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They travelled extensively; indeed, to every part of the known world. They developed charts and maps, even a postal system. Town planning and natural and wildlife reserves were formalised. What remains of the architecture of the time speaks for itself Sardar and Malik As European civilisation grew and reached the high Middle Ages, there was hardly a field of learning or form of art, whether it was literature or architecture, where there was not some influence of Islam. Islamic learning became in this way part and parcel of Western civilisation.

With the advent of the Renaissance, the West not only turned against its own medieval past but also sought to forget the long relation it had had with the Islamic world, one which was based on intellectual respect despite religious opposition. A defining event for the changing relation between Islam and the Western world was the series of Crusades declared by the Pope and supported by various European kings. The purpose, although political, was outwardly to recapture the 'holy land' and especially Jerusalem for Christianity.

Although at the beginning there was some success and local European rule was set up in parts of Syria and Palestine, Muslims finally gained the upper hand and in Saladin, the celebrated Muslim leader, recaptured Jerusalem and defeated the Crusaders. The eighth and last of the great Crusades was in , headed by St.

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There were no further attempts to recapture the holy lands after English participation in the Crusades was minimal and Richard I was the only King of England to participate personally Edward I participated when he was heir to the throne. At the same time, within the Islamic world there were divisions, fed by feuds and the corrupt and luxurious lifestyles of rulers.

This was compounded by the sacking of Baghdad by the Mongols in Coupled with the loss of Spain to Ferdinand and Isabella, this period marked the end of the ascendancy of the Islamic world. These events fuelled a gradual decline. At the end of the fifteenth century, the Ulama religious scholars reduced the concept of Ilm from 'all knowledge' to 'religious knowledge', reduced Ilma from meaning the 'consensus of the community' to that of the Ulama itself. The interpretation of the Qur'an was frozen in history. It lost its dynamism; this transformed society from an open to a closed one.

The printing presses were closed, depriving Islam and Muslims of the oxygen on which they once thrived. The era marking the expansion of both Islam and Islamic culture reached a zenith with the conquest of much of India in by Babur, one of the Timurid princes. He established the powerful Moghul Empire, which produced such legendary rulers as Akbar — , Jahangir — , Shah Jahan — and Aurangzeb — After , the Moghul Empire gradually lost its substance to its various vassals — princes, maharajahs, sultans and other dependants — whilst the British colonial presence took over.

Despite the gradual rise of British power in India, the Moghul Empire lasted over three hundred years until , when it was officially abolished. His three sons were publicly executed, thus ensuring that a thousand years of Muslim rule came to an end.

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India was the 'Jewel in the Crown' for the British. The Raj managed to hold on to power with very little effort, but the British standpoint is to regard the events of as a mutiny. This view is correct in so far as there was a mutiny by sections of the military, yet fails to account for the sections of the civilian population who also engaged in civil unrest.

Most British writers and observers of the events were and are agreed in calling it a mutiny because of the failings of the army, in terms of discipline and command. Although not accepted by all South Asian historians, traditional Indian nationalist views of the events of depart from the British scenario of a series of isolated and uncoordinated mutinies. Instead, nationalists see a war of independence, the first act by Indians to gain self-rule.

For half a century after , writing on the uprising was basically confined to British observers and scholars.

Communities under Pressure

Racist ideologies were very much in place at this time, with differences in preconceptions concerning Hindus and Muslims becoming reified — the latter were thought not to be open to Western education, for example. Indian nationalist tradition defines the post period as leading to a return to Indian rule. At the height of European colonial expansion in the nineteenth century, most of the Islamic world was under colonial rule, with the exception of a few regions such as the heart of the Ottoman Empire, Persia, Afghanistan, Yemen and certain parts of Arabia.

Make a donation. Projects Close Close Please type and press enter Submit. Huda Jawad. Share this Share on Twitter. Share on Facebook. Share via email. Parveen Akhtar provides an exhaustive discussion of the movement towards radicalism among British South Asian Muslims. Focusing on recognised British Muslim organisations, namely Hizb al-Tahrir and al-Muhajiroun, Akhtar argues that radicalism is found in both the East and the West, because it is the only remaining way in which Muslims can challenge their subordination.

