the Love Music Hate Racism website:
“Our music is living testimony to the fact that cultures can and do mix. It unites us and gives us strength, and offers a vibrant celebration of our multicultural and multiracial society. Racism seeks only to divide and weaken us. Love Music Hate Racism (LMHR) was set up in 2002 in response to rising levels of racism and electoral successes for the Nazi British National Party (BNP).
We use the energy of our music scene to celebrate diversity and involve people in anti-racist and anti-fascist activity as well as to urge people to vote against fascist candidates in elections. LMHR has helped to mobilise against further BNP election victories, in the tradition of the Rock Against Racism (RAR) movement of the late 1970s. There have been now been many hundreds of LMHR events, from large outdoor festivals to local gigs and club nights. Top artists who have performed at LMHR events include Ms Dynamite, Hard -Fi, Babyshambles, Akala, Get Cape Wear Cape Fly, Estelle, The View, Lethal Bizzle, Roll Deep and Basement Jaxx. Just as important are the up-and-coming bands, DJs, MCs and their fans who have performed at or organised their own local LMHR nights. We want to create a national movement against racism and fascism through music, so it’s vital everyone gets involved however they can.”

Watch the DVD

The Being & Becoming DVD

The DVD is aimed at audiences of young people to promote discussions around issues of identities, Britishness and citizenship. As their communities have gained confidence in living, working and actively participating in a British multicultural society they have experienced an intense mixture of increased personal confidence of being Muslim with a heightened social sense of how Muslims are constructed in the media and their own communities. The challenge for making the DVD was to make something that reflected these outward changes while also reflecting the changes coming from within their own community. The DVD is in three sections.

This web site provides a series of lesson plans and evaluations aimed at using the DVD with Key Stages 3 and 4. This follow up work using the DVD in PSHE periods was carried out with a team of people that included: Kaye Haw and Anne Convery, University of Nottingham School of Education together with Chloe Smyth, Erica Jobling, Benjamin Perry, Constanza Marquez Godoy, Sangita Bhatti, Randeep Singh and Hira Kahn who used the DVD in the following schools: Kimberley School, Nottingham; Fernwood School, Nottingham; The Long Eaton School, Derbyshire

Section 1 ‘Being British’

This has the feel of 1950s/60s Britain which is when many of these families first immigrated to Britain. Its aim is to get across a sense of rapid change within these communities. It is nostalgic and captures individuals looking back on an idealized past. The section starts gently by taking its audience down memory lane. The film shows a series of idealised British scenes and symbolic representations such as the ‘British Bobby’, The Queen and Buckingham Palace. The voice-overs are from people reminiscing about Sunday dinners and their primary school days but it is not until the end of the section that a caption reveals the obviously Muslim names of the narrators revealing they were either born in Britain or came here at a very early age.

Section 2 ‘Being Muslim’

Having provoked the audience into making some perhaps unguarded assumptions about who was doing the reminiscing in the first section, the aim of the next two sections is to provide a series of images and voice-overs that are more ‘edgy’. The footage in this section is mainly taken from the participants’ video diaries or family photos. The voice-overs are a selection of quotes that outline what they believe their parents wanted for them as they became established in Britain and their own experiences as they grew up, from trying to ‘blend in’, to reflecting on their desire to conform to cultural trends such as punk and grunge and making decisions to begin wearing the hijab and visibly mark their difference. The section ends with an individual asking the question about what constitutes ‘Britishness’, when you truly become British, and when you stop being abused about going home. It ends with her asking the question ‘where is home?’

Section 3 ‘Becoming British Muslims?’

This section deliberately ‘ups the ante’. It begins with a photograph of a young Muslim woman wearing the Union jack as a head scarf. It incorporates a series of stills such as newspaper articles and then goes on to feature two Muslim women watching television, eating and surfing on-line dating sites in the living room of a beamed eighteenth century cottage. The aim of the section is to get across the sorts of choices they are having to make about living in contemporary British multicultural society post 9/11 and 7/7. The voice-overs are deliberately provocative and some were chosen because they directly place blame on the role of the media. They were also chosen to reveal their reflections about what being Muslim means to them as they question the British part of their identities. One of the voice-overs sums up this:

‘I think particularly youth and young people nowadays if you give young people a label which if you put on the television Muslims are given a label aren’t they? I think today’s generation rather than putting their head in the sand and kind of denying who they are I think they’d actually stick their heads out of the sand and say yes we are Muslim and we’re very proud I don’t think, what I am trying to say is people don’t aspire to the negative image that we are given by the media of Muslims being terrorists or women being oppressed women in fact I think a lot of young Muslim people are very confidently saying actually I am a Muslim woman and I feel very proud of wearing the hijab, very proud of wearing the habiyah but I am not oppressed I can actually speak for myself and speak very confidently and I’m you know, I will tell you about Islam. And I think similarly for say yes we’re Muslim and we’re very proud and you they’ll be able to talk about you know international politics and they’ll also be able to say and we are not bloody terrorists either’.