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 groundbreaking 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 analyses links between the diaspora and the homeland, and looks at how different migrant groups in Britain relate to each other 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.
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' (I.B.Tauris, 1996) and his forthcoming book, 'Shocked and Awed: How the War on Terror and Jihad have Changed the English Language', also by I.B.Tauris.