Britain's First Muslims: Portrait of an Arab Community by Fred Halliday

By Fred Halliday

Worry of the terrorist chance provoked through radical Islam has generated heated debates on multiculturalism and the mixing of Muslim migrant groups in to Britain. Yet little is understood approximately Britain’s first Muslims, the Yemenis. Yemenis begun settling in British port cities first and foremost of the twentieth century, and afterwards grew to become a part of the immigrant labour strength in Britain’s commercial towns. Fred Halliday's ground-breaking study, dependent in Yemen and Britain, offers a desirable case research for knowing the dynamics of immigrant cultures and the complexities of Muslim identification in Britain. Telling the tales of sailor groups in Cardiff and commercial employees in Sheffield, Halliday tracks the evolution of neighborhood enterprises and the influence of British govt coverage on their improvement. He analyzes hyperlinks among the diaspora and the place of birth, and appears at how varied migrant teams in Britain relate to eachother less than the Muslim umbrella.  In a desirable new creation to his vintage learn, Halliday explains the way it can assist us comprehend British Islam in an age which has produced either al Qaeda and the Yemeni-born boxer Prince Naseem.

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In the first place, many in the community in Cardiff retained strong loyalty to traditional Yemeni and Muslim ideas. They were apparently influenced by the Islamic idea that the imam was both a religious and a secular leader and it was in normal circumstances irreligious to criticize him. indd 32 6/10/09 09:53:46 The First Yemeni Migration:â•—The Portsâ•… 33 country was, even though the only reason they were in exile was that the economic conditions at home had forced them to emigrate. Moreover, by living abroad, they had become out of touch with developments at home: they were therefore immune to the reformist movement that might have affected them had they been at home.

Indd 18 6/10/09 09:53:42 The First Yemeni Migration:â•—The Portsâ•… 19 is only one proper entrance, under the railway bridge and down Bute Street. Migrant communities in Butetown had little reason to go into Cardiff, while inhabitants of, or visitors to, Cardiff had no reason to go to Butetown, and many seem to have believed that they would be robbed or stabbed if they went there after dark. The only exception to this isolation was during the big rugby matches at Cardiff Arms Park, less than ten minutes' walk from the entrance to Bute Street.

Of\" ",~ The Yemen: North and South activity in exile. In the Arab world, toO, Hadrami merchants have played a significant role: the famous medieval social thinker Ibn Khaldun, born in Tunis in 1332, was from a Hadrami family, and since the oil-based prosperity began in neighbouring Saudi Arabia Hadrami traders and fi nanciers have prospered there. The largest Hadrami exile community was, however, in Singapore and Java where these Arab traders bui lt up a powerful position under, respectively, British and Dutch colonial rule.

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