Britain's First Muslims: Portrait of an Arab Community

Overview

Fear of the terrorist threat provoked by radical Islam has generated heated debates on multiculturalism and the integration of Muslim migrant communities in to Britain. Yet little is known about Britain’s first Muslims, the Yemenis. Yemenis began settling in British port towns at the beginning of the 20th century, and afterwards became part of the immigrant labour force in Britain’s industrial cities. Fred Halliday's ground-breaking research, based in Yemen and Britain, provides a fascinating case study for ...

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Overview

Fear of the terrorist threat provoked by radical Islam has generated heated debates on multiculturalism and the integration of Muslim migrant communities in to Britain. Yet little is known about Britain’s first Muslims, the Yemenis. Yemenis began settling in British port towns at the beginning of the 20th century, and afterwards became part of the immigrant labour force in Britain’s industrial cities. Fred Halliday's ground-breaking research, based in Yemen and Britain, provides a fascinating case study for understanding the dynamics of immigrant cultures and the complexities of Muslim identity in Britain. Telling the stories of sailor communities in Cardiff and industrial workers in Sheffield, Halliday tracks the evolution of community organizations and the impact of British government policy on their development. He analyzes links between the diaspora and the homeland, and looks at how different migrant groups in Britain relate to eachother under the Muslim umbrella. In a fascinating new introduction to his classic study, Halliday explains how it can help us understand British Islam in an age which has produced both al Qaeda and the Yemeni-born boxer Prince Naseem.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781848852990
  • Publisher: I. B.Tauris & Company, Limited
  • Publication date: 2/15/2010
  • Edition description: New
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Fred Halliday is Professor Emeritus in International Relations at the London School of Economics, and a Research Professor at the Barcelona Institute for International Studies. He is the author of numerous books on the Middle East, including Islam and the Myth of Confrontation (IB Tauris, 1996).

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Table of Contents

Preface to the second edition ix

Introduction xxi

1 Yemeni Migration and its Contexts 1

Arab migration: an overview 1

Immigrants in Britain 6

The Yemeni background 7

'The disaster of the twentieth century' 14

2 The First Yemeni Migration: The Ports 17

Cardiff: Tiger Bay and Bilad al-Welsh 17

The 1919 riots 24

Sheikh Abdullah Ali al-Hakimi 27

Cardiff in the 1970s 39

South Shields: the Mill Dam riots and beyond 44

Liverpool: on 'the street of the Yemenis' 50

3 Yemenis in Industrial Cities: The Pattern of the 1970s 58

An immigrant minority 58

The postwar influx 61

Industrial employment 62

A 'Yemeni' factory 67

Housing and social conditions 68

Women: absent and present 72

Social problems: al-Tax and Haqq al-Qahwa 75

Anxieties of the mid 1970s: racism and economic depression 79

4 A Yemeni Workers' Organization 83

Nationalist movements and immigrant activity 83

The emergence of political organizations 85

Function and structure of the YWU 90

Union activities 93

A political orientation 101

5 A Community in Transition: The Yemenis and the 1980s 106

Factors for change: British and Yemeni 106

A community revitalized: the case of Sheffield 110

South Shields: beyond the recession 117

In the shadow of the tower; The Yemenis in London 119

Unwelcome attentions: 'Killer drug' and 'Brides for sale' 122

6 The 'Invisible' Arab 131

Yemenis and South Asians: characteristics shared 132

The Islamic dimension 137

The distinctiveness of the Yemenis 139

Appendices 1 Correspondence concerning the building of mosques in Cardiff and South Shields, 1938-9 146

Appendices 2 Sheffield Yemeni Welfare Advice Centre Constitution, 1985 152

Notes 155

Bibliography 161

Index 165

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