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Loyal Enemies: British Converts to Islam 1850-1950

Loyal Enemies: British Converts to Islam 1850-1950

by Jamie Gilham


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Loyal Enemies uncovers the history of the earliest British converts to Islam who lived their lives freely as Muslims on British soil, from the 1850s to the 1950s. Drawing on original archival research, it reveals that people from across the range of social classes defied convention by choosing Islam in this period. Through a series of case studies of influential converts and pioneering Muslim communities, Loyal Enemies considers how the culture of Empire and imperialism influenced and affected their conversions and subsequent lives, before examining how they adapted and sustained their faith. Jamie Gilham shows that, although the overall number of converts was small, conversion to Islam aroused hostile reactions locally and nationally. He therefore also probes the roots of antipathy towards Islam and Muslims, identifies their manifestations and explores what conversion entailed socially and culturally. He also considers whether there was any substance to persistent allegations that converts had "divided" loyalties between the British Crown and a Muslim ruler, country or community. Loyal Enemies is a book about the past, but its core themes—about faith and belief, identity, Empire, loyalties and discrimination— are still salient today.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780199377251
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 06/15/2014
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Jamie Gilham is a historian whose research focuses on the modern history and politics of Islam and Muslims in Britain. He holds a PhD from Royal Holloway, University of London.

Table of Contents

1. Britain's First Muslim Peer of the Realm: Henry Stanley and Islam in Victorian Britain
2. 'A Witness Shall be Raised out of Every Nation':
W. H. Abdullah Quilliam and Islam, 1856-1932
3. 'Upholding the Banner of Islam': The Liverpool Muslim
Institute and British Converts, 1887-1908
4. 'Buckling on the Armour of Islam': British Conversions,
5. 'Sending Up a Silent Prayer for Allah': British Muslim
Lives, 1908-1953
6. 'Loyal Enemies'? Identities, Allegiances and the Eclipse of British Muslims in Late-Imperial Britain

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