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

By Fred Halliday

Fear of the terrorist possibility provoked via radical Islam has generated heated debates on multiculturalism and the combination 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 in the beginning of the 20 th century, and afterwards turned a part of the immigrant labour strength in Britain’s commercial towns. Fred Halliday's ground-breaking study, dependent in Yemen and Britain, presents a desirable case research for realizing the dynamics of immigrant cultures and the complexities of Muslim id in Britain. Telling the tales of sailor groups in Cardiff and business employees in Sheffield, Halliday tracks the evolution of neighborhood organisations and the impression of British govt coverage on their improvement. He analyzes hyperlinks among the diaspora and the fatherland, and appears at how varied migrant teams in Britain relate to eachother less than the Muslim umbrella.  In a desirable new advent to his vintage examine, Halliday explains the way it may help us comprehend British Islam in an age which has produced either al Qaeda and the Yemeni-born boxer Prince Naseem.

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12 AI-Hakimi left South Shields for the larger community at Cardiff in 1938, whether because of setbacks encountered in the former town or not, we do not know. His arrival in Cardiff was reported in the local press. indd 30 6/10/09 09:53:45 The First Yemeni Migration:â•—The Portsâ•… 31 Sheik Abdulla Ali, a leader of the Moslem faith in Britain, has arrived in Cardiff to direct a scheme for the erection of a mosque. He was met by Sheik Hassan Esmil, and later presided at the Arabs' feast, which is held before the midnight service.

Inside Butetown itself, the visiting sailors at first lived in lodging houses. These were run by sailors for men of their own nationality. A Yemeni or a West Indian arriving in Cardiff would go to one of these houses, and find there a bed, and food, news from home and people whom he could talk to. Sailors used to leave their valuables with the lodging-house keeper, and the latter would often be responsible for finding a sailor another ship to sign on with. As time went by, however, this transitory form of existence gave way to a more settled community.

G'8. llli~~~~LLMENT AND ACCOUNT OF CREW.. FOREIGN'GOING SHIP. ~~. i,,:~ btIIDull fk Ri_ Eu.. \IoIId Sr_ iMIvi... ,... i,. Mlfd. Micl O/Jk6. Ai: Crew register of the Italiana, dated Cardiff, 25 May 1916. Crewmen numbers 16-20 have Yemeni names, give Aden as nationality, and addresses at Bute Street and Maria Street in Butetown (Courtesy Welsh Industrial and Maritime Museum, Cardiff) The 1940s represented the high point in the development of Butetown as a cosmopolitan community of sailors and their families, and this was especially true for the Yemenis and Somalis.

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