The Last of the Lascars: Yemeni Muslims in Britain, 1836–2012

Mohammad Siddique Seddon. Kube (Consortium, dist.), $29.95 trade paper (328p) ISBN 978-1-84774-035-9
Seddon, a professor of Islamic and religious studies at the University of Chester, U.K., surveys the little-known history of the oldest Muslim community in Britain, which was formed by Yemeni migrants, primarily sailors, in the 19th century. The book is well-researched and comprehensive in scope, charting the economic and cultural pressures on the migrants and their fluctuating legal, economic, and social status in both Yemen and Britain. Much of this history, however, is largely a retread of previous sources, and certain facts get repeated in its complicated organizational scheme. There is value in its original interviews with British Muslim residents and its focus on the past thirty years; the chapters focused on such issues as assimilation and identity formation, the lives of children of mixed British-Yemeni marriages, and the spread of Sufism among the British Yemeni community are highlights. Readers already familiar with the basics of Yemeni and British history may want to skim, but for others this will be a useful if brief introduction to issues of race, colonialism, immigration, and Islam in Britain. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/09/2014
Release date: 08/01/2014
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