Customer Reviews

1 Review
5 star:    (0)
4 star:
3 star:    (0)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
Most Helpful First | Newest First

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "(British) Muslims Definitive Account of History & Analysis from 1800 to Post 2001!", 11 May 2009
Matloub Husayn-Ali-Khan "Matloub" (South Yorkshire, Sheffield, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Infidel within: The History of Muslims in Britain, 1800 to the Present (Paperback)
On reading Professor Ansari's voluminous, wide-ranging (historical/analytical) and fascinatingly well-written book : "The Infidel Within" & sub-titled: "Muslims in Britain since 1880", confirmed to me what life would have been like in that period of 1920s-30s depression and with local evidence of the Muslim presence in Burngreave, Sheffield. According to Professor H. Ansari around 50 Muslims lived as settlers in South Shield and my own understanding of this history of Black migration to Britain and events of the 1919 riots in Cardiff/Liverpool/South Shields as commonly described as against 'Black' people, under the umbrella term but on closer examination there were many Muslim victims. Interestingly, Ansari provides so much other information on Muslims to mention a few famous Muslims from 1800 to 1945 including the sad demise of Abdullah Yusuf Ali whose translation of the Q'uran to English in the 1930s is still popular reference point for all Muslims, including me. Others like Allama Iqbal revered as 'philosopher-poet' of the east & founder of Pakistan Mohammed Ali Jinnah - with other snippets of information of the first burial in Britain of an Indian Muslim soldier who died on the western front in November 1914, many Muslim converts including the Lady Evelyn Cobbold probably the first Englishwoman to set foot in Mecca!

Ansari utilises excellent secondary sources through people like R. Ramdin & P. Fryer. Also, his section on Assimilation, Integration, and Accommodation: Aspects of Muslim Engagement with British Society since 1945 and the famous words on Integration by Roy Jenkins (Home Secretary) in 1966 is mentioned twice! Sadly, Ansari fails to recognise/mention the legacy of the Asian Youth Movements (AYM's) when Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus and Christians worked together in the struggle for justice & he does mention the formation of the Indian Workers Association in 1938 by Akbar Khan and two Sikhs! He also does mention the "Muslim Youth Movement" in the late 1970s and early 1980s in Bradford - which seems to overlaps with the formation of Asian Youth Movement in the same period and only a fleeting reference to the AYM on the issue of single-sex schools in 1983.

In addition, Ansari's research is selective and with biases in favour of Pakistanis and which ignores the independent analysis undertaken by Roger Ballard in March 1991: of the strong disillusionment about the way Pakistan has treated Azad Kashmiri Muslims. However, in his debate on "enculturation" He argues: "...people may identify with certain characteristics of another group without forgoing their own ethnic group allegiance, and thereby redefine or update conception of their own ethnicity..." He then quotes from Nasreen Ali's summary on enculturation in her 1999 study of the Kashmiri Community in Luton, seems to suggest his lack of understanding on the issue?

In contrast, his excellent analysis of the Muslim experience of being in three distinct phases starting from the mid 1950s to 1970s of: "radical adjustment to the environment". The second phase from the beginning & end of 1970s decade as: "began to get used to the environment...cope with everyday life". The third phase from 1980s to 1990s was: "...the initial uncertainties were largely overcome and migrants were in a position to participate and to contribute...knew their rights... established cultural and religious institutions and, having achieved a measure of economic success, had acquired greater self-confidence..."

Finally, I found his points on Crusades to Islamaphobia including the Satanic Verses Controversy (Rushdie Affair) impact on the Muslim community up to 2001, very useful when he said: "...can we trace a continuous line from the Crusades through the Ottoman empire and European colonisation and the Islamaphobia of the 1990s..." In recent times, the 'riots' in Bradford in July 2001 and the events of 11th September 2001 (9/11) events in New York, USA which further compounded the Muslim psyche, globally.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Infidel within: The History of Muslims in Britain, 1800 to the Present
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews