Britain's rural Muslims

Rethinking integration

By Sarah Hackett

Britain's rural Muslims
Hardcover +
  • Price: £23.50
  • ISBN: 9781526110145
  • Publish Date: Jun 2020
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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    Paperback +
  • Price: £23.50
  • ISBN: 9781526110152
  • Publish Date: Jun 2021
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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    eBook -
  • Price: £23.50
  • ISBN: 9781526110176
  • Publish Date: Jun 2020
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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    Book Information

    • Format: eBook
    • ISBN: 978-1-5261-1017-6
    • Published Date: June 2020
    • Series: Manchester University Press


    Immigration has long been associated with the urban landscape, from accounts of inner-city racial tension and discrimination during the 1960s and 1970s and studies of minority communities of the 1980s and 1990s, to the increased focus on cities amongst contemporary scholars of migration and diaspora. Though cities have long provided the geographical frameworks within which a significant share of post-war migration has taken place, Sarah Hackett argues that that there has long existed a rural dimension to Muslim integration in Britain.

    This book offers the first comprehensive study of Muslim migrant integration in rural Britain across the post-1960s period, examining the previously unexplored relationship between Muslim integration and rurality by using the county of Wiltshire in the South West of England as a case study. Drawing upon a range of archival material and oral histories, it challenges the long-held assumption that local authorities in more rural areas have been inactive, and even disinterested, in devising and implementing migration, integration and diversity policies, and sheds light on smaller and more dispersed Muslim communities that have traditionally been written out of Britain's immigration history.


    'This significant and insightful study of Muslims in Britain is a focus on how issues migration, identity, race and citizenship play out in the context of rural communities. It is an essential and timely contribution in fraught times.'
    Tahir Abbas, Assistant Professor at the Institute of Security and Global Affairs, Leiden University, author of Islamophobia and Radicalisation: A Vicious Cycle

    'A vital new study. We hear much less about Muslim communities in rural than urban areas. This book's importance and novelty is that it not only that it remedies that, but that it provides an insightful and provocative study itself. In Hackett's trademark style the voices of Muslim communities and the perspective of local authorities are all aired in what is sure to be key reading for historians of migration, ethnicity and post-1945 Britain in general.'
    Lawrence Black, Professor of Modern History, University of York

    'Sarah Hackett has produced a pioneering volume which examines the experience of this minority in the English countryside using the example of Wiltshire. She has written an important narrative by combining local government policy with interviews, tackling key issues such as multiculturalism and integration.'
    Panikos Panayi, Professor of European History, De Montfort University

    'Drawing on a range of previously unexplored archival material and oral histories, Sarah Hackett's ground-breaking study enriches our broader historical understanding of the shifting relationship between rural Britain and Muslim integration. Her findings persuasively challenge popular notions regarding the incompatibility between Muslim communities and British society, offering instead a positive assessment of the ways in which they have become an integral part of the British countryside.'
    Humayun Ansari, Professor of History of Islam and Culture, Royal Holloway, University of London

    'A landmark example of the "local turn" in migration historiography, Britain's rural Muslims explores the policies of local authorities and the experiences of Muslim immigrants in the British countryside, thereby providing fresh perspectives on Muslim integration in post-1945 Britain. This first-rate and pioneering work of scholarship is lucidly argued and is well suited for students and the general reader as well.'
    Christhard Hoffmann, Professor of Modern European History, University of Bergen/Norway

    'Hackett's interviews reveal, unsurprisingly, a range of personal encounters with racism and with anti-Islam sentiment. Some local Muslims saw integration as made easier when they were relatively few in number; others stressed that with larger communities and Islamic associations, Muslims were better able to live Muslim lives-and women were more likely to express this last sentiment. The value of this study is its refusal to settle on one image of the "rural British Muslim," and to provide us with a sense of the creative and changing responses Muslims have brought to their relatively rural fortunes.'
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    Introduction: Muslim integration in Britain - a theoretical and analytical framework
    1 Wiltshire: diverse Muslims, unexplored communities
    2 Local government policy: the early years, 1960s to 1976
    3 Local government policy: race relations, multiculturalism and integration, 1976 to the late 1990s
    4 Local government policy: anti-racism, equal opportunities, community cohesion and religious identity in a rural space, 1999 onwards
    5 Muslim migrant histories, personal narratives and experiences of integration
    6 Migration, integration and Muslims in rural Britain
    Conclusion: Muslim integration, the rural dimension and research implications



    Sarah Hackett is Professor of Modern European History at Bath Spa University

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