In the West, Muslims suffer from economic, political and social marginalisation. In the East, corrupt and inept regimes are the perpetrators of their oppression. In Part IV, the issue of identity is further considered, but from the point of view of specific spatial dimensions. A helpful history of the immigration and settlement of Bangladeshis in the East End is provided. In that economic, social, political and cultural space, Bangladeshis are asserting their ethnic identities and mobilising political action in a number of ways. In the past, disadvantaged socio-economic positions prevented any considerable involvement with the Salman Rushdie affair or the creation of the Muslim Parliament later fused with the Muslim Council of Britain.

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The response of Bangladeshi Muslims has therefore rested on broad-based organising principles, emphasising not only anti-poverty and social exclusion issues but also their frustration with US—British foreign policy in relation to Muslim nations. Nilufar Ahmed provides an informative account of the experiences of first-generation Bangladeshi women and the development of their ethno-religious identities, preand post-September Processes of migration, religious identity, racism and the post-September 11 environment are contextualised.

In a period when the Bangladeshis are establishing themselves as communities in the East End, the often alienated and marginalised experiences of Bangladeshi women have been exacerbated by September 11 and its aftermath. It has required these women to revaluate and in many cases sharpened their religious, ethnic and cultural identities. It has also led to further insecurities, however, with many first-generation Muslim women of Bangladeshi origin now more isolated than ever.

“Muslim Britain: communities under pressure,” Tahir Abbas

Issues of belonging and identity are right at the fore for this body of people. Paul Bagguley and Yasmin Hussain discuss citizenship and identity in the post-September 11 period in the context of the disturbances in northern England of the same year. This chapter offers a unique insight into the multifarious nature of post identity formation among young British Pakistanis. It explores in detail the nature of the disturbances and contextualises state and civil society responses — suggesting that, in effect, state reaction merely added to the essentialising of British Muslims as well as binging their specific group loyalties into question.

A social pathology was developed and emphasis was laid on inter-generational differences and cultural deficits within communities. Using first-hand interview accounts from young Pakistani respondents in the North, the perceptual data in relation to changing ethnic, religious and cultural identities in the post climate are enriched. Gabriele Marranci discusses the experiences of Pakistanis in Northern Ireland after the events of September There are less that two thousand Pakistanis in Northern Ireland according to the census but they nevertheless underwent the same kind of social, cultural, political and religious questioning experienced by British Muslims on the mainland.

Again on the basis of first-hand interview accounts, this chapter explores the ways in which British Muslims in the context of Northern Ireland face challenges to their ethno-religious identities. An historical analysis reveals the extent to which there is inter-generational change in relation to religious identity. In particular, the chapter reveals how attention became more focused on the group within the sectarian politics of the region. It is a fascinating discussion of how issues impacting on British Muslims in wider urban settings are specifically revealed in micro-community settings.

The indefatigable John Rex offers his insightful thoughts on the situation of British South Asian Muslims in the post-September 11 world in which we live. His is a fitting last word to this collection. I would like to thank the many different authors who contributed to this collection.

Muslim Britain

Without their efforts, this book would not have come about. I am especially indebted to Nadia Hashmi, particularly for her assistance in the early stages of conceptual and editorial development of this book. At a third plane crashed into the Pentagon. Over 3, people died in the burning, crumbling aftermath of the impact on the World Trade Centre. The shocking scenes reverberated around the world in seconds, and as more news came in of the attack on the Pentagon, for some it signalled the end.

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Save For Later. Create a List. Summary This edited collection is a cogent exploration of how the events of September 11 and the subsequent war on terror have impacted on the lived experiences of British South Asian Muslims in a number of important spheres, namely, religious and ethnic identity, citizenship, Islamophobia, gender and education, radicalism, media and political representation.

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