Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Book Review by Islam in Victorian Britain: The Life and Times of Abdullah Quilliam by Ron Geaves PART 2

Click here for part 1

Quilliam was a true ambassador for Islam, actively lecturing on comparative religion and implementing within the laws of Britain an Islamic community, masjid, school, orphanage, even a portion in the grave yard for those who died with the 'truth'. Along with the equivalent of open days. The local community (regardless of religion) where invited to celebrate and eat at the Eid festivities with the Muslims. Providing breakfast for the poor Christian children on Christmas day is another act of charity and community building Quilliam not only orchestrated but in the majority of theses works heavily funded from his own pocket. He was the first point of contact from dock workers right up to the mayor on all matters concerning the Muslims in and around Liverpool.

I will touch on what could be seen as a negative chapter in Quilliam’s life. His taking on of a new identity in the later years of his live. Much controversy surrounds this section of his life and I feel the author has done well to shed as much light as was possible with the information available to him. 

I'd recommend this book to anyone interested in the 'British Muslim' area of politics, sociology, and community cohesion. It's also a great read for those having an interest in the British Empire around this era (1900’s). For me it's been a ‘how to’ guide on becoming a 'Great British Muslim'. I shall attempt to put into practice the lessons learnt from reading about Quilliam's life.

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