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Bradford's Muslim communities and the reproduction and representation of Islam

By Philip John Lewis


This thesis studies the creation of Bradford's Muslim communities, in particular the impact of migration on Islamic identity. To this end it begins by mapping the contours of Islamic expression in South Asia, especially the development of distinct maslak, discrete schools\ud of Islamic thought and practice. These were, in part, a response to the imposition of British imperialism in India. The settlers from South Asia also came from a variety of areas, with their own histories, regional languages and cultures. The ethos and character of Islam, which is shared by different sects, is studied unselfconsciously at work in the establishment of Muslim communities in Bradford, generating separate residential zones and a network of\ud businesses and institutions, religious and cultural, developed to service their specific needs. The leadership, resources and ethos which the different maslak could draw on, and the institutions they created to reproduce the Islamic tradition in the city are explored and the extent to which these connect with the new cultural and\ud linguistic world of young British Muslims. Attention is then focused on the education, status, functions and influence of the 'ulama, critical carriers of the Islamic tradition in this new context. The role of the Bradford Council for Mosques is examined both as a bearer\ud of the Islamic impulse to unity, transcending the regional,\ud linguistic and sectarian differences, and as an emerging authority, locally and nationally. The study concludes by exploring the challenges facing Muslims - youth, gender, intellectual tradition, and da'wa, invitation to Islam - as British expressions of Islam struggle to birth

Publisher: School of Theology & Religious Studies (Leeds)
Year: 1993
OAI identifier:

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